This small, stylish guesthouse enjoys a tranquil location close to city center of Windhoek. With just 11 rooms, Olive Grove offers an intimate and relaxing stay in an environment of elegant simplicity. All guest rooms have air conditioning, fine-gauge cotton bed linens and down duvets, satellite TV, wireless Internet, safe, mini bar, and coffee- and tea-making facilities with homemade biscuits provided. Natural stone is prevalent throughout, especially in the indulgent bathrooms. Common areas include a central open-air lounge with fireplace, indoor and outdoor dining areas, plunge pool, open-air spa bath on the deck, and beautiful gardens. The Wellness Room offers a selection of spa treatments, a welcome way to unwind after a long round of travel.The open-to-view gourmet kitchen serves a full breakfast and elegant dinners. Each guest room has its own veranda with tables and chairs, for guests who may wish to dine al fresco in privacy.
Kulala Wilderness Reserve, Namibia
Little Kulala lies within the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve, the only reserve with direct access to Sossusvlei and the Namib – the world’s oldest desert with the world’s tallest sand dunes. The flight itself to the camp provides jaw-dropping views of the spectacular landscape that has made Namibia a favorite feature for National Geographic magazine. The camp offers magnificent dune scenery to the west and a rugged, mountainous Namib escarpment to the north and east, with grassy plains and “fairy circles” filling the space in between. The camp’s 11 stylish thatched villas or kulalas (meaning ‘to sleep’ in the local Oshiwambo language) merge impeccably into the timeless desert landscape, with exquisite furnishings and fixtures, innovative bleached decks, and indoor and outdoor showers. Each villa has its own private plunge pool and a rooftop 'skybed' for romantic stargazing. The main area offers a relaxed lounge, dining room, bar and curio shop all under thatch.
Early morning game drives to the magnificent dunes take guests through a private gate into the reserve, for close-up views. Guided drives and walks are also offered on the private reserve for a chance to see desert animals and smaller desert fauna and flora. During our explorations we may see lone oryx, ostrich or other wildlife as they traverse the massive golden dunes.
Desert Rhino Camp
Palmwag Concession, Namibia
Desert Rhino Camp lies among rolling, rocky hills and exudes a tranquil, minimalist beauty. Despite the austere surroundings, there is a surprising amount of wildlife in the private concession. The camp is run in conjunction with Save the Rhino Trust (SRT), an organization that has been has been singly responsible for helping to ensure that the rare, desert-adapted black rhinoceros survived the slaughter that went on throughout other parts of Africa in the 1980s and '90s. Today this population of black rhino is growing, and the area boasts the largest concentration of rhino anywhere on the planet outside of a national park. Community game scouts who were employed by the Trust to help with the patrolling and monitoring over the years are now seconded to the camp to serve as its trackers and guides. Guests gain amazing insight into the ecology and conservation of this area, while at the same time a portion of the revenue contributes to the Trust and its rhino conservation projects.
Desert Rhino Camp has eight large Meru-style tents, each with en suite bathroom and shower. A tented dining and living area offers uninterrupted views of the desert and mountains, and the extraordinary welwitschia plants that dot the plain in front of camp. Activities include rhino tracking on foot or by vehicle, full-day outings with a picnic lunch, birding and day and night nature drives to explore this intricate ecosystem. Dedicated guides provide an informative and exciting experience of a unique region. The concession's freshwater springs support healthy populations of desert-adapted black rhino, desert-adapted elephant, Hartmann's mountain zebra, giraffe, gemsbok, springbok, kudu and predators such as lion, cheetah, leopard, brown and spotted hyena. Bird life is prolific and diverse with most of Namibia's endemics present.
Etosha National Park
Ongava Lodge is situated along the southern boundary of Etosha National Park in the privately owned Ongava Game Reserve. The lodge offers luxury accommodations in 14 en-suite units made of rock and thatch. The main lounge, bar and dining areas offer impressive views, as they are situated close to the top of a hill, surveying the foothills of the unpronounceable Ondundozonanandana Range. An inviting pool beckons guests to cool off in the heat of the day. Meals are either served in the main dining area under thatch with a view over the camp's waterhole, or on the dining deck under the stars. Ongava Lodge was listed on the Condé Nast Traveler's Gold Reserve List for 2005.
Etosha National Park is Namibia's premier wildlife destination and one of Africa's largest game reserves. Large herds of wildlife teem around the waterholes and the endless plains offer breathtaking vistas. Activities include game drives in open 4x4 vehicles into the Okaukuejo area of Etosha where lion, elephant (seasonal), gemsbok, springbok, black rhino, greater kudu and red hartebeest are seen at numerous waterholes and fringing habitats. Apex predators like leopard, cheetah and spotted hyena are also present in this area.
In addition, hides and guided walks are available on the private reserve. Ongava is one of the few private reserves in southern Africa with resident white and black rhino, allowing guests the unique opportunity to see both of these charismatic species. For those who enjoy close wildlife encounters, tracking white rhino on foot with a guide is a highlight not to be missed.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Pelo Camp is a new seasonal camp on the Jao Concession offering classic water-based activities in the permanently flooded portion of the Okavango. Pelo means "heart," a fitting name, as the island on which the camp sits is heart-shaped – discernible when flying in. Located as deep in the watery heart of the delta as you can get, Pelo Camp is designed to offer a genuine wilderness experience with a light footprint. Guests will boat into camp from the Jao airstrip, and once in camp, the prime activity will be excursions by mokoro, the traditional wooden dugout canoe used in the delta. Though the camp's location is fixed, it utilizes no permanent structures other than flushing toilets with a septic system. The camp is comprised entirely of tents that house private guest accommodations, a main lounge and dining area, kitchen, laundry and small staff village. Individual guest tents have private covered verandas and en suite bathrooms with flush toilets and running water in the basins. Each tent has a private outdoor shower located just a few steps outside your tent that is filled with hot water on request throughout the day. Pelo Camp enjoys a lovely shaded location between wild date palms, jackalberry and Natal mahogany trees. An outdoor boma area and a raised platform expand the public space.
Little Tubu Camp
Okavango Delta, Botswana
An exclusive camp perfect for families and small groups, Little Tubu is located on Hunda Island, shaded beneath a canopy of trees overlooking a seasonal riverbed. The intimate camp accommodates just seven guests, offering an exceptionally private and secluded bush experience. The traditional-style tents are set on raised wooden platforms, each with a private viewing deck, en suite bathroom and outdoor shower. Elevated walkways link the tents to the main dining, bar and pool areas. The complex is designed to blend seamlessly into the surrounding environment while maximizing views of the Okavango Delta. Little Tubu's style and setting enhance an authentic feel of being on safari in the wilderness among prolific wildlife. Hunda Island is a wildlife sanctuary noted for its diversity and numbers of predators, and leopard viewing on the island is particularly noteworthy. Wildlife drives reveal impala, lechwe, giraffe, zebra and much more, while poled excursions in a mokoro—the traditional dugout canoe of the delta—allow for silent contemplation of crystal-clear waters, reed frogs and waterlilies.
Chitabe Lediba Camp
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Neighboring the Moremi Game Reserve in the southeast of the Okavango Delta, Chitabe Concession covers 28,000 hectares with a multiplicity of habitats, from savannah to forested islands and floodplains. Chitabe Lediba is a small and intimate camp within the concession – perfect as a private accommodation for small groups or families, as its two family units have adjoining bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms. All five spacious Meru-style tents are built on raised decks. En-suite bathrooms complement the outdoor shower "with a view." A dining area, lounge and pool have glorious views over the surrounding floodplains and a small lediba (remnant lagoon that has become a waterhole), after which the camp is named, where game comes to drink during the day.
Morning and afternoon game drives explore the area in search of its denizens, with the evening drive usually returning after dark in order to get a chance at spotting the shy nocturnal animals such as genet, civet, serval, porcupine and possibly aardwolf. Wildlife on view here includes elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and cheetah and wild dog are sometimes found in the area. Guests should also see zebra, tsessebe, giraffe, kudu and impala.
Linyanti Private Reserve, Botswana
Situated in the southern part of the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve in northern Botswana, Savuti Camp is built on the banks of the Savute Channel (yes, two spelling in this area), an elusive waterway that ebbs and flows over the years. This is the heart of a legendary wildlife region best known for its large number of predators, as well as one of Africa’s biggest elephant populations. These are Kalahari elephants, the largest elephant species.
Accommodating 14 guests in seven spacious walk-in tents, Savuti Camp is a small and intimate enclave in an isolated area, far from other visitors. Each elevated tent has its own bathroom with a large indoor shower, twin copper hand basins and a separate flush toilet. Four-poster beds are draped in gauzy mosquito netting and ceiling fans keep the air moving overhead. Look out onto the riverbed from oversized chairs on your private veranda, or pen a safari-inspired letter at your writing desk. Each room has a private safe. In the common area, relax in the lounge and enjoy fine meals in the separate dining room and pub, sheltered under reed and thatch. A plunge pool is also available for afternoon refreshment.
The Savute Channel has been in flux in recent decades, creating an ever-shifting habitat for a wide range of wildlife. It stopped flowing between 1980 and 2008, and what was a once hippo-filled river became wide-open grasslands. Curiously, in 2008, the Savute Channel once more became a deep, clear waterway harboring hippos, aquatic life, and myriad water birds. In 2016, the constant shift of the earth’s tectonic plates caused the Savute Channel to again become a dry wilderness. The erratic source of water creates both opportunities and challenges for local wildlife, which have to adapt to a shifting environment. Besides the normal plains game, the area has good concentrations of roan, sable antelope and southern giraffe. All the predators are found in the area—lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena and wild dog. Game-viewing activities include day and night drives and walks with an armed guide. There are also a number of hides where guests can view animals quietly and safely away from vehicles.
Luxurious Toka Leya Camp enjoys a prime location overlooking the Zambezi River. The east side of the camp is shaded beneath a canopy of trees, while the west side enjoys an open setting next to an ancient baobab tree. Wildlife around the camp includes elephants and crocodiles along the riverbanks and islands, and plenty of resident hippo that often create a ruckus nearby. A wide variety of birds are also on display.
The camp's 12 tents are raised on stilts and connected by wooden walkways to the main common area, minimizing the footprint on the land. Tent interiors utilize earthy hues in harmony with the natural environs. All have private shaded wooden decks with expansive views over the Zambezi’s braided channels. Each tent has individual climate control settings to ensure a cool summer sanctuary. Gauzy mosquito nets are draped over poster beds, and spacious en suite bathrooms have double-basin vanities and large showers. The camp’s shared central area incorporates a lounge with plush sofas and reading lamps, a bar, and a canvas-sheltered dining area complete with traditional pizza oven. A swimming pool is surrounded by a large wooden sun deck with lounge chairs overlooking the river.
Activities in the area include a Victoria Falls tour, sunset cruises, and guided nature walks and game drives in Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, home to Cape buffalo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, impala and more. A special highlight includes the possibility of spotting a white rhinoceros in the park. Guests can also explore the town of Livingstone and its museums, and a nearby village. A visit to the village offers a chance to see how local people live, with insights into their culture and traditions. Other activities available at an additional charge include helicopter flights, canoeing, jet boating and whitewater rafting.
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