Trip idea / Botswana

Botswana the Real way

Africa's best game viewing

How to do the Delta the 'Real' Way

Historically, Botswana’s gorgeous Okavango Delta has been famous in safari circles for two things: incredible game‑viewing – arguably Africa’s best – and incredibly high costs compared to rival countries. That is changing, though, and we’ve now worked out a Real way to do the Delta: affordable and authentic, and perfect for an utterly memorable honeymoon or celebratory couples trip.

The Lowdown

  • Good To Know

    The Delta makes an excellent combination with the desert, so you could add in the Kalahari. Also, you can also easily start or end off with a visit to Victoria Falls - if you're on honeymoon a stay at The Victoria Falls Hotel is a must.

  • When To Go

    The end of dry season – normally October – sees Delta waters arrive via the picturesque Khwai river, creating a magnet for thousands of thirsty omnivores. Their movement towards the water in turn lures the predators, making it much easier to find and see animals.

Khwai Private Reserve

Our nine night itinerary enables a lower-cost Okavango safari without compromising on comfort or game-viewing. Situated on a natural Okavango Delta elephant migration route, Khwai Private Reserve is a 200,000-hectare wildlife domain.

As well as those tuskers, there are good numbers of lion, leopard, cheetah and buffalo, plus plains game such as sable, kudu and the rare roan.

By combining three distinct camps within Khwai Private Reserve, we’ve eliminated the need for expensive  light-aircraft transfers. The featured lodges might be more rustic than some in Botswana, but they still promise feather duvets,  exceptional guides and an incredible experience in the wilds of the Okavango Delta.

Our suggested itinerary:

  • Overnight outbound flight – one night
  • Hyena Pan – three nights
  • Sable Alley – three nights
  • Sky beds – one night
  • Overnight inbound flight – one night

    Hyena Pan – 3 nights

    Dense mopane woodland dominates Khwai’s north and it’s here that you’ll find Hyena Pan. Boasting a brightly-coloured African aesthetic instead of the muted shades of beige at colonial-style camps, this eight-tent, eco-friendly lodge overlooks a waterhole where animals regularly come to drink, and boasts a pool. En-suite rooms have gas-powered showers and the wood-and-thatch main areas span comfy lounges and a communal-table dining area.

    Stays here can feature superb photographic opportunities from a ground-level hide and exciting night drives to seek out nocturnal species like porcupines and the titular spotted hyenas. Animal calls sound from the shadows, and a searching spotlight is expertly beamed by your ranger.


    Skybeds – 1 night

    Guests at this stand-out option sleep five metres above the ground in a treehouse. The three treehouses all overlook another busy waterhole where, if you keep quiet, wild things should come to roam and drink oblivious to your presence. We understand if you ignore them though; for up above, an incredible celestial show will also be unfolding. It’s a magical way to spend a night.

    You’ll hardly be roughing it either: each sturdy, split-level treehouse includes a platform furnished with pull out, mosquito-netted beds, a table and chairs and a lightweight pull-out canopy should you need. There’s also an an enclosed shower. Before bedtime, lantern-lit bush dinners are cooked over an open fire and served in front of a fourth, separate platform which acts as a communal area.

    Sable Alley – 3 nights

    Water-based adventures are promised at this third camp, with a chance (if the weather allows) to explore those famous Delta channels and spillways by boat and, slowly slowly, traditional mokoro canoe.

    Game drives and – with advance notice – walking safaris are also possible. The local area is particularly renowned for excellent sightings of wild dog.

    Found further south beside a peaceful lagoon and floodplain, Sable Alley is also smarter in style than the two prior camps, and thus offers a luxurious end to your safari. Carefully elevated on raised decking to minimise environmental impact, it’s a classic-style camp of ten twin and two family tents. Guests have access to an open-plan lounge and dining area and a plunge pool.