Sankuyo Bush Camp
Sankuyo Bush Camp is a traditional rustic tented bush camp that is owned by a local community. The Camp is a first model of its kind in Botswana, as the local community will receive 50% of the daily profits instead of a simple lease fee for their land while someone else owns the camp. The community is also operating their older simple bungalow style Santawani Lodge that is 8 kilometers away but I much prefer the intimate bush camp and this is in an exceptional wildlife area. The camp is located in a prime area for predator viewing, in fact this private concession has long served as the home base for much of Botswana’s predator research, including Dr. Tico McNutt’s African wild dog research. Dr. McNutt’s efforts have now been expanded to become the Botswana Predator Conservation Program, including studies on lions (3 prides in the area), spotted hyena, leopard, and cheetah. The book The Lion Children is based on lion research conducted in this concession as well. It should be noted that being the geographic center for Botswana’s major predator studies means there are a number of animals that are fitted with GPS collars, an issue for photography but it is still just a small portion of the predators that are collared so it is a minor consideration. The concession lies on the southern border of the wildlife rich Moremi Game Reserve, widely considered to be amongst the richest wildlife areas in all Africa and this may prove to be the best private concession for diverse predator viewing.
Typically in Botswana local people own concession rights and they earn an income by leasing their concession to a safari operator who builds and operates a safari camp. In this case, the Sankuyo Tshwaragano Management Trust has instead entered a partnership with Lodges of Botswana to develop and manage this area as a 50/50 venture with the community earning 50% of the actual operating profits. The Sankuyo Tshwaragano Management Trust had a competitive proposal process before selecting this model that is believed to be more beneficial for the community than the traditional leasing set up. A guiding principle for The Wild Source is to support community based projects and I am ecstatic to see the development of this new model and hope that as additional concession leases come up for renewal that other local people will be able to increase their economic benefits.
Activities at Sankuyo Bush Camp focus on game drives and night drives in open vehicles with a guide and tracker to pursue sightings of the many predators as well as a full diversity of other species such as elephants, giraffe, zebra, kudu, etc., this is a very rich wildlife area. It is also possible to arrange a visit to a local village so learn about the community who owns this fabulous camp.
The bush camp consists of just 6 mini-meru tents located under ancient trees, a truly wild setting that harkens to the safaris of old as you sleep under simple canvas, with twin bedding and a simple en-suite bathroom with a flush loo and a bucket shower. While the bathroom is attached to the tent with tall lethaka (reed) walls it is open to the sky and some incorporate giant trees.
Sankuyo Bush Camp is managed by one of Botswana’s most skilled guides, Doctor, formerly of Kwando Kwara and Mapula Lodge fame. Doctor has an exceptional reputation for finding the difficult to locate species and for his gregarious personality with an infectious enthusiasm that has earned him many followers. Doctor is joined in management by his wife, Tsogang, who was formerly a manager and cook at Mapula Lodge. In a small and intimate camp great management is essential and I can’t imagine more enjoyable hosts than Doctor and Tsogang.
- Locally owned