Tau Pan’s guest rooms have private viewing decks.

Tau Pan | Central Kalahari Game Reserve Luxury Botswana Safari Lodge

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the second largest game reserve in the world, and the sense of space and remoteness is palpable. This vast space offers the luxury of truly getting away from it all, while Tau Pan provides all the amenities you’d expect from a luxury Botswanan safari lodge.

The place

Visiting the Central Kalahari after our luxury safari in the Okavango Delta heightens the sense of contrast, and also underlines for us just how special each place is. One light aircraft flight is all it takes us to exchange the intimate mosaic of islands and channels for a very different landscape.Here in central Botswana, we also have a sense that we’re in the middle of nowhere – and we love it. The remoteness is a big part of the appeal here, as is the fact that we’re two of just a handful of guests privileged to experience this vast swathe of dry savannah.Golden grasses sway in the breeze, and knots of antelope are scattered across the landscape, moving between stunted bushes and occasionally disappearing into shallow valleys. The phrase ‘as far as the eye can see’ comes to mind, and in this case, it’s very far indeed. In fact, at night, with the legendary Kalahari heavens above us, we can see several light years from where we are.

Visiting the Central Kalahari after our luxury safari in the Okavango Delta heightens the sense of contrast, and also underlines for us just how special each place is. One light aircraft flight is all it takes us to exchange the intimate mosaic of islands and channels for a very different landscape.

Here in central Botswana, we also have a sense that we’re in the middle of nowhere – and we love it. The remoteness is a big part of the appeal here, as is the fact that we’re two of just a handful of guests privileged to experience this vast swathe of dry savannah.

Golden grasses sway in the breeze, and knots of antelope are scattered across the landscape, moving between stunted bushes and occasionally disappearing into shallow valleys. The phrase ‘as far as the eye can see’ comes to mind, and in this case, it’s very far indeed. In fact, at night, with the legendary Kalahari heavens above us, we can see several light years from where we are.

The room

Before we lose ourselves in the vastness of the Central Kalahari, we’re keen to see our new home, and the lodge manager obliges. He leads us from the main area (with its telescope focused on a nearby waterhole) along the sand ridge to our thatched room. He explains that the thatched roof will help keep us cool during the day, and warm at night.We have our own viewing deck, with loungers drawn up to face the astonishing views. Stepping inside, we instantly notice the change in temperature and the contrast with the outdoor heat is refreshing. The room décor attains a perfect balance between comfort and minimalism, and is entirely in keeping with the sense of space. The colour scheme is neutral, with accents of the colours of the landscape beyond.I’m surprised by the absence of mosquito nets on the four-poster bed. Smiling, the manager replies that this is entirely due to the absence of mosquitoes. As I check out the indoor and outdoor showers, I learn that the water is both pumped – from deep beneath the sand – and heated by solar power, and this makes me feel even better about having chosen Tau Pan.

Before we lose ourselves in the vastness of the Central Kalahari, we’re keen to see our new home, and the lodge manager obliges. He leads us from the main area (with its telescope focused on a nearby waterhole) along the sand ridge to our thatched room. He explains that the thatched roof will help keep us cool during the day, and warm at night.

We have our own viewing deck, with loungers drawn up to face the astonishing views. Stepping inside, we instantly notice the change in temperature and the contrast with the outdoor heat is refreshing. The room décor attains a perfect balance between comfort and minimalism, and is entirely in keeping with the sense of space. The colour scheme is neutral, with accents of the colours of the landscape beyond.

I’m surprised by the absence of mosquito nets on the four-poster bed. Smiling, the manager replies that this is entirely due to the absence of mosquitoes. As I check out the indoor and outdoor showers, I learn that the water is both pumped – from deep beneath the sand – and heated by solar power, and this makes me feel even better about having chosen Tau Pan.

What sets it apart

We immediately appreciate that Tau Pan stands out for its unique location (it was the first semi-permanent luxury safari lodge in the Central Kalahari) and for the freedom it gives us to not just be ourselves, but to explore and begin to understand something far bigger than either of us.We soon realise that luxury is not just something you can measure in tangible objects (although Tau Pan is certainly luxurious in that sense) but rather in breathtaking views and the stark beauty of our surroundings.The opportunity to learn from San guides – the original inhabitants of the Kalahari, along with the black-maned lion we hope to see on our game drives – lends the experience an added layer of authenticity, while stargazing makes us ponder deeper metaphysical questions, and shelve them again while we absorb the beauty of the moment.

We immediately appreciate that Tau Pan stands out for its unique location (it was the first semi-permanent luxury safari lodge in the Central Kalahari) and for the freedom it gives us to not just be ourselves, but to explore and begin to understand something far bigger than either of us.

We soon realise that luxury is not just something you can measure in tangible objects (although Tau Pan is certainly luxurious in that sense) but rather in breathtaking views and the stark beauty of our surroundings.

The opportunity to learn from San guides – the original inhabitants of the Kalahari, along with the black-maned lion we hope to see on our game drives – lends the experience an added layer of authenticity, while stargazing makes us ponder deeper metaphysical questions, and shelve them again while we absorb the beauty of the moment.

At a glance

  • Nine thatched guest rooms perched on a sand ridge overlooking the wildly beautiful Tau Pan, within the immense Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Private viewing decks and shared swimming pool.
  • Remote location, maximum of six guests per safari vehicle and private vehicles available (additional cost).
  • Game drives, San experience (including guided walks), stargazing, swimming, day trips to Deception Valley and Sunday, Piper and Passarge pans and scenic helicopter flights (additional cost).
  • Children are welcome, and one family room available.

  • Nine thatched guest rooms perched on a sand ridge overlooking the wildly beautiful Tau Pan, within the immense Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Private viewing decks and shared swimming pool.
  • Remote location, maximum of six guests per safari vehicle and private vehicles available (additional cost).
  • Game drives, San experience (including guided walks), stargazing, swimming, day trips to Deception Valley and Sunday, Piper and Passarge pans and scenic helicopter flights (additional cost).
  • Children are welcome, and one family room available.

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

The cooler, dry winter is generally reckoned to be the best time to visit northern Botswana (especially the Okavango). However, the reverse tends to be true in the Central Kalahari. Rather than floodwaters compressing wildlife, scarcity of food in the arid Kalahari causes the game to disperse. Resident desert-adapted wildlife can be seen year-round, however, and the stark, near-infinite beauty of the Kalahari finds its most eloquent expression in these dry winter months. Cooler temperatures also make the experience more manageable, and a winter visit aligns perfectly with the optimum Okavango season.

The wetter summer ‘green season’ is when the Central Kalahari comes to life. Large herds of gemsbok and springbok assemble to feed on new grass growth, and the predator activity (especially lion and cheetah) can be intense. It’s also the time of year when a great many migrant birds visit the Central Kalahari, to the delight of birders. Luxury safari lodges are adept at dealing with the high summer temperatures and brief, heavy downpours, although cloud cover may impact on stargazing. It’s also a beautiful time of year in the Okavango Delta.

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