Mombo Camp, on Mombo Island just off the northern tip of Chief’s Island, is built under large shady trees and overlooks a wonderful floodplain teeming with wildlife. Accommodation comprises nine spacious tents raised off the ground, all built to maximise the vistas over the plains. The tent interiors are elegantly furnished with polished parquet floors, complete with an outdoor thatched sala – an ideal vantage from which to watch passing game. Bathrooms are en-suite, with indoor and outdoor showers. The main living and dining area is under thatch and there is a boma for traditional dinners, small library and a plunge pool to relax in the heat of the day. Large concentrations of plains game often occur in front of camp and guests may view a variety of animals without even leaving the veranda. Informative game drives explore the savannah and floodplain mosaics of Chief’s Island with prolific wildlife-viewing opportunities.
Within the Chobe National Park, Savuti is perhaps one of the best known game-viewing areas in the country. Under ideal conditions the number and variety of animals seen can be quite staggering. The Savuti area supports mainly Camelthorn (Acacia erioloba) sandveld, Silver Terminalia (Terminalia sericea) sandveld, scrub savanna, and mopane veld. Savuti’s almost desert-like landscape with a scorching sun, loose, hot sand, animals escaping the heat by clumping together in the limited available shade, and elephants impatiently lining up to get to the ever-dwindling water supply, offer a wildlife experience so different, yet so true to Africa. It is almost impossible to imagine that this desolate, harsh landscape was once submerged beneath an enormous inland sea. Geologically the five main features of Savuti (namely the Magwikhwe Sand Ridge, the Mababe Depression, the Savuti Marsh with its dead trees, the Rocky Outcrops, and the Savuti Channel) are all intricately linked in the most fascinating manner.
The word pelo means ‘heart’ – a fitting name as, from the air, the island on which Pelo Camp is situated is heart-shaped. It is also found pretty much as deep into the heart of the Okavango Delta as it is possible to be. This intimate camp has five spacious, en-suite tents with both indoor and outdoor showers and a covered front veranda from which to look out over the water. The main area comprises a tented dining area and lounge situated under impressive wild date palms, jackalberry and Natal mahogany trees. There is also an outdoor boma area, a swimming pool and a raised platform built onto an old anthill. Given the camp’s situation on an exquisite, small island surrounded by permanent water, activities focus on mokoro (traditional dug-out canoe) excursions in the open, shallow floodplains as well as boating and walking. Note: Pelo is open 1 April to 30 November.
Chitabe is situated on a beautiful old tree-island in a prime location in the south-east of the Okavango Delta. Eight spacious en-suite Meru-style tented rooms are built on elevated wooden decks, each tastefully styled with unique décor.
Savuti Camp is set deep in the wilderness on the productive Savute Channel – a refuge for a variety of wildlife. For many years the channel was dry, before the waters returned in 2008 and abundant game congregated around and adapted to their new surroundings. As part of a natural cycle, the channel is dry once more, resulting in a rich feeding ground and corridor between the surrounding mopane woodlands for both plains game and predators. Savuti is about 17 kilometres “downstream” from the Zibadianja Lagoon – the source of the Channel. Accommodation comprises seven large en-suite canvas-and-thatch rooms (including a family unit) that are raised off the ground and face onto the Savute Channel. From the thatched dining area, a pool and large viewing area with fire deck extend outwards on raised wooden decks. Activities on offer are day and night game drives, nature walks with a guide (depending on qualified guide availability) and boating (water levels permitting).
DumaTau Camp lies on an exquisite site on the banks of the Linyanti River’s Osprey Lagoon. It is located close to the source of the Savute Channel in the western part of the Linyanti, between two elephant corridors, thus offering an exclusive combination of land and river experience. The ten en-suite tented units (eight twin and two family) are raised off the ground to overlook the Lagoon. The architecture and interiors evoke the age of the explorers, and the window-wide netting provides a sense of space with dramatic views of the river. The main areas include a floating fire deck, with expansive dining and lounge areas all sporting the same vista. Activities allow guests to view game during day and night game drives, on short nature walks (depending on qualified guide availability), and while boating along the serene waters of the Linyanti River (levels permitting). DumaTau Camp operates completely on solar energy, for hot water, lighting and other energy needs, and is built of FSC-standard timber.
Set in a riverine forest of majestic hardwood trees and overlooking a perennial lagoon with prolific birdlife and visiting pods of hippo, Seba Camp has eight raised, well-appointed and spacious tents, each with en-suite bathroom and private deck, and each celebrating a different tribe of Botswana through vibrant décor. The dining area, lounge-library and pool are all set on raised saligna decks with spectacular views. Seba Camp is ideal for families, with two suites that can accommodate groups of varying sizes. One has a lounge on its upper deck, while the other has a loft room suitable for older children or adults; each has its own plunge pool. Finally, expert guides who specialise in children’s activities means that whatever the age and personal tastes of the children, the kaleidoscopic spectrum of activities on offer is guaranteed to ensure the safari is enjoyed by all – kids and adults. Activities include day and night game drives all year round, nature walks (depending on qualified guide availability), while during winter, mokoro rides, motorboat excursions and fishing are popular.
Jao Camp is located on a remote island in the heart of the Okavango Delta. The camp has nine luxurious tents, each individually handcrafted. The open-plan design of each includes a lounge, dressing area and main bedroom, en-suite facilities with old-style fittings and an outdoor shower. A private sala for afternoon siestas has magnificent views of the nearby channel. The main area is an elaborate two-storey building with lounge and dining area, two plunge pools, a small library, curio shop and a boma for dining under the stars, complemented by an excellent wine cellar. Jao’s spa offers a wide range of massage therapies, and a gym. With habitats that vary from waterways and lagoons to dry Kalahari grasslands, Jao offers both land and water experiences, depending on annual inundation levels. Mokoro, boating and fishing take place seasonally, with day and night game drives usually on offer all year round in one of the most picturesque concessions in the Delta.
Recognised as a prime game viewing area, the Savuti covers almost 1,930 sq. miles (5,000 square km) in the south west of Chobe National Park. Parts of Savuti are almost desert-like with a scorching sun and hot sand, while at the other extreme are vast grassy plains. Savuti is well known for its elephants, lions and hyenas, all of which visit the lodge area, making for an experience not to be forgotten! Listening to the night sounds of Savuti is an unforgettable experience. Apart from being one of Africa’s prime game viewing areas, Savuti is also stunningly beautiful, with rocky outcrops, and rolling grassland interspersed with dead trees. In 2009 the Savuti channel began flowing again – the first time in 30 years. In February 2010 the channel had reached the marsh, transforming the area and bringing new life. The Savuti area is now returning to its former glory – when it was known as one of the key wildlife areas in Botswana. This campsite offers large camping sites with running water (not drinking water) on every campsite. In the centre of the campsite is an elephant proof complex which houses the ablutions, showers and washing basins.
Situated on a small island in the beautiful Jao Flats area of the concession, Jacana offers remote seclusion. Accommodation is in five spacious en-suite tents – each with an outdoor shower – built on raised wooden decks, all with stunning views over the water. The main dining area is on an elevated wooden deck between two enormous sycamore trees, and surrounded by dense wild date palms. Downstairs, there is a cosy lounge with large viewing deck, and open area to sit around the fire. Behind this is another thatched relaxation area with hammocks. Meals are sometimes enjoyed outdoors in a traditional African boma. Jacana Camp is a true water camp, where boating and mokoro excursions take advantage of the quiet channels and inundated floodplains and some of the fascinating creatures of the Delta – maybe even hippo and crocodile – as well as the wealth of waterbirds can be seen. Day game drives take place all year round.