Reviews of San Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
19 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited San Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"San Camp review"
Highlight was seeing the Meerkats, the trip to the San People was ok but a bit awkward at times. The trip on the quad bikes was good fun, but they played silly games to waste time before the sun went down to surprise everyone with a meal out on the pans, which was a nice surprise, but what was not a nice surprise was they are expecting you to sleep out over night, which I was not wanting to do, so we got driven back to camp.
The staff here are very lazy and we had to wait for over an hour for breakfast on two mornings, even though they told us we need to be there at a certain time. very disorganised and poor management.
The rooms are very quirky, down side no bedside lamps so you have to get up and cross the room to turn the lights off and walk back in the dark, this could be a bit hazardous at times!
The guide was excellent though and made our stay her pleasant, and even took us on an extra night drive and we saw an Aardvark.
I would not recommend this camp, but if you want to see the Pans then you have limited options and the company owns all three camps and they do the same activities rotating guests.
WiFi is rubbish" See all these reviews: 12n in Botswana; 2n in Zambia
"San Camp review"
If you prefer choices for your activities avoid this camp as the activities are compulsory! That said we would not have opted for the quad bike activity but we enjoyed the evening and sunset experience. Two other compulsory activities are the Meerkat and Bush people walk and interaction. The Meerkat experience is enjoyable but the Meerkats have been habituated to humans. We cannot comment on the Bush people experience because they failed to turn up due to a communication issue?! Besides the compulsory nature of the activities it also seems to be camp policy to fill the vehicles (7) with guests despite the fact that two other vehicles and the associated guides had no guests. The salt pans and landscape is stunning. Overall we enjoyed our three nights." See all these reviews: 10n in Botswana
"San Camp review"
They liked surprising us eg the opportunity to sleep under the stars after our quad bike ride and dinner in the bush. Would have loved it if I had known and come prepared with contact lens paraphernalia." See all these reviews: 16n in Botswana
"San Camp review"
The chef was very accommodating in preparing food for my allergy.
The staff's approach of not letting guests know what activities they are doing creates some issues in guests being prepared for the activity." See all these reviews: 9n in Botswana; 3n in Zimbabwe
"San Camp review"
I really loved the friendliness of San Camp - from our guide to all the house staff. The location and views are stunning and we had the most amazing safaris, unbelievably coming across a lioness and her 3 juvenile cubs, and later on a female cheetah and her 2 juvenile cubs all on our first game drive!
Spending time with the meerkats was really special too." See all these reviews: 3n in Botswana; 1n in South Africa
"San Camp review"
"San Camp Review"
In late June, the weather was cold at night. We slept in long underwear and the camp has heavy comforters and hot water bottles that make things warm. You will get dressed very quickly in the morning in time for the early game drives. Afternoons were a warm 70 F and the time to shower. The camp provided a sun downer on the salt pan that was accompanied with a full bar as well as a quiet, serene sunset. On another occasion the camp provided a full dinner on the pan with an opportunity to sleep out there for the night! If it weren't so cold we would have done it. None of the guests opted to do this either for the same reason.
A trip to see the bushmen of the Kalahari was excellent and put to shame the "hokey" encounters with other tribes one might see in Africa.
There is electricity for limited room lighting only in the tents but not for any phones, computers or camera battery charging and downloading of images. This must be done near the dining area and even that is limited. We left all of this equipment in the area rather than dragging it back and forth to the tents which are very spread out. The folks at the camp did help and go along with my plan to bring one of the small reading tables next to the electric area to work on. This assuaged the problem a lot. If more folks were doing this it would have been a problem however.
Other animals seen but not on your list included: porcupine and baby; bat eared fox; black backed jackels; spring hares; yellow mongoose; pukus." See all these reviews: 7n in Tanzania; 6n in Zambia; 4n in Zimbabwe; 3n in Botswana; 1n in Kenya
"More expected from San Camp"
We were in the tent furthest away from the main area. It is a very long walk, especially in the heat of the day, and in the dark. It was fine for us, but I think for elderly people or with mobility issues, it might be an issue - you don't want to go back to get something that was forgotten. The tent was as beautiful as the photo's, but proved to be impractical. The bed is extremely high, requiring steps to access it, and without a light next to the bed (only one light at the entrance to the tent and one in the bathroom) it was a bit daunting to have to negotiate your way in the dark. Perhaps a torch next to the bed might help. Also, the bed standing in the middle of the tent, and there being no headboard, meant the pillows fell off the end of the bed, requiring another trip in the dark to retrieve them.
It took us a while to recognize and appreciate what this place is about - the remoteness, the quiet, the desolate beauty - grows on you. I think they are trying too hard to be fancy, or different, making the experience feel contrived. Everybody does not want to have to take off their shoes to lounge around on cushions with strangers having afternoon tea. I think perhaps we would have enjoyed the Makgadigadi pans more in more relaxed, comfortable surroundings." See all these reviews: 7n in Botswana
They went on to explain that they have quite a few activities on offer in the area and that the schedule needs to rotate between the three camps located here: San Camp, Jack’s Camp and Camp Kalahari. The activities do need to be scheduled to avoid crowding at any one location and to ensure everyone has the chance to at least do most of the activities during their stay. The camps do recommend a 3-night stay where possible as that ensures that guests will have the chance to experience all the activities, although they understand that time and cost factors mean that some visitors can only stay 2 nights.
San Camp only have two tents with a double bed; the rest have two single beds. Both of the tents with a double bed are located furthest from the main area. If they have guests who are elderly or have mobility issues then they will be allocated the tents closest to the main area.
The camp has taken note of this travelers comments about the beds height, lack of headboard to keep the pillows on the bed and lack of lighting and they will make improvements when they can. It was wonderful to hear that the guests appreciated the location and the beauty of the Makgadikgadi.
"Magical (but windy!) San Camp"
The location overlooking the Salt Pan is amazing.
It was very windy while we were there and the time of year might be a consideration for other visitors. The camp apparently closes mid October because of high winds but it seems they had arrived early this year. The weather did impact some of the activities but we enjoyed our stay enormously and the staff and guide made every effort to give us a great experience." See all these reviews: 12n in Botswana; 4n in Zambia
"What an unexpected and special place!"
The camp had a number of people on the first night but then it was only us for the rest of our stay.
Firstly and most importantly were the fabulous people who work at the camp. Our guide BK was absolutely excellent. He was enthusiastic, a natural story-teller, a great guide and the best driver we had. Ogirl was the manageress of the camp at the time we were there. She was absolutely lovely! She oversaw everything and made sure we were happy and also shared our meals with us (as well as BK). We enjoyed her company very much and she made our stay even more special. She also became engaged the night before we arrived - congratulations!!
After 6 nights of a long drop toilet and camping, the sight of the luxurious furniture in our beautiful white tent with a 'proper' bathroom and throne toilet was very much appreciated! The 4-poster beds were very comfortable and the shower lovely. The toiletries were superb as well. The tents are widely set apart and the furthest tent is quite a trek to the central area. Request a lower number tent if you do not want to trek too far in the heat. The furniture in the tents and throughout the camp is stunning as are the exhibits!
The huge central tent houses numerous sitting areas, the generously stocked self-serve bar, the dining room and a beautiful Arabian area with low cushions and lovely Persian carpets where you have tea before setting out on your afternoon adventure. There is another tent which is beside the small, but very welcome, swimming pool.
You have breakfast first thing before you go out on your first activity. Around 11 you have lunch and then the afternoon is yours to rest and relax. At 4 you have tea and a snack and then out until you get back for drinks and dinner. The food was fine but I think that the option of salad or a lighter lunch would be welcome. The full lunch was too much for me in the intense heat.
Everywhere you look you see the flat salt pans where you often see lines of zebra and wildebeast crossing in front of wonderful mirages. We had not expected the sheer number of birds, elephants, lions, zebras, wildebeast, impala etc in an area that looked so bleak and harsh from the air.
The activities are well-organised, varied and interesting. We had a visit with habituated (but still totally wild) meercats, we searched (and found) brown hyenas, we went out in the vehicle looking for wildlife and stayed out for a nocturnal safari where we found an aardwolf, spring hares (or Kalahari kangaroo), cape hare, jackals and many other species. We walked with some San people which was enlightening and lots of fun as well. Through all of the activities we learned about the area and how everything survives in this very harsh environment.
It was very hot in the day and cool at night and first thing in the morning. You will need layers of clothing. Ogirl told us the best way to survive the heat is by wearing a kikoy (they supplied them) that has been soaked in water, wrung out and wrapped around your neck. It really helped to deal with the dry heat.
We were the only people in camp for the last two nights of our stay which was quiet and enjoyable with no drop in standards. It can get windy at times in the night but you are wrapped up warm in your duvet in your tent and it just adds to the atmosphere as do the roaring lions and barking jackals.
We really enjoyed our stay and would definitely recommend it if you are prepared for a different experience." See all these reviews: 16n in Botswana; 2n in Namibia
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