As promised, the ultimate example of British Colonial Safari Style. I’m looking into prices for my left kidney and playing the lotto this week. You never know your luck!!
Jack’s Camp, Botswana.
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.
Wow, is all I can say. The story behind Jack’s Camp, as from their website, Uncharted Africa: ‘While on a trapping expedition in the Makgadikgadi Pans during the 60’s, 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 he lived until his tragic death in an aircraft accident in 1992. As a homage to the vision of his father, Ralph, his son, and his partner Catherine established Uncharted Africa Safari Co starting with Jack’s Camp which was refurbished at the beginning of 2003 – in a traditional East African 1940’s 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.’
And refined comfort, it is indeed. Who would mind taking a dip in the middle of the Kalahari under these gorgeous tents….
Jack’s Camp takes the safari-style recreational activity seriously – who’s up for a game of billards under tent? Love the ‘saloon’, dotted with campaign style-furniture, even campaign-style bar!
All ready for afternoon tea – love the mixture of persians, wood, and busy fabric-lined walls.
All set-up for supper – how more colonial can one get? Lanterns serve as only light source – that and the red Kalahari-sunset.
All set-up for breakfast – love the crisp white linen, silver water jugs doing duty as make-shift vases. And how gorgeous are those Deyrolle-style scientific prints?
The ‘mess’ at Jack’s camp. Taking queues from the great colonists – scientific prints, books, amazing bush finds – see the ostrich eggs & plume, tribal art and amazing Peter Beard photographs on the walls.
One of their other camps – San Camp – have a look at the more basic campaign style furniture – butlers’ tray doing duty as drinks table, camp-style cupboard and those amazing steel-frame beds. I really love how they’ve managed to marry the traditional San colours, with the more traditional fabrics – referring to the pillow roll at the top of the beds.
Dark furniture, classic officers’ campaign chest, tribal art, and subtle references to its English heritage – love the red ticking bed canopies and floral print ottomans. A true colour & pattern mishmash marriage made in heaven!!
Not even the bathrooms where overlooked in terms of making it completely campaign-style authentic. Even the campaign style loo! Love the bits of traditional english paneling….
Your outside shower – solar-heated, under an acacia tree. Does it get more perfect than this? I think not.
pic credits: 1,2,4: internationaltravellermag; 3: go2africa; 5: nextadventure; 6,13: afar; 7: cntraveler; 8: unchartered africa; 9: blacktomato; 10, 11: wildromanceafrica; 12: hotelsandlodges; 14: benchinternational; 15: blacktomato