Tashak - Jack's Camp

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Jan 24th, 2004, 08:34 AM
  #1
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Tashak - Jack's Camp

Hi Tashak,
From one of your previous posts it sounds like you stayed at Jack's Camp. Can you tell us a little bit more about it. We have two nights booked at Jack's in September. Is that long enough? What kinds of activities did you do during the day? How do the accomodations compare to other WS properties?
Thanks!
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Jan 24th, 2004, 08:15 PM
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Mmm...I'd really recommend 3 nights at Jack's Camp. It's a bit more of an "experience"-- very different, and quite complementary to WS camps. It's about being in a remote, harsh, beautiful, surreal desert environment. The most vivid, astounding night skies you will ever see. I would go again just to experience those skies.



The tents old-fashioned safari tents--and other than the flush toilet, it is more like a 1940's safari. Tents are not as big as WS, but perfectly comfortable. Hot/warm Bucket showers only, and water is pretty strictly rationed. No sink...only a copper carafe of water delivered to your camp-style wash basin. A regular flushing loo however...completely open to the stars, and about 10 to 15 yards behind your tent (so a feeling of excitement at night when you have to get up at 3 AM!Very rustic, but very comfortable and stylish. It's a unique combination. Comfy mattresses, wonderful down duvets...on a camp cot. No solar batteries--so no ceiling fans or tent lights (you get a kerosene lamp). Absolutely superb food however. You have to be prepared to rough it a bit at Jack's, but always in style.

I was there in September too, and it did get very, very hot at mid-day, but nothing unbearable, and strangely, THAT is part of the experience too.

You don't go for the wildlife--especially in September. There is small wildlife--and if you are lucky, you'll see brown hyena. (We didn't, because they moved their den...maybe next time...)

Activities: early morning walks in the desert, very interesting, with serious biologists and zoologists. Hikes with San trackers, who will show you their way of dealing with the desert. Quad bikes to explore the salt pan--major fun, and a different sort of adrenalin rush from game viewing. (But I'm quite sure if Hemingway were alive now, he'd be a fan of quad bike exploration.) We ended up out in the center of the salt pan at after dark when the skies were full of stars. It is a transcendent experience. Zen masters work their whole life for an experience like this, but honestly, that night sky over the pan provided that to me...
Let's see...exploring the pan by day, where you can play archeologist, and will find (guaranteed!) tools made by early man...simply amazing. Lots more too, but some experiences are meant to be discovered there!

People who experience Jack's become like a small club...it is difficult to describe! But we just smile at each other and revel in the memories.

Honestly, I'm afraid you will shortchange the experience if you try to cram it into 2 nights. (Has anyone else told you this?)I wish I were going back this year...but I'm waiting until I can take my SO with me, and he doesn't have the 3 extra days for adding that to our vacation this year.

Does this make sense? If not, or if you have any further questions, email me at:
[email protected]

Happy travels!
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Jan 25th, 2004, 12:34 PM
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My parents went in 1999 and also recommended that we stayed at least 3 nights.
I can't wait!
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Jan 26th, 2004, 04:20 PM
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Sounds like you have very cool parents!
"Mother know best"-- so do yourself a favor and spend that third night!

Another note: they probably told you how dry the air is there. You can't put on enough moisturizer! There is lotion in the room for your body, but I used the little bottle of my favorite facial moisturizer all up in my first 3 days at Jacks! It is much drier here than in Northern Botswana (more like Namibia, if you have been there.)

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Jan 27th, 2004, 05:17 AM
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Thank-you for your helpful reply Tashak. I realize there will be little in the way of game viewing, but I was wondering of you still get up early to do some other type of activity?
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Jan 27th, 2004, 11:37 AM
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Yes, still have wake up calls ranging from early to very early, because there was usually a walk in the morning. (Once with the San trackers, one desert walk with the guides--both zoologists when I was there-- and once to hunt for prehistoric arrowheads and tools.)
When it is very hot, you want to get your walk in as early as possible. As with the safari camps, you get a long rest after lunch, until about 3:00 or 3:30 when everyone assembled for tea. And as at the safari camps, the evening activity would run into the early evening.
These were the hours we kept in September, when it was getting very hot. I don't know how hot...they didn't tell us, and there were no thermometers that I saw. But it was as hot as I have ever felt. But very dry, so bearable. And of course it would be very cool, even cold, in the mornings and after sundown. (But if you KNOW that you don't handle hot temperatures well, you might want to avoid the Kalahari in Sept/Oct and after. One woman in our group really had trouble with the heat, and I don't think she had the super time everyone else did.)
Perhaps they allow you to sleep in if the temperatures are a bit cooler?
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Jan 27th, 2004, 11:47 PM
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Yes we went to Namibia in 2001 on the same trip as our first visit to Botswana...

We'll be going in June so I don't think it will be quite as hot (one of the reasons we chose that time since we don't enjoy very high temperatures).

I'll be sure to take lots of moisturiser though, thanks!

We opted for 4 nights so we could really benefit from everything on offer.
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