Within the Central Kalahari and with sleep-out options
Central Kalahari Game Reserve
2018 $670 - $965
Central Kalahari - DRY Camp
Price Range (2018)
$670 - $965
Kalahari Plains Map
Kalahari Plains is not the most palatial of camps, it is simply built in canvas and gumpole, but it is the area it resides in and its eco-friendliness that give it our high ranking.
There are actually only 2 camps in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and this camp is well sited being close enough to Deception Valley where most of the game activity occurs during the wetter months.
All power in camp is solar and this is not a common thing in Botswana therefore Kalahari Plains represent the way forward. We like the camp because, in what is quite a flat environment, it tries not to stand out too much and being mostly made of canvas it does tend to blend in with its environment... something hard to achieve in this area.
Of particular note is the accommodation, which although quite simple, is constructed in a way so that you can sleep out on the roof at night… this we think is an incredible experience to enjoy, especially as if this camp was in the Delta it would attract a far higher nightly rate
Botswana Wildlife Safaris
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Dry Camp. Game Drives and Kalahari Bushmen walking experience
Central Kalahari Game Reserve
By Light aircraft transfer to airstrip then private vehicle transfer to camp
Adventure style lodge with10 fully en-suite units, 2 of which are family units
Children of all ages accepted with conditions
Up to 16 Years: A child must share a room with an adult
Up to 12 Years: A private vehicle needs to be booked
(the longer the line... the stronger the emphasis)
Aside from the enormous plain in front of camp, other prime wildlife viewing areas include places with evocative names such as Deception Valley and Sunday Pan. The former is all that remains of an ancient riverbed which today is an 80km-long gentle valley floor covered with short palatable grasses interspersed with picturesque tree islands. The name 'Deception' is derived from the mirage effect caused by the dry surface of the pan halfway along its length which often appears misleadingly full of water.
During the summer months, after much-needed rains, the area where Kalahari Plains is situated is characterised by lush green landscapes, floral displays and pans that fill with water. At this time of year these verdant flatlands are alive with aggregations of gemsbok, springbok and blue wildebeest. As a result of these numbers, predator concentrations are also high and sightings of the almost mythical black-maned Kalahari lion are complemented by some of the best cheetah viewing in Africa. Black-backed jackal and bat-eared fox also occur, with wild dog and leopard seen on occasion. Other mammal possibilities include steenbok, red hartebeest, giraffe and the charismatic ground squirrels and meerkats (suricates).
In the winter months, the Kalahari is more typically a desert-type system: warm and dry. Game viewing remains productive and moves into the vegetated dunal belt and pan systems surrounding the valleys; a series of ecologically placed waterholes further enhance wildlife viewing.
After sunset the Kalahari is alive with the sounds of roaring lion, White-faced Scops-Owls and the garrulous calls of barking geckos.
The avifauna in the reserve is equally diverse with over 220 species recorded to date. There are significant healthy populations of regionally threatened species such as Kori Bustard and Lappet-faced Vulture, as well as a variety of arid-west endemic species like Burchell's Sandgrouse, Grey-backed Sparrowlark, Kalahari Scrub-Robin and African Wren-Warbler. The vivid colours of Crimson-breasted Shrike and Violet-eared Waxbill provide a startling contrast to the sometimes stark surroundings.
Kalahari Plains Camp, in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, offers one of the most remote experiences in Africa today. This camp is beautifully placed within the Kalahari Desert biome, a place famed for its outstanding wildlife with vast herds of antelope followed by abundant predators - including the legendary black-maned Kalahari lions.
This region also offers some of the best summer wildlife viewing in Africa.
The main area consists of a lounge and dining area with an inviting swimming pool and deck area. The tents and main area are all raised off the ground to catch the breeze and take in the sweeping, spacious views across the Kalahari. This is a simple canvas and gumpole built camp in keeping with its surroundings. It is designed to not be imposing, as the surrounding environment is mainly bush scrub albeit with commanding views.
Classically styled in three sections, the central area has a small bar and just outside there is a staircase that leads to a viewing platform above the lodge, here you can view the huge landscape from a height with your glass of wine. To one side is a simple dining area and to the other side is a comfortable lounge area. Outside the main lodge on the packed sand is a boma with fire pit to enjoy your Kalahari evenings and also a separate small pool with shaded area, both of which are a welcome relief from the desert heat.
Each accommodation unit is reached via a path on the ground form the main area. The units are all built in a square chalet style from the same materials as the main lodge, canvas and gumoples. The interiors are quite roomy and simply but well furnished with a large comfortable bed with a view and a writing desk and armchair.
Each unit also has a well laid out en-suite bathroom for you to wash down the dust of the day. The chalets are all built on raised platforms and have an extended veranda for you to sit and enjoy the view.
Perhaps the most interesting plus point with these chalets is the viewing platform that is built on top of each of them. They are reached via a stairway from the veranda and do make the structure look a little odd. However the greatest benefit of these viewing decks is the ability to sleep out on them, providing you with quite a unique experience of sleeping out under the stars of the Kalahari Desert.
lains Camp is situated in a remote part of the diverse and productive Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) and offers some of the best summer wildlife viewing opportunities in Africa. Located in the Kalahari Desert biome in the central part of Botswana, at 5 million hectares this reserve is the largest conservation area in the country and one of the largest in the world. The CKGR is home to the legendary Kalahari black-maned lion as well as some of the world's best cheetah viewing.
The camp itself is on the edge of a vast dry pan and is able to afford the visitor with vast views.
Thanks to the diversity of habitats, healthy game populations move through the area and are present to a greater or lesser degree all year round, but with the advent of the summer rains (end of November to April) the desert truly comes to life. Short grasses sprout in the pan systems and fossil riverbeds, attracting a plethora of plains game such as springbok and gemsbok which converge in their hundreds and thousands to graze. Wildebeest, steenbok and red hartebeest join in the feast, and all these are followed in turn by predators such as lion, cheetah, and jackal. All this is perfectly complemented by lush green landscapes, floral displays and endless skies often providing the life-giving rains that transform the area.
At other times, the Kalahari is more typically a dry desert-type system, when game viewing moves into the vegetated dune belt and pan systems surrounding the valleys. General game still easily seen includes gemsbok, springbok, red hartebeest and steenbok as well as their predators such as lion, one of the highest concentrations of cheetah in southern Africa, leopard, brown hyaena and even caracal. Small predators also found here are black-backed jackal, meerkat (suricates), Cape fox, honey badger and a myriad mongoose species. Some 220 bird species have been recorded to date.
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