Nothing can prepare you for Jack’s Camp. Flying endlessly into nowhere Jack’s Camp lies at the end of it all. An oasis on the Makgadikgadi (salt) pans, a once-was super lake bordering the Okavango Delta and the arid vastness of the Kalahari Desert. You can see it from the moon, we’re told. A jewel of a fact that slightly distracts us from our worrying thoughts. Thoughts uttered also by fresh arrivals, two Deborah Kerr look-alikes from London. „Deborah? (yes, the one a Deborah) What on earth are we doing here?“ „We’re here“ so the other, „to see the meerkats“.
Welcome! beamed a new guide from behind his newer Ray Ban glasses. „Last week“ (so our guide Super, a legend in his own right) „he was a waiter. This week he’s a guide". What lay between, was the breakfast encounter with the Kalahari lioness. On the path from the kitchen to the dining tent his quick wits saved his life and that of another and won instant promotion. What did you do? my question.“I shone my torch, just as I had heard Super and the other guides once talk about....right into the lion’s eyes“.
Welcome to Jack’s Camp!
Jack Bousfield came to Africa like many of his ilk, for adventure. The Englishman found it on Lake Makgadikgadi and the Kalahari. Flying his small plane from his camp venture to other adventures he crashed seven times and survived six. At Jack’s Camp his fame and memorabilia live on in a tent style that captures a slice of the old Africa that Livingstone embraced: sheer savage beauty complete with past and present dangers.
„Don’t leave your tent after dark! and don’t set out until past dawn!“ were the unsettling instructions. We spent our nights bolt upright in our four poster bed, keenly listening to elephants (and unknowns) thunder past our tent to the water hole (Jack knew exactly where to pitch his camp). We lived fear.
We lived heat too (50 degrees) and cold (that freezing water hole). A courtesy sarong gave temperature management: wet, wrap and lie still. In the cooler parts of the day we met the men whose ancestors excelled at desert survival; we experienced on quad bikes the moonscape immense emptiness of the Makgadikgadi pans; we savoured the camp fire singing capturing the African soul. We saw (and wore) meerkats and remembered why we had come. At Jack’s Camp we lived Africa!