Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Tau Pan Camp
Tau Pan is the first permanent camp inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR), famous for its breathtaking night skies and amazing scenery and cloud formations. Tau Pan Camp is situated on the edge of the beautiful Tau Pan and commands stunning views of the permanent Tau Pan water hole and the endless Kalahari horizon.
Situated on an established sand ridge overlooking Tau Pan, the camp has only eight custom-built desert rooms under thatch (including 1 family room). All rooms are en-suite and adapted to the surrounding environment. The main area consists of dining room, lounge area and a viewing deck. The camp also offers a swimming pool, interpretation centre/library and curio shop. Tau Pan Camp is adapted to the surrounding environment and runs on solar power.
After the summer rains, CKGR completely transforms as the blue sky fills with huge clouds, and the plains and pans burst into life with sweet grasses. This is one of the best game viewing areas in Botswana at that time of year, but not many people seem to be aware of it so visitors are few. CKGR is home to animals such as springbok, gemsbok and wildebeest in their thousands and is quite a sight to behold. Predators abound with plentiful lions – especially the famous Kalahari black-maned lion – cheetah, leopard and jackals
Activities include game drives in open 4×4 vehicles, stargazing and guided walks with a San bushman who will answer your questions regarding San culture, from birth to marriage to bush survival. Tau Pan is a national park, a very ecologically sensitive area, and for this reason no night drives or off-road driving is permitted.
Please note that the camps in the Kalahari offer true exposure to the bushmen, or San people, and not a “staged experience”. Today’s San people have integrated into western culture and are employed in many of the lodges in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and surrounding areas. Although they keep their traditions alive and provide a fascinating cultural perspective, they do not walk around in traditional clothing.
Where specific activities with San people are offered, these are sensitively presented in a non-patronising manner so as to avoid exploitation of these fascinating people.
Thatched en-suite guest rooms. Dining room, lounge area, viewing deck, swimming pool, interpretation centre/library and curio shop.
Classic desert species such as oryx, springbok, bat-eared fox and tortoise. The desert comes alive in the rainy season bringing many zebra, wildebeest, antelopes and carnivores including black maned lion and cheetah. Honey badgers and brown hyena are also often seen here and around 220 bird species have been recorded.
Game drives (daytime only) and San bushmen walks.
Make sure you sleep at least one night outside your room. The stars here are simply stunning.
If you have any questions regarding our Botswana tours, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965
On behalf of my wife and myself, I would like to thank all at Reef and Rainforest for arranging so superbly yet another exceptional wildlife experience. As you are aware our ‘expeditions’ tend to be species led and this year’s brief was to observe and photograph the ‘Three Big Cats of Africa’ in a truly wild setting (i.e. no fences). Your recommended destination, Botswana, did not let us down, in fact the whole trip proved an outstanding success in all aspects.
We stayed in three camps (three nights in each) across the Okavango Delta and surrounding area, each provided a different environment which ensured our aims were met. Each camp was run to a very high standard, was extremely comfortable and provided excellent meals. The quality of guiding and tracking in all our camps was of the highest standard. As Botswana manages its natural resources so well all the camps were small (no more than 18 guests) ensuring a very intimate safari experience in pristine wild African habitat.
I am delighted to report our big cat objectives were realised. All observations were lengthy and offered excellent photographic opportunities. However, unexpectedly, the highlight of our spectacular trip turned out to be sightings of two separate packs of African Painted Dogs. We visited two dens, the first had a very healthy number of adult dogs, approximately fifteen and eighteen pups. The second had seven adult dogs and sixteen pups. At Lebala we had the privilege of spending a prolonged period of time following the pack of dogs as they hunted, an experience we will never forget.
When one also considers the significant mammal and bird species we observed, Botswana is truly a must visit destination for the wildlife enthusiast. Incidentally we also observed three serval and two African wild cats. We also thoroughly enjoyed our few days at Victoria Falls, possibly the most spectacular waterfall in the world, the hotel in Zimbabwe was excellent. Viewing the falls from the Zambian side and also the helicopter flight are both well worth doing.
This was our third consecutive trip with Reef and Rainforest, and I would be very surprised if there is not a fourth being planned very soon. Thank you all once again.