YZ expert Lauren has just returned from a two-week adventure through northern Botswana, visiting newly opened properties in the Okavango Delta. She is one of very few lucky people to have seen these fabulous camps! Here are her first impressions…
Wilderness Qorokwe is a brand new luxury lodge under the management of Wilderness, one of the best safari operators in Botswana. The lodge opened in October 2017 and is located in its own private concession, a game-rich area covering 26,180 hectares in the south-eastern Okavango.
The concession has year-round water and offers a variety of activities, such as day and night drives, mokoro trips, and seasonal boating and walks.
The lodge building has quite a modern and almost industrial vibe, with steel framework supporting the large and welcoming main area. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I loved it and I think it brings a different dimension to luxury lodges in the Delta. The rooms are all glass fronted, spacious, and totally beautiful.
What stood out to me the most here was manager Dani’s passion for Botswana and the conservation of the Delta. Dani offers educational chats a few times every week, during high tea. He teaches guests about Botswana’s history and the ongoing important task of conserving one of Africa’s last remaining pristine wildernesses.
Splash Camp is Kwando’s brand new property within their Kwara Reserve in the northern Okavango. Here, past clients have been able to choose between Kwara and Little Kwara, and the fact that both of these properties were in need of a little attention was always offset by the amazing game viewing offered in the exclusive private reserve.
There have been industry whisperings surrounding Splash Camp for quite some time, with its highly anticipated opening date being kept tightly under wraps. Finally, at the beginning of June, Splash Camp opened its doors… and I love it.
Other than the stunning, spacious, and high-ceilinged main area (overlooking the bush), and the gorgeously designed rooms, the staff are really what made me fall for this property. They were clearly so very proud to unveil their brand new camp, and this was reflected in excellent service and brilliant guiding.
Wilderness Mombo is one of the most famous camps not only in Botswana but across the entire continent. This is the flagship property under the Wilderness Safaris portfolio, and it comes with one of the best reputations in the industry. The camp itself has been going for many years, but last year they closed its doors for a full refurbishment… and re-opened ‘New Mombo’ at the beginning of May 2018.
In terms of the camp’s footprint, it hasn’t changed – it was pretty fantastic to begin with! What’s different is the style and all of the interior design.
Guests arrive into the camp’s enormous main area, which boasts open-fronted lounges and bars overlooking an expansive deck area with spectacular views of an active little pocket of Chief’s Island. The rooms are larger than the space I live in here in London, and each comes with its own living room (complete with mini-bar and Nespresso machine), enormous bedroom, dressing room, bathroom (with huge copper bath tub), and an outside deck with plunge pool. This is luxury on a completely different level!
If you’d like more information on planning a safari to Botswana, feel free to call us on +44 (0)20 8547 2305 or send us an email at [email protected]