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Quad bike Safaris

5 Nights Kubu Quad Bike Safari

DAY 1:  Jack’s Camp

Arrive at Jack’s Camp, surely one of the most romantic camps on earth.  The camp’s hub is a romantic canvas pavilion of low spires and finials, with a fluttering valance beneath its eaves and could be the site for a medieval jousting tourney, were it not a deciduous green. Three poles support the main chamber where everyone meets for meals at a long communal dining table.
Ten roomy and stylish canvas tents with en-suite bathrooms, indoor and outdoor showers have been fashioned in classical 1940’s style creating an oasis of civilization in what can be the harshest of stark environments. Persian rugs underfoot, cool cotton sheets and mahogany and brass campaign-style kit from the family safari stores form a striking contrast with the rugged wilderness viewed from the comfort of one’s own verandah.
After tea, drive into the grasslands aglow with golden evening light. Stop to watch the sun set and listen to an explanation of how the Makgadikgadi pans, the remnants of the world’s largest ever super lake, were formed. Return to camp for a lavish dinner in the elegant mess tent, a designated national museum of Botswana.

DAY 2: Jack’s Camp

Set off in the morning to visit some of the Kalahari’s sexiest meerkats (Suricate). Get up close and personal with these captivating creatures. On chilly mornings, you might well find a meerkat snuggling up to you for warmth. Or, in the absence of a termite mound or tree, using your head as a sentry lookout post.
After a picnic breakfast, visit a remote cattle-post to learn about the traditional culture of the Batswana people.  Close by is the famous Chapman’s Baobab (Also known as the Seven Sisters) which is acknowledged to be the largest tree in Africa, and was the campsite of early explorers like Livingstone and Selous when they pioneered the area.
Return to camp for a rest and refreshing lunch. After another decadent tea, head off to see one of Africa’s rarest carnivores – the brown hyena. Due to a PhD research program on this cleverly adapted desert species, the cubs are habituated and allow us to observe their social behavior without disturbance.
Return to camp and a candlelit dinner.

DAY 3: Kubu Island

After an early breakfast, wrap a kikoi around your head in the style of Jack Bousfield and set off on the quad bikes across Ntwetwe Pan for Kubu Island.
The journey to and from Kubu is completely extraordinary. A convoy ensures low-impact trespass and that you leave as little behind as possible as you barrel across the vast lunar expanses of scorched white earth.
Lose contact with time, space and direction. Travel without perceptively moving. Open the throttle and close your eyes and travel, knowing there is nothing to crash into until you fall off the edge of the earth.  Break the journey and your astral reveries for a picnic lunch on the moon!
As the sun begins to drop, squint at a smudge on the horizon – Kubu Island. This is what you have come to see. A granite extrusion island studded with baobabs, one of the most graphically beautiful spots in Botswana and rich with intriguing detail, such as walling, trade and Bushmen beads brought here to barter in pursuit of the salt that ices the surrounding pans. Filigreed with baobab trees like fat, red ballet dancers bigger than buses.  The place has been the holiest secret of the Kalahari Bushmen for longer than anyone knows, a place of power and ritual.
The Staff have set up camp; a cauldron of water bubbles for the shower suspended from a tree. The dining table is set and the drinks tray, with Beefeater, and Georgian fobs on bottle labels, stands waiting. Your bedrolls replete with hot water bottles and ticking comforters have been arranged on the high places in a five gazillion star bedroom.
Enjoy a star-spangled silver service dinner and fall into bed.

DAY 4: Kubu Island

Spend the next day exploring the island and its surrounds. Not far away is an ancient defense fortification that was only discovered a couple of years ago. Clamber to the top for an awe-inspiring view of the enormous Sowa pan.
Visit the extinct mouth of the Zambezi which, together with various other rivers, once flowed into the Pans. The remaining beach is covered with beautiful water-worn pebbles amongst which you can find semi-precious stones such as garnets and cornelians.
Kubu is close to what is probably the biggest greater and lesser flamingo breeding site in the world.  30 000 flamingo fledge there when water is good and although nests are abandoned during the dry season, the acres of strangely shaped mud mounds are an eerie and strangely compelling sight.
Unhatched eggs remain in some of the thousands of empty nests while many chicks are left to die if they hatch too late to be able to join the long march across the Pans that the young flamingo undertake in search of water. Their remains lie on the pan surface almost petrified by the salt.

DAY 5:  Jack’s Camp

Depart from Kubu once more, setting off across the Pans on the quad bikes, ending your desert adventure with a night of comfort back at Jack’s Camp.

DAY 6:  Jack’s Camp

Spend the morning before you leave walking with Zu/’hoasi Bushmen trackers.  We have been working closely with the Zu/’hoasi people of the Western Kalahari for many years and are privileged to have a small group of these extraordinary men to guide our guests on a morning’s walking safari.  Offering a window into the past, the Bushmen teach us how they have survived in this harshest of environments, using ancient knowledge of plants, animal behavior and survival skills.
Return to camp for a quick lunch and depart from the desert, incredulous but, satisfied!

Tour price:

Operating Times:

  • 15 May – 30 Sep

Minimum/Maximum Numbers Required:

  • Min 4 passengers are required for this itinerary.
The minimum age allowed on the Kubu Quad bike expedition is 8 years.

Included:

  • Accommodation
  • Activities
  • Meals & Beverages
  • Expert Guide
  • National Park entry fees
  • VAT

Excluded:

  • Premium imports
  • International flights
  • Internal transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Discretionary tips