Jack’s Camp

While on a trapping expedition in the Makgadikgadi Pans during the 60s, Jack Bousfield stumbled upon a site that so captured his imagination, he set up camp under an acacia with the unshakeable expectation that others would feel the same...

The choice of such a striking locale owed much to his original taste for the savage beauty of a forgotten Africa, where Jack Bousfield lived until his tragic death in an aircraft accident in 1992.

As a homage to the vision of his father, Ralph, his son, refurbished Jack’s Camp at the beginning of 2003 in a traditional East African 1940s safari style. Ten green roomy and stylish canvas tents with en-suite bathrooms and indoor and outdoor showers (for those who want to feel the Kalahari breeze on their skin) have been fashioned in classical style and are set into a palm grove creating an oasis of civilization in what can be the harshest of stark environments. Persian rugs underfoot and cool cotton sheets form a striking contrast with the rugged wilderness viewed from the comfort of one’s own verandah.

The guides at Jack’s Camp are an erudite breed. Often graduate students who combine research with guiding, they team up with a small group of Zu/’hoasi Bushmen to guide guests on morning walks and game drives.

The response from those who have been there is always the same: first your question is echoed – ‘Jack’s Camp?’ – followed by a reflective pause. ‘It’s different.’

And there they leave it, the difficulty of describing it hanging in the air like a half-built bridge.


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