San Camp: The Lowdown

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San Camp is not for travellers looking for a “standard” safari experience. It’s in located in a harsh desert environment, astonishingly remote, and in some ways very simple, but beautiful, romantic and unusual.

What’s San Camp really like? 

Unlike many other camps, San isn’t about khaki and endless savannah. Here the tents are gleaming white canvas, perfectly in keeping with the stark desert environment. There’s an airy elegant feel- an atmosphere of old Africa far out in the wilderness- and sense of understated glamour. This is the sort of place we can imagine doing yoga as the sun rises and discussing ancient civilisations late into the night. With no wifi or phone signal and very limited electricity, staying at San is all about the magical setting, the community, and your fellow guests.

Wandering back to your tent under a sky packed with stars you’ll get a real sense of the vastness of the desert. Tents are set far apart from each other and the main area- please let us know if you have mobility challenges and we’ll request a room accordingly. There are five twin and two double tents (doubles are furthest away) which have a feel of colonial times – think rugs on the floor and four poster beds. Thankfully, there’s also the rather more modern addition of a bathroom at the back too. There’re plenty of extra blankets for chilly desert nights, and hot water (top tip from us- late afternoons are definitely nicer for shower time than chilly early mornings!) Over in the main area there’s also a small plunge pool for searingly hot afternoons.

What can I do at San Camp? 

You can do game drives from San Camp- we love the cool rooftop seats on the vehicles. There’s a remarkable amount of wildlife in the desert, however we’d firmly advise against this being your only safari destination. Animals aren’t as abundant as many other safari destinations, especially outside the green season with its impressive zebra and wildebeest migration. Instead, this is a fantastic spot for learning about the traditional bushman way of life and survival in the desert, for seeing meerkats, and for quad biking – the latter is during the dry season only (roughly May-October). With advance notice it is also possible to do a riding safari from San Camp. Guides are often a little different from other camps too- many of the guides at San are highly-educated graduate or phd students from Europe and beyond.

Operating a camp in such a remote area (even for Botswana) is a logistical feat that regularly boggles us. This means the camp staff will usually have a fairly clear advance plan for you each day, however, if there’s anything you would prefer not to do, please let the staff know. For guests staying for three nights at San Camp, there is a surprise activity. If you would prefer to know about it in advance, please let us know.

Giving back at San Camp:

Though this area of the Makgadikgadi seems desolate, it is host to a migration of wildebeest and zebra, once amongst the biggest migrations in the world. San Camp partners with Round River Conservation to support the renewal of old migration routes, working with communities and landowners to help make this a sustainable possibility for local stakeholders along the way.

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