Elephant Sands Campsite:
There are a lot of unique campsites in Africa, and I would consider Elephant Sands in Nata, Botswana to be one of them. While it’s not the most unique campsite you will find, it was for my 21 day overland trip from Cape Town to Victoria Falls.
What makes Elephant Sands Unique?
Elephant Sands in Nata is considered one of the unique campsites in Africa because this is a wild campsite. This means, there are no fences to protect it from wildlife and thus while staying here, whatever wildlife is around can come and walk through the campsite. While there are many wild campsites to be had in many countries in Africa, there are equally a lot of campsites that have walls or fences up to protect the visitors from the wildlife.
While this campsite sometimes has wild dogs go through, and even lions can be in the area, the campsite is most known for it’s Elephants. The watering hole here is one of the only watering holes to be found in a large area, so the elephants tend to come here to congregate and refresh themselves throughout the day and night.
So the best part about staying at this campsite, is sitting on the picnic tables by the dining/bar area and just watching the elephants in their natural habitat. At night they have a campfire and the watering hole is floodlit, so you can still see the elephants interact at night.
Facilities at Elephant Sands
The facilities at Elephant Sands Campsite are quite nice. There are a variety of places to stay. There are single, twin, and family chalets and then they also have quite a large space for campers and tents.
The chalets have en-suite bathrooms while for tenting they have a nice shower house with hot water showers from solar heat and bathrooms. There is no electricity though in the chalets, so you will need to charge your things at the restaurant.
In the main building for the campsite, they have a reception, gift shop, a fully stocked bar, a swimming pool, restaurant and a tv viewing area. There is also wifi for guests who have a booking.
What to do at Elephant Sands Campsite?
While there aren’t a ton of things to do here, the main reason to come here is to view the elephants. As i mentioned above, they do have a nice pool on the grounds, so if it’s warm enough, you can go for a swim while watching the elephants at the watering hole. Yes, the pool is really that close to the watering hole. But, not to worry, they have spikes around the main building and pool area to prevent the elephants from coming into that area.
In the evening as well, I recommend to come out to the picnic tables near the restaurant on site and watch as the elephants come in from the surrounding area for a drink. It was amazing to watch as the sun set, the elephants all started to congregate.
Since it was winter time, the temperature dropped to less than 5C, but was nice and warm as they had a campfire set up.
As the elephants started to congregate it was interesting to watch their interactions with each other and watch them scuffle or make noise because some were from different families. At times too they would carefully come near us as we watched them as they were intrigued as well by our presence there.
During the night, as we were sleeping we heard from some who had stayed up later, that one or two elephants had walked right past our tent during the middle of the night. I was amazed to hear this as their walking by didn’t wake me up at all. You would think such a giant animal would make noise walking by, however, they are quite quiet when walking.
Don’t let this worry you though, as it’s safe to be in your tent as the elephants know to walk around them and are used to the tents being in this area.
*Tip – Be sure you have a flashlight or headlamp when walking outside your tent at night to go to the bathroom as you probably don’t want to stumble upon one of these giants in the middle of the night and scare it or you.
The campsite does offer some other activities at a cost like bush walks and game drives if you would like to do that.
How to get to Elephant Sands?
Elephant sands campsite isn’t really close to anything, so it’s best for you to drive here. It’s about 50 km north of Nata, Botswana and a good drive south of Kasane. You can see it’s location on the map below:
So there you have it. One of the most unique campsites that I stayed at during my 21 day overland trip from Cape Town to Victoria Falls. If you want to stay at this campsite, you can find booking information at the elephant sands campsite webpage. What are some of the amazing campsites you have stayed at before? Let us know in the comments below!