Jack’s Camp: The Lowdown

Extraordinary Africa>Botswana>Salt Pans>Jack’s Camp

Jack’s Camp is a step back in time on Botswana’s arid salt pans.

What’s Jack’s Camp really like? 

Jacks is a camp with a strong personality, and it’s one that tends to really divide guests. What everyone agrees upon is that the location is just incredible with ten huge safari tents set amongst the salt pans, grasslands and palm islands. They’re mainly twin rooms with two queen sized beds, but two of the room are king-sized beds. Each has its own private plunge pool on the deck outside.

Jack’s is a registered museum, so décor is distinctly eccentric and there’s no wifi, but there have been some modernizing touches in recent years, including evening breeze cooling systems over the beds.  Tents are lit by solar (charging points are in the main area) and stuffed with antiques and in the main mess tent there are exhibits of everything from animal skulls and hide, ancient fossils and antique San beadwork. There’s a definite air of British colonialism and a 1940’s feel, harking back to the “golden age” of safari.

What can I do at Jack’s Camp? 

In this harsh and exposed location, it’s amazing there’s any life at all, but if you head out to explore (either on a 4×4 or on foot) you’ll slowly notice there’s life in this barren environment- perhaps the odd ostrich or antelope or jackal. However, if big game viewing is a priority, we wouldn’t really recommend the salt pans.

What is utterly wonderful however is a visit to a local meerkat colony- they’re incredibly relaxed around people (going as far to perch on your head to get a better view) and the interacting between them is fascinating. It’s also very interesting to take a walk with the bushman guides who can give you a quick introduction to how the bushmen have traditionally lived on these remote salt pans.

Fat biking from Jack’s is huge fun, and for an extra fee we can arrange helicopter flips and riding (horses, not bikes!) During the dry season (May to October) quad bike trips on the pans are also possible- please note that safety helmets are not provided for this activity, and while the camp has never reported any problems with this to us, you must undertake this activity at your own risk.

Guests who stay 3 nights (and sometimes shorter) at Jacks will also have a special surprise one evening. For those who love the novelty we have not included this in our write-up, but if you are not keen on surprises please do let us know so we can brief you.

Giving back at Jack’s Camp:

The owners of Jack’s work alongside local communities to try to protect the traditional migration routes of the huge herds of zebra and wildebeest that return to the area each year. They also support initiatives to reduce human-wildlife conflict. Amazingly this includes painting eyes on the rear ends of cows!

Want to know more? Just

Ask the Africa Experts