- Incredible location
- Good facilities
- Unique game
- Family Friendly
A traditional 1940s East African safari-styled living space situated on the verge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, the vestige of one of the largest super-lakes to have ever existed, Jack’s Camp is a high quality trip back to a colonial age defined by comfort, astounding views, and intimacy in which guests can become immersed in the indigenous cultures of Botswana’s ancient bushmen.
Jack’s Camp comes as close to offering the complete wilderness experience as luxury will allow. It is made up of ten spacious canvas tents set among a mokolwane palm grove. Each tent has an en-suite bathroom, is decorated with Persian rugs, and has cool and crunchy cotton bedsheets. There are also indoor and outdoor showers. All of these look out onto the immense plains of the Salt Pans. The Camp’s living quarters strike the perfect balance between a rugged desert aesthetic and a reflective relaxing atmosphere. An elegant green mess tent contains a museum and library to consolidate the first-hand education guests can obtain outside. During the day, the Camp also has a pavilion pool that offers spectacular views of the dry plains. At night, guests can lay out under the clear and starry skies in complete silence.
Activities at Jack’s Camp are suitable for all. Its guides are often graduates who combine guiding with research and work with San trackers from the Zu/’hoasi bushmen tribe. The San are one of 14 known extant ancestral population clusters from which all known modern humans descend. You have the chance to watch San children learn hunting skills and immerse yourself in a rich indigenous culture. The guides lead morning walks to explore fossil beds of extinct giant zebra and hippo and game drives. Do not expect to see big 5 game, but instead to learn about unique local animals during your exploration of the 6,200 square miles of Salt Pans.
During wet season, the plains become a luscious bed of green on which flamingos descend to adorn the wildernesses, and 35-75,000 zebra and wildebeest migrate to run free across the flat expanse. During dry season, you can experience the Makgadikgadi plains on quad bikes. You can see animals unique to the area, such as aardvark, gemsbuck, and springbuck, and have a fantastic chance of spotting the third rarest carnivore in the world, the brown hyena, and the Kalahari Lion. Above all these game-spotting opportunities is the fun to be had by interacting with gangs of wild but habituated meerkats at Meerkat Manor. It is said that if a meerkat cannot be found to be standing on the ground, they can be seen casually perched on top of your giggling child’s head.
Jack's Camp is part of the renowned Unchartered Africa portfolio of remote camps along with Camp Kalahari and San Camp. Like its sister camps, Jack's Camp is very accommodating towards families. Children of all ages are welcome although families with under8s will need to take a private vehicle and guide at extra cost. Children are able to do all the activities, such as quad-biking and visiting the Camp’s natural history museum. However, those under 12 years of age will have to share a quad bike with an adult driver whilst children 12 years and older are allowed to drive a quad bike but only at the Guide / Camp Manager discretion. Children using the swimming pool must be accompanied by an adult. There are no family tents, a family of three can share one tent with a bed roll for the child, whilst a family of four will have to split across two tents with one parent in each tent.
- Family Friendly
- Authentic cultural experience
- Stunning wilderness
- Habituated meerkats
- Unique location
- Wonderfully authetic
- Privately owned and operated
- Cultural activities
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019