Tau Pan Camp
Central Kalahari, Botswana
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TAU PAN CAMP - CENTRAL
Famous for being where the waters of the Okavango come to rest – the Kalahari has been written about by several explorers, notably David Livingstone and more recently in “Cry of the Kalahari” by Mark and Delia Owens, during their time studying of the Brown Hyena.
Tau Pan Camp is situated inside the world famous Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) right on the edge of the beautiful Tau Pan.
“Kalahari” is derived from the Tswana word Kgala meaning “great thirst” – and it has vast areas covered by red sand without any permanent water. The Kalahari Desert is the largest sand basin in the world stretching 2,500kms from the northern regions of South Africa through to Namibia/Angola and ending in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) is the largest game reserve in the world (52,800 sq km’s) and for many years was closed to the public, hence it is know for being one of Africa’s last true wild areas.
The term ‘desert,’ is however not quite accurate when referring to the Kalahari, the region receives an annual rainfall of 60mm-175mm, too high to be classified as a true desert. The Kalahari’s vegetation consists mainly of grasses and acacia’s, as well as stunted thorn and scrub bush. There are over 400 identified plant species present. Annual rain season is between December and March when summer temperatures can get quite high. About 1,100 meters above sea level – the largely unchanging flat terrain is occasionally interrupted with gentle valleys, sand dunes and a large number of pans, which vary in size and complexity. These pans are invaluable to the wildlife as they supply them with nutrients from the salts and the grasses of the pans.
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Situated on an established sand ridge overlooking Tau Pan – our camp will command stunning views of the permanent Tau Pan water hole and the endless Kalahari horizon.
Guests are accommodated in 8 custom-built desert rooms under thatch, while the main area consists of dining room, lounge area and a viewing deck. The camp will also offer facilities such as swimming pool, interpretation centre/library and curio shop. One of the rooms is a family room and a guide/pilot room is also available.
All solar powered
All have fans and outside showers All rooms have private viewing deck.
Game drives in open 4x4 vehicles
Guided Walks with a San who will explain and entertain you by answering all your questions from birth to marriage to bush survival.
Please note that Tau Pan is in a national park and an ecological sensitive area – for this reason we can not drive off road or at night!.
Wildlife and Habitat
After the summer rains –the CKGR completely transforms as the blue sky fills with huge clouds, and the plains and pans burst with sweet grasses. This is one of the best game viewing areas in Botswana at this time of year and not many people to seem to aware of this – so the visitors are few.
The CKGR gets animals such 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. Brown Hyenas and Wild Dogs are also found in the area.
Several species of antelopes make the trip to the sweet grasses of the CKGR which include the Eland, Springbok, Steenbok, Gemsbok, Hartebeest, Kudu and Duiker. Honey Badgers are regular visitors as well as Ground Squirrels and many an hour can be wiled away watching these fascinating animals.
Bird life is aplenty with the world heaviest flying bird – the Kori Bustard being common as well as the Black Korhaan who continuously calls during the daytime. Ostrich are seen roaming free – usually in large flocks. All the Sand Grouse species identified in southern Africa live here from the Double Banded to the Namaqua which are a sight to see in the mornings, when they flock to the waterholes in their thousands, to drink and bathe in the water holes. Raptors from the most common Pale- chanting Goshawk to the Rock Kestrel, Bateleurs and Brown and Tawny Eagles are also seen regularly.
The dry season (May-September) is also a wonderful time to visit the CKGR as the animals congregate close to any surface water and pans.
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