Tau Pan in a Nutshell

 “Tau” means lion in the local national language. Rather fitting for a place where you have a high chance of an encounter with a “Kalahari” lion. Tau Pan was the first of only two lodges to be built inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. The location is inspiring, as the lodge sits on top of an ancient sand dune, overlooking  the well-known “Tau Pan’ (a pan is a depression that can hold water). The thatched buildings provide a cool retreat from desert temperatures and the activities here are focused around game drives, looking for desert adapted animals.


Fast Facts

  • 8 tatched chalets (1 is a family unit)
  • 16 guests Maximum
  • Raised sleep-out deck
  • Price range from USD545 pppn
  • In the heart of the Central Kalahari GR
  • Swimming pool with a view!
  • Game drives in open 4×4 vehicles
  • Cultural walks with bushmen
  • Access by road or light aircraft
  • Private waterhole in front of the lodge


How to Get There

You can fly into the Tau Pan from any bush airstrip . We like this camp because it is also accessible by road on a self drive safari or as part of your itinerary on a mobile safari.


Game Viewing and Activities

The activities on offer here are game drives and cultural activities with Bushmen. This lodge is inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, so strict park rules prevent night drives. The park however, offers something special for visitors and it is one of the most sought after destinations for dramatic sightings and true wilderness – you can sometimes drive for hours in this park without seeing another vehicle!

The lodge employs some Bushmen that originate from the park. Walks are led though the surrounding desert as the Bushmen explain and demonstrate how their families survived in such a harsh environment, long before tourists came.

The best time to visit this lodge (and most other desert camps) is during the wet season (December to March). However, you can visit at any time of year and still be “blown away” with all th Kalahari has to offer!

Game viewing from the lodge itself is also productive as they pump a private waterhole in front of camp.


Camp Environment

This camp has spacious chalets with thatched roofs to help keep them cool. All the rooms and the main area are raised off the ground for the same purpose. The main area has an expansive wooden deck with a welcome swimming pool. The views are stunning from the top of a dune crest looking down to the lodge’s waterhole. The decor is simplistic luxury and by no means extravagant – there emphasis is on the environment rather than unnecessary extreme luxury.

Tau Pan is owned by Kwando Safaris and is one of a portfolio of well located lodges owned by the same group. You can therefore pick up good discounts when combining with other related Camps on their safari circuit.

A new addition is a “sleep out deck” where you can sleep under the stars on one of your nights in camp (we suggest a minimum of 3 nights here to be sure of good sightings).


What We Think

This is one of a group of lodges owned by Kwando Safaris – we are big fans of this group as they put capable trackers with the guides to form a “guiding team” to find animals. The trackers at TP are genuine local Bushmen!

This is the best place to locate yourself to see Kalahari Lions, maybe even males with black manes?

The lodge itself is relatively reasonably priced and you can get good discounts – “desert” camps such as this are slightly less sought after than the popular “Delta” locations. This is an added bonus as you hardly ever come across crowds of people here. In fact, you might not see another car on your game drives (Tau Pan is quite isolated).

Seeing as how there are only two lodge INSIDE the Central Kalahari Reserve, this is the logical place to be for a lodge based stay in the Kalahari.



Lodges to combine with Tau Pan Camp