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San Camp

I’ve always loved the Makgadikgadi Pans, but struggled to put my finger on why, as I’m a sucker for a huge herd of elephants, or a magisterial lion lounging in the grass; the Pans have none of this. After spending some time at the newly resurrected San Camp I have finally figured it out.

Out on the Pans you feel like you’ve found one of the last few blank spots on the map. San isn’t able to fall back on mega herds of elephants or daily carnage between the lions and buffalo. Instead, the overall experience is designed so that your stay at camp does everything it can to accentuate the environment it’s in.

Perched right at the lip of the great saltpan, and built entirely of white canvas, the camp just seems to fit. Only six guest tents and the mess tent sit in the golden grass and rustle slightly in the breeze. It seems almost too pretty to touch, but it’s comfortable and elegant and the warm and friendly welcome is matched by the excellent food. Sounds relaxing? It is, but the experiences on offer are not all that sedate; you can dig up scorpions with the San Bushmen, chase meerkats around the savannah or scream across the desert, throttle open on a quad bike.

To my mind the Makgadikgadi offers a unique sense of perspective. It’s one of the few places left where you can find the truly unobstructed thousand-mile view. You’re able to turn down the volume, push distractions out of your mind (even if only for a short time) and truly disconnect.

Think of it as enabling contemplative introspection or, for those of us who are perhaps less sentimental, navel gazing. That may not be what everyone is looking for but if it is, San Camp can add the kind of hard to find authenticity to your trip that these days gets harder and harder to find.

Dan Achber is a long lost Trufflepig who moved to Africa when he just couldn’t take another Torontonian winter. Do we blame him? No. But we wish he would come back to visit.

Perched right at the lip of the great salt pan, and built entirely of white canvas, the camp just seems to fit.

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