Reasons to Visit
The Okavango Delta is a labyrinth of waterways linking secret lagoons and marshlands, where hippo splash in the water and elephants drink at the shallows. Boat trips take you to inaccessible locations and hidden islands for a glorious spot of solitude and wildlife spotting, before a relaxing sundowner drink amongst the reeds.
On a game drive in the Delta, Linyanti or Chobe, you soon discover Botswana’s phenomenal array of wildlife. Lions are often on the prowl in the morning while night drives increase your chances of spotting leopard and other nocturnal species. As well as the cats there are thriving populations of elephant, hippo, giraffe, buffalo and even wild dog.
From the water birds of the Delta to the sand grouse of the Kalahari and flamingos on the Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana is a twitcher’s paradise. Rare species like the Pel’s fishing owl, and African pygmy goose are commonly found, with a trip to Chobe, the Delta and the Kalahari offering an unrivalled level of ornithological interest.
Bushman history is an intrinsic element in the evolution of humanity, and nowhere is this more apparent than in Botswana. Bushman communities have survived on the Makgadikgadi Pans and in areas of western Botswana for centuries. A visit there now allows you to interact with them, experiencing first hand how they cook, hunt, eat and live.
Slipping through the Delta's mazy waterways and tall papyrus in a mokoro is the most relaxing way to view game. Serenely moving along with only the gurgle of the water passing under your craft, you encounter lechwe grazing in the shallows, kingfishers perched on overhanging branches and crocodiles lurking in dark corners.
On the Makgadikgadi Pans you experience an ethereal lunar landscape unlike anywhere else in Africa. It is possible to see the curvature of the earth, sleep out under the stars, and at some times of the year watch a great wildlife migration. Although more thickly vegetated, Nxai and Tau Pans also offer unique landscapes and habitats.
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Africa and The Indian Ocean
Sandibe Camp is stylish, comfortable and totally original in its design. It has been built in a grove of jackalberry, fig tree and ilala palms without a single tree being cut down.
Sandibe Camp is stylish, comfortable and totally original in design, built in a grove of jackalberry, fig tree and ilala palms.
In the main boma thick tree branches extend through the walls and roof and huge tree trunks hold up the high thatched roof. It's not unusual to look up from lunch and find an inquisitive baboon high up above having a good look at you, while fruit bats roost high up in the beams in the evenings. Sandibe Camp also has a small pool with sun-loungers, as well as a well stocked wine cellar and small curio shop.
Paths meander through the forest and lead to eight clay and thatch chalets. Each has a north African feel, with clay walls and gauze netting hanging over the large beds. The bathroom consists of double basins behind the bed partition, a separate toilet and an outdoor shower. There are books and magazines in the rooms and even small decanters of amarula and sherry for nightcaps. Outside, steps lead up to a small raised deck with table and chairs and views of the Santantadibe river and reedbeds. This great expanse of delta comes alive at night with thousands of fire flies flickering on and off.
Activities at Sandibe include game drives, walks and mokoro trips when flood levels are high. It is also possible to take a boat trip along the river when the water levels are high enough. Game drives are particularly good at Sandibe across plains areas as well as small forests. They are taken slowly, not dashing from place to place, and both a guide and spotter accompany you. Perhaps it is to this we can attribute their skill at finding the more elusive animals such as leopard and wild dog. After the days activities, dinner is usually served outside, lit up by candelabras in the small boma area. It's a perfect end to an excellent day.
Bordering the Moremi Game Reserve in the southern Okavango Delta, the Chitabe Concession is both picturesque and rich in game. Though lion are often seen it is Chitabe’s leopard and wild dog pack that perhaps hold the greatest attraction. It is also the base for the three day Chitabe Walking Trail.
Our rating: Deluxe
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Further reading:Tours in BotswanaWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoAccommodationAbout BotswanaCountry Guides
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