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Kalahari Desert

The Kalahari Desert covers about 84% of the Country. Botswana is a flat, landlocked country, with no mountains at all. Its highest point is Tsodilo Hills at 1489m.

The lowest is the junction of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers at 513m.

Central Kalahari

Haina Kalahari Lodge | Deception Valley Lodge | Camp Kalahari | San Camp | Dinaka Lodge | Kalahari Plains Camp | Tau Pan Lodge | Back to Botswana Map

Haina Safari Lodge

Haina Safari Lodge is classically African, relaxed and informal. Situated on 12000ha on the border of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Haina Safari Lodge offers mobile overnight and day trip safaris into the game reserve. Discover the mysteries of the Kalahari bush on a guided game drive and on quad bike safaris. Enjoy an unforgettable experience with the local Bushmen people.

The main area of the lodge consists of a lounge, dining room and bar area. The building décor is of wood and thatch. A swimming pool, sun deck and an expansive boma eating area are facilities available to guests. The sundeck is a popular spot for relaxing and for sighting various birds and animals that visit the waterhole adjacent to the lodge. Haina Safari Lodge has generator power.

Haina Safari Lodge accommodates up to 20 guests in tented accommodation. The standard tents consist of a bedroom and en-suite bathroom with shower and toilet, whilst the luxury tents have thatch roofs and full bathrooms. All tents have private decks. The tents are furnished in a contemporary African theme using subtle earth tones. Campsites are available at Haina Safari Lodge.

Guided drives by experienced and knowledgeable guides, to view the game, bird life and surrounding areas, is the most popular activity at Haina Safari Lodge. Evening sundowners are served with the sun setting over the Kalahari. Highlights of this area would be sightings of lions - they are extremely vocal and seen regularly. There are several territorial leopards and cheetahs that also move through the conservancy. Antelope species, especially herds of Gemsbok, Blue Wildebeest and Eland, are seen. Kudu are also plentiful. Wild Dog and brown hyena do occasionally move through the area as well. Both migrating and residential bird species, with over 250 species positively identified, are found on the reserve. Quad biking is a novel way to explore the countryside adjacent to the lodge and to view the game and bird life. Haina is home to a group of Bushmen, who will share with guests how they go about their daily lives. They will show guests how to search for roots and plants, how to make a fire, and entertain guests to a rain dance. Day trips to Deception Valley can be arranged from the lodge. Guests will visit the camp site of Mark and Delia Owens, the authors of the book “Cry of the Kalahari”, enjoy a Kalahari picnic and experience great gameviewing on the open plains. It is common to see very large herds of antelope in Deception Valley.

Children of all ages are welcome at Haina Safari Lodge.

Deception Valley Lodge

Deception Valley Lodge has an ethnic African theme and was built to fit into the surrounding bush without altering or detracting from the natural ambience and colour. Guests can experience the vastness of the Kalahari and share in the knowledge of the Bushmen who have inhabited Botswana for at least 30,000 years. The cultural walks, guided by the Bushmen, remain the highlight at this luxury safari lodge.

The main complex boasts a dining room, lounge and bar area. The complex is decorated in warm Kalahari colors, making use of Bushmen and other local African artifacts. A curio shop and small library also forms part of the main complex. An inviting swimming pool situated close to the main complex is ideal for guests to cool off and relax. From the main deck, guests can view wildlife at the nearby waterhole. A boma for night time dining affords amazing views across the clear night skies. Stargazing is spectacular from the lodge. Deception Valley Lodge has generator power.

Deception Valley Lodge has eight stylish, thatched bungalows which are raised on stilts. Each bungalow is large and very comfortable, with sofas, fans, mosquito nets, and a mini-bar. Each unit has an en-suite Victorian style bathroom, an outside shower and a spacious lounge. The bungalows boast a private deck overlooking the Kalahari bush with its endless open spaces. Each bungalow is connected to the main lodge by wooden walkways. Kalahari Manor suite comprises of two master bedrooms (both en suite), with a large, open-plan lounge. There is also a covered veranda which extends the entire length of the suite. The Manor is run independently of the main lodge and has its own kitchen and chef. Guests also have their own butler. Activities are all offered on a private basis, with a private vehicle, guide and San tracker. Guests can enjoy personalized and varied activities: game drives, sunset drive, night drive, bush walk and Bushman walk.

Deception Valley Lodge offers afternoon and night drives in custom built game viewing vehicles. The night drives in particular will reveal a fascinating world of nocturnal activity. Guests can expect to see Genets, Civet, African Wild Cat, Caracal and Serval. Game drives will also concentrate on tracking down species such as Black-backed Jackal, Aardvark and Porcupine. The Central Kalahari is home to an amazing variety of wildlife including Cheetah, Wild Dog, Leopard, Lion, Springbok, Gemsbok, Hyena, Giraffe, and Zebra. Some of the most wonderfully adapted inhabitants are the Barking Geckos, which limit their day to a few cool hours of evening. This part of the Kalahari is also home to a huge array of colorful birdlife, with over 200 species identified in the area. Among the birds likely to be spotted are the Ostrich, various vultures and other raptors, the Little Bee-eater, the Lilac Breasted Roller and the Secretary Bird. Direct interaction with San Bushmen is a highlight at Deception Valley Lodge. Guided walks with the Bushmen, learning age-old bush skills and survival techniques as well the chance to experience the oldest culture in Botswana, is a unique and rare opportunity. The lodge also offers nature walks with the emphasis on the area's remarkable flora and its larger fauna.

Children 6 - 12 years are permitted provided they are on a private vehicle. One Family unit is available at Deception Valley Lodge.

Camp Kalahari

Nestled amongst the acacias and Mokolwane palms of Hyaena Island, on the edge of the ancient super lake and adjacent to the Makgadikgadi National Park lies a truly original camp – Camp Kalahari. It returns to the traditional safari style of the old explorers, and is the best way to experience the Makgadikgadi in a fresh and affordable way. It is the ideal camp for those who want fun, comfort, style and adventure. Camp Kalahari accepts children of all ages and makes for a fantastic family safari destination. In the style of Jack’s original camps, is a large and comfortable thatched library, lounge and dining area; here Guests can relax and enjoy the serenity and peace of this enchanting area.

Camp Kalahari has ten Meru tents: Seven twin tents, two double tents and one family unit comprising two twin tents with an inter-leading bathroom. All tents have en suite outdoor bathrooms, flush loos and the hottest wettest showers in the Kalahari.

The tent interiors are classic old safari style, replete with comfy beds, crunchy cotton sheets, stripy African blankets and hot water bottles in winter. Camp Kalahari’s chef is a talented chap, noted for his tasty soups and particularly for his "Pilli-Pilli Ho-Ho," a lethal concoction of chillies marinated in sherry and gin. Smeared over one's breakfast eggs, it's just the thing to sharpen sleepdulled wits in preparation for whatever adventures await!

It is during the dry season that Guests can experience the vast Makgadikgadi Salt Pans on quad bikes. Get dressed up in dark glasses and Lawrence of Arabia headgear and race out on to the pan. The Guides at Camp Kalahari team up with a small group of Zu/’hoasi Bushmen to guide our Guests on a morning’s walk, offering a window into the past, The Bushmen teach us how they have survived in this harshest of environments, using their vast and ancient knowledge of plants, animal behaviour and survival skills.

Close by is the famous Chapman’s Baobab (Also known as the Seven Sisters) which is acknowledged to be the third largest tree in Africa, and was the campsite of early explorers like Livingstone and Selous when they pioneered the area. This gives you an opportunity to gain a fascinating insight into the history of the early explorers. Guests are also virtually guaranteed of seeing the rare and elusive brown hyaena and are able to walk through the Kalahari with a gang of habituated but wild meerkats!

San Camp

San Camp sits serenely in a reef of palm at the edge of the world. You can see the curve of the earth here. Turn 360° and nothing crosses the eye but the bowl of the sky. It is the nothing-ness that attracts. This is God's own minimalism.

A safari to San Camp is also a complete desert experience focusing on species unique to the area such as aardvark, gemsbuck and springbuck. San Camp offers the Earth, stripped naked. And, such restraint holds its own charms.

And this place could not be more different from everywhere. San Camp is the Stewart Granger Memorial Collection of 1940s safari tents, with bucket showers, flush loos, four-poster beds, mosquito net canopies, percale sheets, and paraffin lamps. There is no electricity at San Camp. Six white canvas tents twinned with a dramatic location, combine to create an oasis of civilization in what can be the harshest of stark environments.

The Kalahari desert is its own universe. It is the only place where guests are virtually guaranteed to see the rare and elusive brown hyena and be able to walk through the Kalahari with a gang of habituated but, wild meerkats!

The Guides at San and its satellite, Jack's Camp, are an erudite breed. Often graduate students who combine research with guiding, they team up with a small group of Zu/’hoasi Bushmen to guide our Guests on a morning’s walks and game drives.

Dinaka Lodge

Dinaka Safari Lodge invites you to lose yourself in an African sky – whether you’re captured by a sunset, dazzled by the diamond-dotted night sky above you or in awe of the high-noon endless soft blue. Dinaka is a destination to be remembered. Situated in the heart of Botswana, the Central Kalahari Desert, Dinaka offers an explosion of colourful birdlife, herds of graceful antelope, and prides of Africa’s fiercest predators – amongst them the Kalahari black-maned lion.

A small lodge of only six tents, Dinaka Safari Lodge is able to provide you with real home comforts without losing its authentic bush feel. Two of the tents are family tents and able to accommodate two adults and two children. Each tent is a private hideaway, nestled under the branches of the ‘Purple Pod’ trees, they blend in with the natural surroundings. All tents have an en-suite bathroom, with an open air shower and flushing toilet, along with a dressing area, and a bedroom with large white linen covered beds (king size or two singles). At the entrance to each tent is a covered veranda that overlooks the permanent waterhole we created – a perfect spot to relax after a day of new sights and sounds. The spacious main lodge is furnished with comfort in mind and provides you with lounges, both a dining and bar area, and a splash pool for those hotter months. To minimise any effects on the pristine natural environment the camp is 100% solar operated.

The constantly changing face of this desert landscape – from stark wilderness in winter, to lush vegetation in summer makes Dinaka an African holiday to be remembered.

Kalahari Plains Camp

Kalahari Plains 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.

Kalahari Plains Camp is perfectly situated overlooking an immense pan with endless horizons and beautiful skies. It comprises 10 en-suite canvas units with a sleep-out above each from which to enjoy moonlit or star-studded nights. 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. Solar power provides all the electricity and hot water in the camp - making Kalahari Plains a 100% solar-powered camp - and innovative insulated canvas walls and roof keep the temperatures inside the units comfortable.

Guided game drives unlock the fascinating wildlife treasures found in this wonderful arid area. Visits to Deception Valley or even further afield are longer excursions that are well worthwhile, as the wildlife moves to different parts of the Park. Various Bushmen clans have thrived in this area for centuries, and many of Kalahari Plains Camp's staff hail from this ancient people. The camp offers an interpretive "Bushman Walk" with a couple of our staff members, where guests gain life-changing insights into the unique culture of this fascinating people.

Tau Pan Lodge

Tau Pan accommodates up to eighteen guests in specially designed thatched units on raised decks. The camp offers truly incredible views from the ridge of an ancient sand dune, an unusual experience in a land as flat as Botswana, and overlooks the famous Tau Pan - recognised for its stark beauty and remoteness.

This, the first safari camp to be built in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, is a model of environmental sensitivity. As with its sister camp, Nxai Pan, Tau Pan has been constructed with the delicate ecologies in mind. Both utilise only solar power for the generation of electricity, heating of water and pumping of water from deep under the Kalahari sands. Waste water is treated in a state-of-the-art sewerage treatment plant and the fully treated water is returned to the sands from whence it came.

Activities offered at Tau Pan are game drives, day trips to the well-known Deception Valley, Sunday, Piper and Passarge Pans, star gazing, bush brunches on Tau Pan, and nature walks with Bushman trackers.

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