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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in Botswana

Hear hippos graze beneath your suite at Camp Okavango

The camp offers far-reaching views across the floodplains and waterways, with wildlife often passing by…

By Sue Ricketts
Owner of Target Africa

When California-born Jessie Niel came to Botswana in the 1980s, she fell in love with the Okavango Delta. She spent six months every year in the country and eventually decided she needed her own base, so she built Camp Okavango, and then Camp Moremi shortly afterwards.

Today’s Camp Okavango, rebuilt in 2016, is unrecognisable from the original camp, but Jessie’s legacy remains.

The elevated camp overlooks the floodplains and channels of the Delta, with each of its 11 tented rooms linked by a raised wooden walkway. It offers far-reaching views across the floodplains and waterways, with wildlife often passing by. There’s a hide at the end of a wooden pier for birdwatching or spotting passing elephants and other game, and a swimming pool on the raised deck to maximise views.

The main building consists of an open lounge and bar area under a thatched roof, with a separate dining room leading onto a paved patio where a fire is lit in the evenings. All of its rooms are spacious with large, private decks and big en-suite bathrooms, and décor is inspired by nature with dark wooden floors and furnishings and colourful touches. There’s also a beautiful family suite for guests travelling with children.

Guests don’t go hungry here. The day starts with a continental breakfast, and after a two-hour morning walk, brunch is served with hot and cold options. Later on there’s an afternoon tea with sandwiches and cakes, and in the evening there’s a three-course à la carte dinner with plenty of healthy menu options, plus a selection of wines from South Africa.

The lodge puts a big focus on sustainability. It’s fully solar-powered and wastewater is used for the gardens. All of the staff are from Botswana, and through Desert & Delta Safaris’ CARES program, a number of community initiatives and wildlife projects are also supported.

It’s the location that really stands out here though. Hippos, crocodiles, elephants, zebras, giraffes, lions, leopards and buffalo all call the area home, and there’s plenty of colourful birdlife too.

Guests often hear hippos grazing underneath their raised suites at night, when they leave the water to seek out the grass in the lodge grounds. Some guests like to sit in the viewing area and sketch the landscape. Walking safaris, motorboat cruises and mokoro (canoe) trips take visitors out to take in the surroundings, and there are optional, open-door helicopter rides for those wanting to see this extraordinary landscape from a perspective like no other. It’s an unforgettable experience and it was one of the highlights of my time in Botswana.

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  • Places to stay
  • Wildlife

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Alfred & Sue Ricketts

Sue has worked as the UK Sales Representative for Desert & Delta Safaris for 18 years under her company Target Africa, which she launched in 2003 after working as a Product Manager for Jetsave and Southern Africa Travel. She has visited all of the operator’s nine properties and is drawn back to Botswana every year by the people.

Alfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like James, who's travelled extensively in Botswana. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the rangers who'll ensure you'll spot the best wildlife in Chobe, the village chiefs who'll give you an insight into local life and the helicopter pilots who can land you on an island in the Delta never visited by humans before.

Freephone an expert 01306 744 656