Rating: Mid-range Price from: Ã‚Â£370 - Ã‚Â£460 pp full board
The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) offers one of the most remote and unspoiled experiences on the African continent. At 52 800kmÂ² (more than 5 million hectares) this reserve is one of the largest in the world.
Kalahari Plains Camp is located in a remote part of this productive and diverse protected area. This comfortable camp has 10 uniquely styled canvas rooms (8 twins and 2 family units) plus a guides room, each guest room has its own viewing deck and raised upstairs platform allowing for sleep-outs under the spectacular desert stars.
The desert habitat has been taken into account in the room design and flat roofs ensuring that the low vegetation profile is not broken by inappropriate design. The main area is similarly designed and comprises separate dining, lounge and bar area with fireplace, as well as an adjacent swimming pool for respite from the warm days. Water is provided by a borehole in camp. Energy for room lighting, ceiling fans and hot water geysers is provided by solar panels. A small generator is run for limited periods using an inverter and battery bank which provides energy for refrigeratino and other appliances.
A waterhole located on the edge of the pan in front of camp attracts a variety of plains game as well as the occasional large carnivore. The landscape and topography consists of flat grasslands and undulating vegetated dunes which is home to several antelope species and large predators. This area is characterised by vast open grassy plains, seasonal pans, wooded acacia islands, prehistoric scrub-covered dunes and fossil riverbeds.
During the summer months (December - May) the northern part of the CKGR, where the camp is situated, offers some of the best wildlife viewing in Botswana. At this time of year these verdant flatlands are alive with aggregations of gemsbok, springbok and blue wildebeest. Predator concentrations are also high and sightings of the almost mythical black-maned Kalahari lions are complemented with some of the best cheetah viewing in Africa.
Wild dog and leopard are seen on occasion and other mammal possibilities include southern giraffe, steenbok, red hartebeest and charismatic ground squirrels and meerkats. Bird life is equally diverse with over 220 species recorded to date, with a variety of arid- west endemic species such as Burchell's Sandgrouse, Kalahari Scrub-Robin and African Wren-Warbler. The vivid colours of Crimson-breasted Shrike and Violet-eared Waxbill enliven the sometimes stark surroundings. 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.
Open: All year.
Location: The camp is located southeast of Deception Valley in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR). The camp is reached by air and is about a 75 minute flight from Maun followed by a 30 minute drive to the camp.
Rooms: 10 walk-in tented chalets on elevated decks. All have a veranda with table and chairs and an en-suite bathroom with twin hand basins, flush toilet and shower. The chalets also feature a sleep out deck, reached by steps from the lower deck. There are 2 family units sleep up to 2 adults and 2 children and have a second bathroom.
Activities: The camp provides morning and afternoon game drives, as well as day trips to Deception Valley. As the camp is in a national park no off-road driving or night drives are permitted. Guests can take a Bushman-led walk near the camp.
Facilities: The main area is set on a wooden deck, open to the air on 3 sides. This deck houses the dining area, with views of the pan, the bar and the lounge which includes a small reference library. Above the bar is a small star-gazing deck. The camp fire is in front of the main building and is the focus for evening drinks and dining. There is a curio shop. The small pool is set on its own shaded deck.
Dining: Meals are taken communally around one long table.
Children: Children over the age of 8 are welcome at the camp.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is no mobile reception, â€˜phone or fax and no email. Communication is maintained with the head office via radio. There is a satellite â€˜phone for emergency use.
Notes: Disabled access is not possible.
Based on a strong belief in biodiversity conservation, this lodge contributes significantly in various ways.
Tribes Travel, The Old Dairy, Wood Farm, Ipswich Road,
Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Telephone: 01473 890499