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San Camp

The Kalahari, Botswana

Gold price level

Mango Opinion

A visit to the Makgadikgadi Pans is a quality and completely different experience from the wetland wilderness of northern Botswana.

The wet season can be hot and buggy. The dry season cold. Things happen slowly. This place is not for everyone, but it is really special. Walking with meerkats during dry months and witnessing the annual migration of zebra in the wet season are unique highlights to this area.

In the heat of the desert, every little bit of comfort counts so take advantage of the great pool to cool off!

San Camp is located deep in the Kalahari Desert on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans, the largest saltpan in the world. There are 6 spacious, white canvas tents on slightly elevated wooden platforms with en-suite facilities (bucket showers and flush toilets). There is a central tented area where guests gather to dine.

For a true desert experience, travel on your trusty quad bike off across the pans. Watch the sun set in a burst of gentle pinks, oranges and blues, then marvel as the starts twinkle into sight. This beautifully barren site offers true silence in an endlessly flat landscape - there is not one visual landmark to be seen across 16,000 square kilometres and you swiftly loses any sense of perspective.

In early morning, comb the edge of the dried up lakeshore to find stone tools and fossils that litter the pan's great expanses and learn of the origins of early man.  After tea, head off to see some unique desert species such as springbok, red hartebeest and the elusive brown hyena. Enjoy a night game drive back to camp to look for nocturnal desert inhabitants and perhaps even a black maned Kalahari Lion. After the rains (December to April), there can be enormous herds of wildebeest, zebra and springbok (with the accompanying predators) on the open grasslands.