Exotic greens, burnt earth, ochre and yellow - hues of the bush, art and nature and organic, sometimes eccentric colours and architecture and always interesting - the many safari camps and lodges of Botswana provide a very comfortable and stylish base whilst on safari.
There are camps of different styles and levels, from the traditional, old fashioned safari camp with large Meru tents, complete with double beds, the softest towels, deep warm duvets and en suite bathrooms, to the luxurious lodges like Eagle Island, Mombo and the indulgent Zarafa.
Most properties have between four and twelve rooms; some camps have family rooms too – generally two tented rooms interconnecting with a lounge. You are always comfortable, the food is superb and the best exclusive camps provide a little indulgence with their gourmet cuisine and vintage wines are served.
There are unusually built camps too including Baines Camp in the heart of the delta at the southern end of Chief's Island, which was named after the famed nineteenth century explorer and artist, Thomas Baines. Their five unique chalets sit on elevated platforms on the edge of a lagoon, built using aluminium cans, mud and daub - eco friendly and recycling at its best!
Imagine staying in a luxury camp where if you want, your four poster mosquito -netted bed is actually on wheels and can be wheeled out onto the large platform in the evenings so that you can sleep out under the stars and hear the hippo and bell frogs serenading you – it’s just sheer bliss.
In the camps and lodges there is often a swimming pool to use during the siesta hours and sala areas for whiling away a few hours to relax and take in the sounds of the wilderness or perhaps spot birds. Perhaps find a shady tree where you can drift off for a couple of hours in a hammock – why not – you are on holiday after all!
Depending on the camps' location, be it in the Okavango, Chobe, Moremi or Kalahari, in a park or private reserve, you can venture out each day by motorboat, by game drive vehicle, by mokoro - (dugout canoe - water levels permitting) or on foot.
One of the most unusual camps in Botswana is Meno A Kwena, more easy rustic than ultra luxurious, this is a super camp that in fact is extremely comfortable, unique and delightful – a real favourite of ours. Privately owned and uniquely located in a game rich area on the Boteti River.
The camp's cuisine is an authentic experience, cooked on open wood fires and in tin box ovens in the ground. Fresh baked bread from the coals of a hardwood fire is a perennial favourite.
The camp sits along the edge of the Boteti Gorge looking down on a waterhole. The deep gorge is an unique environment, by Botswana standards, of riverine habitat in the middle of the dry Kalahari and it attracts wildlife to the camp so that you do not have to venture out, it all comes to you!
Another camp called Okuti has been built in a Botswana style based on traditional bee hive grass huts with en suite outside showers and is decorated with Botswana crafts, very organic, very original and delightfully Botswana.
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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