Jack’s Camp and Kubu Island Family Safari

Rev your engines

Eyes will pop, minds will be blown, and enthusiasm will ensue as you take to Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Pans for this family safari of a lifetime. It’s a five-night, six-day trip, and one that will immerse you and your children into the sights and sounds of this dazzling part of Botswana. We’ve got up encounters with habituated meerkats, game drives in search of brown hyena and black-maned lion, and bush walks with the traditional Zu/’hoasi bushmen.

But the highlight of the trip has to be the quad bikes. You’ll ride them across the shimmering Ntwetwe Pan, barrelling across the sand on an epic journey to Kubu Island. The mysterious granite outcrop is home for the night, and you’ll sleep under the stars amongst the towering baobabs and boulders. It’s an unforgettable experience, and one that will be etched on your memory for years and years to come.

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Price from:

$9,655.00

Duration:

6 days/ 5 nights

Departure Dates:

Departures on demand

Min / Max Group Size

Enquire with reservations

Trip Begins / Ends

Maun, Botswana / Maun, Botswana

Includes Mobile Camping:

Yes

Details, Details

Highlights

  • Discover one the most mysterious and extreme landscapes on the continent, the vast Makgadikgadi Pans, and stay in the iconic Jack’s Camp.
  • Spend time with our cheeky band of habituated meerkats.
  • Wrap a kikoy around your head, feel the wind in your hair, and whizz across the scorched, white earth on the back of a quad bike.
  • Spend the night on the extraordinary Kubu Island, a 2.7 billion-year-old granite outcrop that rises unexpectedly from the vast desert landscape.
  • Meet the traditional Zu/’hoasi bushmen, and learn how to hunt, gather food and make jewellery.
  • Game drive in custom 4x4s and search for black-maned Kalahari lion and the rare brown hyena.

The Essentials

Pricing Information: From $9,655.00 per person sharing (for a minimum of two people, year round). The price is dependent on actual travel dates.

Included: Travelling costs as per itinerary; activities (most!); entrance and park fees; accommodation as specified on a sharing basis; all meals and local drinks; road transfers; applicable tourism levies, taxes, and all relevant VAT.

Excluded: Expenses of a personal nature, such as telephone expenses & shopping; premium brand drinks; tips and gratuities; additional activities; scheduled flights and related taxes; Visa fees where relevant; cancellation, baggage, medical, and evacuation insurance.

Child Policy: Please enquire with reservations.

Disabled Access: Please enquire with reservations.

Wifi: Wifi is not available for the duration of the trip.

Can this itinerary be customised? Yes, this itinerary can be fully customised.

Extension ideas: Wind down with a couple of days in the Khwai Private Reserve for game drives, night drives and a spot of lagoonside R&R.

When to Go & What to Pack

Jack’s Camp is open all year round, however quad biking to Kubu Island is only available in the dry season (and sometimes in December), so this trip is only available from April to October.

When it comes to packing your bag, we recommend that you include neutral, cotton, long sleeved tops and trousers; a warm sweater; a broad-brimmed hat; sunglasses; sunblock; insect repellent; lip salve; sturdy walking shoes and socks; a head torch; binoculars; a camera; a kikoi; a good book; and swimming kit, all year round. Those coming during the summer should also pack a light, compact jacket, and those visiting in the winter should bring layers, warm leggings to go beneath trousers, and a hat gloves, and a scarf.

Our Guides

As guides ourselves, we are only too aware of the importance of great guiding on safari. At Natural Selection, our guides live and breathe the bush. They know its rhythms, its beats and its quirks. They can spot a leopard’s whisker from around a corner, and they have an innate ability to expect the unexpected. Most importantly, they love to share their knowledge and delight for all aspects of Africa’s ecosystems, from the smallest plant to the hairiest mammal, and everything in between. Many of our guides are from the local communities, and they are always happy to discuss their cultures, backgrounds and upbringings. After all, understanding the way of life of the local people can bring a whole new perspective to the land you’re exploring. And did we mention that they are all fantastic company, with some of the biggest personalities in the business? But we can’t vouch for their jokes…

Our guides will also work hard to find the animals that you and your family would like to see. They won’t bump you around in a 4×4 for hours and hours, or talk about things you aren’t interested in. They’ll keep things fresh and stimulating, and most importantly, they’ve got plenty of tricks up their sleeves to keep young minds entertained.

Highlights

  • Discover one the most mysterious and extreme landscapes on the continent, the vast Makgadikgadi Pans, and stay in the iconic Jack’s Camp.
  • Spend time with our cheeky band of habituated meerkats.
  • Wrap a kikoy around your head, feel the wind in your hair, and whizz across the scorched, white earth on the back of a quad bike.
  • Spend the night on the extraordinary Kubu Island, a 2.7 billion-year-old granite outcrop that rises unexpectedly from the vast desert landscape.
  • Meet the traditional Zu/’hoasi bushmen, and learn how to hunt, gather food and make jewellery.
  • Game drive in custom 4x4s and search for black-maned Kalahari lion and the rare brown hyena.

The Essentials

Pricing Information: From $9,655.00 per person sharing (for a minimum of two people, year round). The price is dependent on actual travel dates.

Included: Travelling costs as per itinerary; activities (most!); entrance and park fees; accommodation as specified on a sharing basis; all meals and local drinks; road transfers; applicable tourism levies, taxes, and all relevant VAT.

Excluded: Expenses of a personal nature, such as telephone expenses & shopping; premium brand drinks; tips and gratuities; additional activities; scheduled flights and related taxes; Visa fees where relevant; cancellation, baggage, medical, and evacuation insurance.

Child Policy: Please enquire with reservations.

Disabled Access: Please enquire with reservations.

Wifi: Wifi is not available for the duration of the trip.

Can this itinerary be customised? Yes, this itinerary can be fully customised.

Extension ideas: Wind down with a couple of days in the Khwai Private Reserve for game drives, night drives and a spot of lagoonside R&R.

When to Go & What to Pack

Jack’s Camp is open all year round, however quad biking to Kubu Island is only available in the dry season (and sometimes in December), so this trip is only available from April to October.

When it comes to packing your bag, we recommend that you include neutral, cotton, long sleeved tops and trousers; a warm sweater; a broad-brimmed hat; sunglasses; sunblock; insect repellent; lip salve; sturdy walking shoes and socks; a head torch; binoculars; a camera; a kikoi; a good book; and swimming kit, all year round. Those coming during the summer should also pack a light, compact jacket, and those visiting in the winter should bring layers, warm leggings to go beneath trousers, and a hat gloves, and a scarf.

Our Guides

As guides ourselves, we are only too aware of the importance of great guiding on safari. At Natural Selection, our guides live and breathe the bush. They know its rhythms, its beats and its quirks. They can spot a leopard’s whisker from around a corner, and they have an innate ability to expect the unexpected. Most importantly, they love to share their knowledge and delight for all aspects of Africa’s ecosystems, from the smallest plant to the hairiest mammal, and everything in between. Many of our guides are from the local communities, and they are always happy to discuss their cultures, backgrounds and upbringings. After all, understanding the way of life of the local people can bring a whole new perspective to the land you’re exploring. And did we mention that they are all fantastic company, with some of the biggest personalities in the business? But we can’t vouch for their jokes…

Our guides will also work hard to find the animals that you and your family would like to see. They won’t bump you around in a 4×4 for hours and hours, or talk about things you aren’t interested in. They’ll keep things fresh and stimulating, and most importantly, they’ve got plenty of tricks up their sleeves to keep young minds entertained.

Itinerary & Map

Day 1: Arrive at Jack’s Camp, Makgadikgadi Pans

Arrive at Jack’s Camp and take in the sheer beauty of your surroundings before geting to know the pans on an afternoon game drive (complete with sundowner G&Ts, of course).

Day 2: Jack’s Camp, Makgadikgadi Pans

Today, you’ll spend some time with the habituated meerkats, the Kalahari’s most fascinating inhabitants, visit the famous Chapman’s Baobab, and game drive in search of the desert-adapted species of the area.

Days 3 & 4: Wild camping, Kubu Island

It’s time for what everyone’s been waiting for – the quad bikes! Zoom across Ntwetwe Pan to Kubu Island, or the Lost Island of the Baobabs, looking out for ostrich and elephant as you ride. You’ll spend the next two days exploring the island, picnicking on the rocks and eating dinner under the stars, and visiting the largest flamingo breeding site in the world.

Day 5: Jack’s Camp, Makgadikgadi Pans

It’s back onto the quads for the return journey across the pans to Jack’s. Spend the afternoon with the Zu/’hoasi people of the Western Kalahari and discover the secrets of the landscape.

Day 6: Transfer to Maun and depart

There may be time for one last game drive, then it’s time to leave this magical place behind and head back to the airport.

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Accommodations

The inimitable Jack’s Camp is one of the most impressive and utterly beautiful camps in Southern Africa. Jack’s is pitched on a low grassland knoll amongst an oasis of dignified desert palms in the heart of the lunar-like Makgadikgadi. The camp’s hub is the mess tent, a canvas pavilion where three course dinners are served at tables draped in the finest Damask linen. The ten, 194-s style canvas bedrooms all have en-suite bathrooms, indoor and outdoor showers, and private verandas with views over the bleached landscape. There’s also a swimming pool and a Natural History Museum to keep young ones (and older ones!) occupied. You won’t be disappointed at Kubu Island either. Bedrolls are replete with hot water bottles and fluffy duvets, and you’ll shower under a cauldron of bubbling water, suspended from a tree. Dinners are three-course extravaganzas, and there’s always a roaring fire for toasting chilly toes.

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Wildlife

The wildlife sightings on this adventure get off to an animated start with the meerkat encounter. This is something we’re able to offer due to our ongoing habituation programme, which has made the charming creatures comfortable in our non-threatening presence. On chilly mornings, they’ll sometimes snuggle up to you for warmth, or in the absence of a termite mound or tree, use a human head as a sentry lookout post. By spending quality time with these incredibly social, superbly adapted animals, you’ll be able to see how they interact with each other and their environment. Other species to look out for include springbok, gemsbok, red hartebeest, and the elusive brown hyena. There’s also the chance to head out on a night drive from Jack’s Camp, giving you the chance to spot nocturnal desert inhabitants such as aardvark, bat eared foxes, aardwolf, porcupine, honey badger, and the black maned Kalahari lion. There’s also plenty in the way of birdlife around here as well, and you’ll see ostrich, swallows, and flamingos that can number into the thousands.

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