Xomae Baines Baobab Campsite

Botswana's Nxai Pan National Park encompasses some enormous saltpans – still filled with water when we visited in May 2018 – and plenty of large, beautiful baobabs. The best known ones are Baines’ Baobabs –  painted by English artist and explorer Thomas Baines in the 19th century - for which this campsite is named. 

It was late afternoon when we entered park gates, and there was nobody else around as we stopped to photograph ostrich, elephant, oryx, steenbok, black-backed jackal, lilac breasted roller and kori bustard. Nxai Pan is not the kind of park where you'll see lots of big game - it's very dry. You come for the ethereal scenery, the profound solitude and of course, the magical baobabs. 

Our campsite –  booked well in advance here – was spectacular. Utterly remote yet equipped with a bucket shower and a long drop toilet thoughtfully supplied with loo paper. There was even a toilet brush chained to the wall! As it was pretty cold after sunset, we weren’t bothered much by mosquitoes and were able to sit outside under the stars listening to animal calls until late.

Baines' Baobabs all to ourselves! 

Our opinion: This is a very remote campsite so remember to be completely self sufficient, which means having enough water, food and firewood for your entire stay. Also, what you bring in, you need to take back out!