In beautiful Botswana, the Safari industry is almost as fickle as the waters of the Okavango.
New camps are opening every other week somewhere in the country. And during the remaining weeks, old camps are refurbished at a rapid clip.
Unless you make it your business to keep up with all these Safari developments, Botswana’s accommodation offerings are utterly overwhelming.
Of course, we make keeping up our business.
Zarafa Camp was designed to disappear into the floodplains of northern Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Difficult to spot from the outside, the accommodation exudes the luxury of a bygone era on the inside. Only four guest tents overlook Zibadianja Lagoon. Elephants are regular visitors and the roar of lions can frequently be heard. The location was discovered by renowned filmmakers and conservations, National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert. Their discovery was so good it had to be shared and so they co-founded the lodge to delight privileged visitors.
Top Tip: State of the art camera equipment is loaned to guests for the chance to improve their photography skills during their stay.
Set inside one of the world’s largest salt plains, Jack’s Camp is a splendid combination of wildlife, character, and style. An adventure in the making, guests can explore the surrounding pans on foot with bushmen, ride quad bikes with a shemagh wound around your head or opt for the more usual game drive. Sunrise, sunset, and stargazing will never be the same once you have experienced them here.
Top Tip: Currently undergoing a full rebuild and renovation we can’t wait to see what will be revealed in the Makgadikgadi in May 2020 when they reveal the new camp.
Belmond Eagle Island Lodge
A beautiful setting for photographic and water Safaris… and this camp also has air conditioning for those who prefer handling the heat without becoming flustered. There are only twelve luxury tents.
Top Tip: Take a private helicopter trip to Fallen Fig Island.
Many camps in the Okavango predominantly offer either a land or a water experience. But the luxurious Vumbura Plains delivers both land and water activities in an area that is a perfect mix of environments. Two separate, linked camps with only 14 unique, contemporary rooms stand amidst seasonal wildlife, including wild dog, lion, leopard, and cheetah as well as exceptional year-round birding.
Top tip: Vumbura is one of the few camps in the delta from which balloon Safaris are possible (at extra cost).
Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge
A private concession in the magnificent Okavango, Sandibe has exclusive rights to a vast stretch of Moremi Game Reserve. This lodge is a contemporary haven, architecturally inspired by the pangolin, that celebrates its stunning setting under a cool forest canopy of palms and fig trees on the edge of the Delta’s permanent waterways. Perfect for adventure-seekers, wildlife enthusiasts, photographers, first-time or repeat travelers, nature lovers, couples and families.
Top tip: With air conditioning and Wifi in every suite, expect every convenience.
Meno a Kwena
This camp was the one Prince Harry chose when he wanted somewhere to romance the love of his life. This laid back family-owned camp is full of vintage safari gear and the family’s history in Africa. Hovering above the Boteti River on the border of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park it is close to Maun but worlds apart from all civilization.
Top tip: Take a guided bush walk with the bushmen from the area.
The matriarch of Okavango camps, Mombo is known as the ‘place of plenty’ and this certainly refers to the incredible number of wildlife in the area. No amount of spoiling is too much but Mombo surrounds guests in luxury without compromising on its eco-initiatives.
Top tip: Workout in the gym with the best wildlife viewing in the world.
Within the 35 000 Khwai Concession area, this camp is built in the classic 1950s style for adventurers in search of the nostalgia of a bygone era of Safari. Romantic tents with outdoor showers, en-suite bathrooms, and living areas complete the luxury Safari experience.
Top tip: This camp has two luxury family tents and children of all ages are welcome.
Images via WETU: Andrew Howard – machabasafaris.com; Crookes & Jackson – mombo.co.uk; Mark Swandale + Pickford – naturalselection.travel; Unchartered Africa