In the world of luxury African safaris, Jack’s Camp is nothing short of an icon. A standard-bearer. A bar-setter. Deftly balancing wilderness luxury with an entrenched sense of self– and a sense of place – Jack’s Camp offers a reliably authentic safari experience amid the ghostly expanse of Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Pans.
A haven of 'living art', the camp is named in honour of Jack Bousfield; the extravagantly moustachioed swashbuckling explorer and guide who pioneered under-canvas safaris in Botswana. Jack’s Camp has rested on the fringes of the shimmering Makgadikgadi Pans for nearly 30 years, and on twice-daily game drives and quad-bike adventures guests enjoy exclusive traversing rights over a vast 4000-square-kilometre private concession.
Though Jack’s revels in its sense of vintage charm, it’s not one for resting on its laurels. A major revamp – more of a rebuild – in 2021 elegantly updated the experience for a new era of traveller who seeks both authenticity and immersion alongside five-star wilderness comforts.
The nine airy tented suites have doubled in size, and reimagined to celebrate vintage glamour and safari opulence without any sense of cliché. Furnishings are handcrafted in Botswana, with textiles from India and Morocco sewn locally. Private decks and plunge pools look out over salt pans and grassland, while the central dining and lounge tents retain all the classic charm of a bygone era.
It’s here you’ll find the remarkable private collections, a registered National Museum in Botswana. Cabinets of curiosities line the canvas walls, filled with skulls and fossils, Stone Age implements and Bushmen artefacts, each one carefully collected out on the Makgadikgadi Pans, or accumulated by the Bousfield family over decades of travelling through Africa. Affable hosts are on hand to guide guests through the collection, which extends to a micro-museum of artefacts hosted in each suite. Look too for the collection of Bousfield family photographs in the dining tent, a proud celebration of the pioneer himself.
• We asked owner Ralph Bousfield, one of Africa's most famous guides, to unpack just what's changed at Jack's Camp. Read our Q&A with Ralph in our Journal