San Camp is one of the most romantic safari camps with it's smattering of billowing white tents, shaded by desert palms. A seven-bedroom camp on the edge of the Nwetwe Pan in Botswana’s Makgadikgadi.


San Camp is seasonal, and operates during Botswana’s dry season from mid-April to mid-October. These months are the only time that the Nwetwe Pan is accessible. When the rains begin to fall, the pans morph in to a totally different place, and although they are magnificent to look at, the rain makes for rather a dangerous adventure! If you would like to travel during the green season (November to March), consider Jack’s Camp, a year-round property also on the Makgadikgadi Pans.

Nwetwe Pan changes softly and subtly as the dry season rolls on. Pools evaporate, whiteness dominates, and the baobabs seem even more striking. The predictable weather allows us to offer our activities on an unpredictable land, and you can quad bike across the lunar-like expanse, meet the meerkats, interact with a group of Zu/’hoasi Bushmen, and lie out on the pans and count the stars from horizon to horizon. As the land becomes drier, the permanent water sources and waterholes around San Camp are an important refuge for wildlife and although it can seem like a landscape of nothingness, the wildlife is never far away.

San isn’t a place for frills and fluffiness. The magic is in the minimalism, both at the camp and in the mysterious desert landscape. You can forget the tourist crowds and over-stuffed 4x4s too; it’s just you, the wildlife, and a handful of local San Bushmen, waiting to share their secrets with you.
Of all the Makgadikgadi pans, we think Nwetwe is the most iconic. Meerkats pop up from the desert dust, brown hyaena hide in the grass, and you’ll see red hartebeest, springbok and gemsbok scurrying between them. But San Camp isn’t just about wildlife-watching – it’s about the atmosphere and the ethereal surroundings. Disappear into a remote world, a million miles from glowing screens and fruit-themed devices, where the 360-degree panoramas are so vast, you can see the curvature of the earth…

The real allure of San Camp is in its minimalism, and this extends to the surroundings. San sits at the edge of the mysterious Makgadikgadi Salt Pans (overlooking Nwetwe Pan to be precise), in the heart of the Kalahari Desert and adjoining the Makgadikgadi National Park. The pans were once a super lake covering most of Botswana, and they shimmer seemingly never-ending all the way to the horizon, interrupted only by scattering of desert palms and baobabs. The beautiful nothingness brings with it a cathartic sense of silence, and there is truly nowhere on earth like this magical corner of Botswana.

Wildlife
San Camp’s great appeal is the nothingness, but that certainly doesn’t mean there’s nothing to see. You’ll find wildebeest and zebra roaming in straggled herds, standing out like sore thumbs against the pristine whiteness of the earth, and ostrich bobbing on the horizon. Stay for a few days and there’s a good chance of spotting lion and elephant on a game drive, and even brown hyena, one of the continent’s most rare and elusive mammals that’s pretty much impossible to see anywhere else. If you’re looking to tick a few species off your bird list, then sharpen your pencil for the pan is home to Kori bustards and northern black korhaan, chestnut-backed finch larks and capped wheatears. And we couldn’t talk about the Makgadikgadi without mention of our meerkats. We’ve worked with researchers to habituate a whole mob of them, and the cheeky fellows aren’t afraid to come and find out exactly who you are.

Accommodation:
San Camp has 5 twin and 2 double tents. Think enormous four-posters, draped in crisp cotton and feather-soft blankets, raised high above Persian rugs. Mahogany writing desks and leather armchairs contrast the rugged surroundings, and there’s a lazy day bed just outside, perfect for an afternoon of view-gazing. Ensuite bathrooms have hot, running water showers and flush loos, and there’s plenty of water in the elegant copper jugs and basins. The entire camp runs on solar-power and when darkness falls, you’ll find lanterns scattered around to light the way.
 
At the main area, the open-sided pavilions are bright and breezy – and let that view do the talking! Gather in the splendid mess tent for a three-course feast, accompanied by white linen and crystal glasses, or sink into a cushion in the tea tent and treat yourself to one of the best brownies in the desert. If you can drag your eyes away from the surroundings, take a peek at our Natural History Museum cabinets with their eclectic collections of old maps, fossils and artefacts, and then, it’s time to let your mind unwind in the sanctuary of the yoga pavilion. We couldn’t think of a better place to end the day.

Activities
Enjoy up-close encounters with our habituated meerkats.
Join the Zu/’hoasi Bushmen on a bush walk.
Take game drives and night drives in custom built 4x4s to see the unique desert wildlife.
Embark on an adventurous two-hour horseback safari (for all levels of riders at an additional charge). Multi-day riding safaris are also available for experienced riders – please contact us for more information.
Feel the wind in your hair as you quad bike across the immense salt pans.
Give your mind a holiday and spend some time in the yoga and meditation pavilion.
Take a radical sabbatical and quad bike across the salt-crusted pans to Kubu Island (2 night expedition at an additional charge. Please enquire with us for more details or have a look at the Quad Bike to Kubu Island Safari).
 
Why You’ll Love San Camp:
Elegant and impossibly romantic, San Camp’s classic white tents offer 360 degree views over the sparkling salt pans.
Take game drives and night drives in custom built 4x4s to see the unique desert wildlife, spend time with the cheeky meerkats, and join the Zu/’hoasi Bushmen on a bush walk.
Travel across the salt-crusted earth by quad-bike. The fact that you’ll travel at great speed, yet arrive nowhere underlines the true immensity of this remarkable area.
San Camp has a reputation for delicious and innovative cuisine – think fresh tomato tartlets, three-layer banana and caramel cake, and the best beef Wellington you’ve ever tried.
Lie out on the pans as the sun sets, and watch the planetarium of stars unfold.
Retreat to the yoga and meditation pavilion and absorb the compelling energy of your surroundings. This is the perfect spot to relax, unwind and retreat.

CHILDREN:
Children 0 - 5 years accommodated free of charge, sharing with adults
Children 6 - 18 years charged 50% of the adult rate per night (sharing with adults)
Children 19 years and over charged full adult rate
 
San Camp rates (open 01 April - 15 October 2021):
01 April - 31 May 2021: $1495 (Single Supplement: $600)
01 June - 30 June 2021: $1595 (Single Supplement: $640)
01 July - 31 August 2021: $1795 (Single Supplement: $720)
01 September - 15 October 2021: $850 (Single Supplement: $640)

INCLUSIONS: All prices are per person, per night and include accommodation, all meals, & beverages, guest laundry, daily activities, expert guiding, park entry fees & VAT.
EXCLUSIONS: Premium brand drinks, gratuities, flights and fully comprehensive personal travel insurance is not included in the price.
 
San Camp special offers:
Long Stay Special:
Stay at any of Natural Selection camps in Botswana or Namibia for 5 nights or more and receive a 20% discount off published rates. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Terms & conditions apply.
BOTSWANA - Offer is valid for travel between 01 October 2020 - 31 March 2021 & 01 October 2021 - 31 March 2022.
NAMIBIA - Offer is valid for travel between 01 November 2020 - 31 March 2021 & 01 November 2021 - 31 March 2022.