Kalahari Plains Camp
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Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Deception Valley area
With relatively few people, a preponderance of diverse public lands, and a government sympathetic to conservation, Botswana is an ideal location in which to witness thriving populations of wildlife. One such spot is the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, a 12-million-acre tract of desert and plains that is the largest conservation area in the country and one of the largest in the world. In years past, it was reachable only by mobile safaris, and still much of land is relatively unexplored.(+) More
With relatively few people, a preponderance of diverse public lands, and a government sympathetic to conservation, Botswana is an ideal location in which to witness thriving populations of wildlife. One such spot is the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, a 12-million-acre tract of desert and plains that is the largest conservation area in the country and one of the largest in the world. In years past, it was reachable only by mobile safaris, and still much of land is relatively unexplored.
Kalahari Plains Camp, one of the few camps in this wilderness, is a 75-minute plane ride from the nearest major town and is run by one of Botswana's pioneering safari outfitters, Wilderness Safaris. Each of the ten rustic canvas tents is situated on a wooden platform with a small veranda and a sleep-out above for views of southern-hemisphere constellations like Scorpio and the Southern Cross.
In the interest of having as little impact on the landscape, the camp is run primarily on solar power, and the Wilderness Safaris Wildlife Trust helps facilitate conservation efforts like research projects about the area's rare wild dogs. Sandy walkways connect the tents with the main communal area, where guests and guides plan the day's activities at the wooden bar, hammocks hang between the trees, and staff build a campfire each night around which guests share meals and recount their adventures.
The nomadic Baswara, or San Bushmen, have frequented the area for thousands of years, and staff members help educate guests about their unique lifestyle through dress, activities, and walks through their native land.
The best time to visit is in the summer months, between November and April, when grasses sprout and lure herbivores like springbok, gemsbok, and wildebeest in the thousands. They, of course, make tasty snacks for predators like black-maned Kalahari lions and cheetahs, which, though elusive in other areas, are easily spotted here.(-) Close
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 campmaking Kalahari Plains a 100% solar-powered campand innovative insulated canvas walls and roof keep the temperatures inside the units comfortable.
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.