Dry season update from the Desert Desperados 17 June 2012

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We are not exactly sure how the group of Agents who joined us for our May familiarization trip feel about this famous saying of Jack Bousfield, but we're sure that they all agreed, that idiots or not, a good time was had by all! 

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The crew, guided by Ralph and his nephew John Barclay, spent an exhilarating three nights on our mobile safari in the Delta followed by two nights at San Camp, our white beauty on the edge of the endless saltpan, which opened its doors on the 16th of April to find itself listed in The Robb Report’s 100 Best Resorts! Quite an honour for this intimate six-tented camp we refer to as “The most romantic camp in Africa.”

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Ralph and John gave the group the full high beam during their jam-packed five night stay, leaving one Guest commenting: “Honestly, I have never experienced guiding quite like it - So much to try and retain!” And, as the safari wound down with a fabulous dinner under the stars on the shores of the ancient lake, all bid each other a fond farewell, only to meet up again on the shores of the Indian Ocean for Indaba 2012.

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John Barclay, joined Ralph and the marketing team at Indaba – And oh what a good idea that was! This 6th generation of safari gene pool seems to be a real chip off the old block – The older block being Ralph Bousfield, our fearless leader and obsessive collector of all things old and African.

This year’s event started on a high note for Uncharted Africa Safari co. with Jack’s Camp and our Mobile Safari Expeditions being chosen as finalists in The Good Safari Guide Awards. Jack’s Camp made the grade in two categories, Best Safari Property in Southern Africa and Best Safari Guiding Team and our Mobile Safari Expeditions are shortlisted in The Best Mobile Safari Operator in Africa category. Thanks to all for the support and we’ll keep our finger crossed for the November awards ceremony in London.

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Indaba was also buzzing with the news that twenty-four Bushmen women, men and pre-school children comprised of four generations, are now living in the Makgadikgadi, sharing their incredible knowledge with our Guests at Jack’s Camp, San Camp & Camp Kalahari. This group form part of the same community in the remote Western Kalahari, with whom we work with on our Bushmen Mobile Safari Expeditions.

The Bushmen lead a semi-traditional lifestyle, and share with Guests their traditional hunting and food-gathering skills as well as how they make jewellery and hunting equipment, entertain themselves through story telling, singing and dancing and finally treat spiritual and emotional illness through the help and consultation of a powerful healer. It is a glimpse into their fast-vanishing, traditional way of life, but by no means an attempt to keep them frozen in time. 

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Through our initiative, a community is able to work together and share their knowledge with each other as well as the Guests allowing the older generation to pass the knowledge on to the next generation, while earning a living. The young children are the future and we hope that they carry the knowledge and traditions of their incredible ancient culture into the modern world with a sense of pride and personal empowerment

For Guests wanting to experience a full day with the Bushmen, a four day itinerary should be requested, Guests staying for three nights will continue to enjoy a morning or evening walk with the Bushmen Guides, but now grandma and the kids are coming too!

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Camp Kalahari
has recently upgraded its green credentials, undergoing a total solar upgrade – All Guest tents are now utilizing solar geysers and a brand new kitchen is being planned around the upgraded solar installation. The thatched swimming pool pavilion is complete and is providing a great additional area for Guests to relax and unwind in. We’re also pleased to announce that the camp’s safari vehicles have been overhauled to ensure that Guests have a much better safari and guiding experience. As this great family-orientated bush camp continues to grow in popularity, we’re continuing to invest in making it better and better, while ensuring it always remains great value for money!

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On the subject of great value for money – Planet Baobab continues to be a fabulously funky way of exploring the Makgadikgadi without breaking the bank. Several areas of the camp are also undergoing refurbishment – We’ll keep you posted and ensure we get you some great updated images as soon as the work is completed. One thing we can guarantee is that we have the grooviest Internet Café in the Kalahari!

Here’s to a great second half of 2012

Image Credits: Kate Malone (Ralph at San Camp, Bushman Smoking, Mother & Child)