Dinaka Lodge Central Kalahari
As with other iconic African safari destinations, like The Okavango Delta or Masai Mara, The Kalahari as a location instantly fills you with a sense of wonderment and adventure and rightly so as it’s so very unlike most ecosystems in Botswana.
Dinaka, which means “horns”, sits on a private concession of around 35,000 hectares bordering the Central Kalahari Game Reserve – one of Africa’s largest protected areas. With the “bush” being so different in look and feel it’s no wonder that the animals to be found here are so different to those in the wetter Chobe and Delta. Expect to see Oryx, Springbok, Brown Hyena, stunning bird life and of course the famed Kalahari Lions, Wild Dogs and Cheetah.
The camp is owned and managed by Ker and Downey and is operated with the impeccable standards that this legendary safari outfitter has perfected over 75 years. There are 8 well proportioned, tents arcing out from the central dining, lounge and pool area. Each tent has a private veranda looking back to the waterhole and is ensuite with an excellent outdoor shower alongside (as well as another inside).
Game drives are limited to four guests per vehicle and each seat has been modified to give everyone a bean bag camera mount built onto the arm rest. There is plenty of room for gear and the guides are extremely accommodating when it comes to positioning for photographs as well as altering your schedule to fit your photographic ambitions. A real highlight of Dinaka is the “bunker-style” photographic hide which can seat up to eight photographers at water level a few feet away from a small waterhole. With the Kalahari being so dry the waterholes are very “popular” which makes this one of the best destinations for this type of photography.
From a cultural perspective you are able to spend a morning or afternoon walking with some local bushman guides looking for edible plants and tubers and learning how to make a fire – in the traditional way! As Dinaka sits on private land night drives and star photography is also available. In fact, one place that must be visited during your stay is the lookout deck, which at only around 15m high, still gives you an amazing perspective and view across the super-flat landscape.
Time at Dinaka is more relaxing than other locations in the region with less focus on morning and afternoon game drives but more on hide photography, time spent editing images and cultural experiences. Thus, it makes Dinaka a fantastic place to end an extended Botswana safari…..before you head home…or Cape Town!