Close to the remote Deception Valley region of Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Kalahari Plains Camp is an ideal base from which to discover the secrets of this little-visited but hugely rewarding destination. Built from canvas and timber, this completely solar-powered camp offers morning and afternoon game drives in open vehicles, guided walks to discover the fascinating secrets of life in the desert and some surprisingly excellent bird watching. Many of the staff are descended from the local San/Bushman clans and will gladly explain aspects of their unique culture during your walk. Keep an eye out for the Kalahari's abundant herbivores - gemsbok, giraffe, wildebeest, eland - as well as the predators that follow closely behind. Game viewing is excellent throughout the year but it is at its most spectacular during the early summer months when the rains turn the desert green with new grass, attracting not just thousands of springbok but the cheetahs, lions and leopards that prey on them.
For those who seek cheetah, this is paradise. The unusual black-maned lion is also found here in this barren and harsh environment. The lodge is a luxurious sanctuary from its surrounds, with a night spent outdoors on the rooftop sleeping platforms one of the undoubted highlights – you will never experience a more star-studded sky.
The central, open-sided main tent is raised on wooden decking and centres around the sociable bar area. On one side is a comfortable lounge and small reference library while on the other is the dining area. Beyond the tent is the traditional campfire around which many a safari story is told, while a discreet distance away is the camp's swimming pool, a wonderful place to spend your afternoons during the Kalahari's hot summer months.
Breakfast and brunch are usually enjoyed in the dining area of the main tent, afternoon tea is a relaxed affair in the comfortable lounge, and dinner is at Kalahari Plains Camp is enjoyed in the company of your guides around a roaring fire beneath the stars.
Unusual luxury tents provide a comfortable retreat after each day's adventure. Each en suite tent is raised off the ground to catch the natural breezes that keep out the heat of the day. The bedroom leads onto a small deck and a flight of stairs leads to a second, rooftop deck with never-ending views of the spell-binding Kalahari landscape. A night spent on your rooftop deck under a blanket of a million stars is an unforgettable experience.
Children aged 8 years and above are welcomed.
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Africa Travel is the UK's premier specialist dealing with travel to Africa, but we aren't just a website or a call centre, we are a boutique, owner-run company with personal connections to many of the owners of the properties we feature.
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