Reviews of Jack's Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Jack's Camp was exceptional - great safari
The camp manager and all the staff were great. The wildlife was varied and we saw far more large animals than we had expected to. The meerkat's were amazing! What made Jack's camp exceptional was attentiveness of the staff, the pool (much needed at 42 degC), the sunset drink bar in the middle of nowhere, the quad bike trek in the evening and the pre-dinner drink location (dinner had to be cancelled because of an imminent storm) and the walk with the bush people. Of course it does come at a price, so maybe the overall value is probably only good!
We are not sure we really agree with the manmade water holes but they certainly bring in the game.
A lot happens in the middle of nowhere
Totally unique experience. The silence of the pans, listening to the bushmen's click language,their singing and laughter, sitting with meerkats on your lap and the romance of returning at night to a camp totally lit by lamp light. We loved it.
The trip to Kubu Island is spectacular. You feel like you are going to drive off the edge of the world. Beautiful location for camp, baobab trees everywhere , even one with a bucket shower! Great guides and staff. A true once in a lifetime experience.
A total surprise!
A must as an add-on to a 3+ day safari in the delta.....but not something to be done as a stand alone. The holiday relief manager from Zimbabwe, Milo, was a great host, Dabe our guide was excellent, Weda was charming and otherwise everything was great.
A shame that for two nights we were the only guests there - but it would have been worse having the camp full of HNWI Americans (all had of course cancelled because of Ebola in Africa!!!).
Loved the meerkats
We chose this camp to see the habituated meerkats. Happily, we were successful with one even crawling onto my husband's head. The group contained 9 members.
The camp is lovely. There is a waterhole just in front of the camp where many zebra, wildebeest, and birds frequently came to drink. There was also a large bull elephant and a brown hyena.
I found the quad bikes fun. The pans were amazing. As many others have said, the scenery is quite different.
The game is quite sparse in November. We were lucky enough to see 2 lionesses and 2 cubs.
It was a little disturbing to see cattle mingling with the wildlife.
I would recommend the day with the bushman--very interesting.
I think 2 nights is probably enough. The night under the stars was not an option--I suspect too much potential for rain. We had a great time, but I am not sure it is worth the cost compared to the other camps if we hadn't wanted to see the meerkats, at least during the off season.
For Meerkats only
The only reason to come here is to see and experience the Meerkats. Getting a photo with one of the Meerkats on your head is a fabulous experience even if the clan was only 4 in number when we visited.
We felt that everything else on offer was just fill in around visiting the Meerkat clan.
We did not enjoy the camp greatly, this goes for management, food etc except for Sheila who was delightful. Did not care for the paraffin lamps either as the fumes from them are quite suffocating
Quad biking was fun!
Jack's Camp review
Jack's camp was a museum but we experienced some long walks to our tent. Not a big problem but would not want to do this in the summer months there!
Some of our people on the tour felt a bit disappointed in the number of Meerkats but you cannot manufacture their presence.
Their pool area was very nice and evenings by the fire especially relaxing.
Worthwhile different experience at Jack's
Transfer from Selinda, via Maun, to Jack's was fairly gruelling. We stopped at Chobe then at Jao, arriving at Maun only after 90 mins. Efficient transfer at Maun, then nearly an hour to Jack's. (If we had known this was likely we might have booked private transfers.) This meant we were about 2 hours later at Jack's than expected. Welcome tea and cakes were ready for us.
Again, an excellent management team. Our guide was Chabba - very experienced, although could have consulted us more about our preferences. He gave an excellent introductory talk about Makgadikgadi. I celebrated a big birthday while here, and got my wish for a meerkat sitting on my head (plus 8 others on various other parts of my anatomy). The staff put on a wonderful "cabaret" for my birthday dinner, plus a chocolate cake. The Bushmen took A on a very interesting walk.
An enjoyable stay although very little "game" - porcupines, jackals, a few wildebeest, ostriches, korhaan. The quad bike drive was interesting. Sundowners were wonderful under the clear, enormous, sky alight with stars. Worthwhile visiting Jack's for a very different aspect of Botswana. However, like Selinda, I would have much appreciated better lighting in the tent.
Fantastic Meerkats at Jack's Camp
The third bed provided in the family tent was merely a mattress pulled out from under one of the beds and placed on the floor. Although it was acceptable for a few nights, for a camp of this quality something less basic and more comfortable should have be provided.
Our guide, Fanuel, was excellent particularly, having no tracker to help, he had both to drive and track or spotlight at the same time which with only one pair of eyes could mean fewer sightings particularly during the green season when the grasses are high and the trees are in full leaf. The Meerkats were probably the highlight of the visit but we enjoyed walking and talking to the San Bushmen.
Jack's Camp review
Jack's Camp is a special camp in a remote and very special place.
We enjoyed the laid-back and somewhat historic athmosphere. However, we felt that when the camp is fully booked (as it was during our stay), the number of guests (more than 20) does impact the remoteness and silence of the desert feeling, especially if 7 of the guests are children.
This having been said, we did love our experience at Jack's, especially with the meerkats. Chapman's baobab, the bushman walk as well as the sundowners at the salt pans were highlights, too. We would like to return some day, but that would most probably be during low season when the camp is more quiet.
Jack's Camp is unique
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Jack's Camp with one exception (see below). The location and surrounds are unique in our experience with amazing scenery and wildlife. The guiding was excellent as was the food. However the management was inexperienced, far too young and sometimes invisible. The tents are in need of a refresh in order to make them comparable to the best Botswana has to offer.
The Kalahari is an amazing place truly different from anything we have seen before. The camp is very well situated for the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans.
They are comfortable but somewhat dated. While the loo was very quaint (throne type) the fact that the seat could not be fully lifted caused some hygiene problems. The room was also rather dark even during the day with no electricity after 5 pm. Hot water supply was sometimes a problem.
The staff were very friendly and helpful and we would especially single out our guide, Shabah, who was first class and also accompanied us at meal times. Unfortunately senior management at the camp was almost invisible and front of the house was left to temporary and volunteer staff who were either just about to leave or straight out of school in the UK and had only been there for 2 days! This got reflected in the way the camp was run: our hot water was not switched on before we arrived; drink facilities that we were told would be open were locked and it was impossible to find anyone to open them even for water; flight times were changed at VERY short notice with no explanation; no one from management was there to say goodbye to us when we left.
Was excellent - probably the best of our whole trip - good quality and very nicely presented.
Very good. Although being a desert, game is sparse but we saw magnificent Kalahari Lions, Ostrich, Meerkats and a variety of birdlife including a huge flock of vultures. The quad bike ride into the salt pan was unforgettable as was the walk with the Bushmen.
Very good - especially the pool area and the library.