I made my first visit to Botswana in southern Africa in 2022. I say first because I desperately hope to return one day.

Botswana may be the most fascinating country in the world.

Located on the northern border of South Africa and the eastern border of Namibia, Botswana is home to Africa’s longest peaceful democracy. It has experienced none of the cataclysmic civil wars, genocides and tribal strife of other African nations. One of the poorest countries in the world less than 100 years ago, it now has one of the highest standards of living in Africa.

It is home to the Okavango Delta and Kalahari Desert, two of the world’s ecological marvels, one wet, one dry.

Botswana boasts the world’s largest elephant population. Wild dogs can be found here. It’s the home of the water safari. Any time you watch a nature show and see elephants or lions in water, chances are, that was filmed in Botswana.

Botswana has also historically offered the highest of high end safari experiences. Due to its especially remote location, even by African standards, it’s difficult to get to, making transportation complicated.

Understanding this, and wanting to target a smaller, wealthier clientele, Botswana’s early safari camps and tourism infrastructure targeted the rich. That continues to this day. Expect a $20,000 USD minimum price tag for even a week-long safari in Botswana with transport when using one of the major outfitters. Considering the distance and time it takes to get to Botswana, I wouldn’t stay for less than a week.

I was hosted on my visit by Desert & Delta Safaris and couldn’t recommend them more highly.

New Okavango Delta Luxury Safari Lodge

Atzaró Okavango Camp in Botswana.
Atzaró Okavango Camp in Botswana. Photo courtesy Atzaró Okavango Camp.

Atzaró Okavango Camp, opening March 2024, is another premium safari lodge in a prime location at the heart of the Delta’s meandering waterways. Atzaró Group’s latest expansion into Africa enjoys its own vast private conservation concession allowing for complete isolation and an unforgettable experience, whilst the luxurious accommodation, facilities, and service provide a safari experience second to none.

Situated in the pristine African wilderness of the wildlife-rich Okavango Delta, the 1100-square-kilometer private concession, offers guests personalized game viewing experiences, free of the overcrowding often found in other safari destinations. Atzaró Okavango Camp delivers an unforgettable journey back in time, blending romance, glamour, authenticity, with unparalleled wildlife encounters and specially curated guest activities. 

Located between the Moremi Game Reserve and the Gomoti Plains this area is widely recognized as one of the most exclusive and animal-rich regions in all of Africa. Expect a once-in-a-lifetime experience in breathtaking surroundings, further enhanced by Atzaró Group’s acclaimed hospitality. Atzaró Okavango Camp have partnered with African Bush Camps, a world-renowned provider of extraordinary wildlife and safari experiences, ensuring only the best local bush knowledge and guiding expertise, drawn from all corners of Africa’s most pristine regions. 

There are 12 romantic suites, eight stand-alone, plus two private villas which contain two suites each, all with plunge pools and elevated ‘star beds’ for the ultimate starry sky views at night. An adjoining private viewing deck is the perfect spot for relaxing sundowners.

Interiors feature parquet flooring, mid-century furnishings and antiques, the feel a colonial and relaxed mix, with luxurious fabrics and amenities. Every suite enjoys a private deck overlooking the majestic lagoon and wildlife-filled waterways. All accommodation has air conditioning, heating for chilly mornings, high-speed wi-fi, en-suite bathrooms, outdoor bath and shower for a true bush experience.

During their stay, guests will enjoy the finest hospitality with infused cocktails from the Palm Bar, an exquisite fine dining area, a fire-lit boma, curated art gallery and boutique, and a delightful wine cellar. The camp’s unique wellness offering includes a state-of-the-art gym, yoga shala and an indulgent spa and rejuvenating treatments.

Guests can partake in sommelier-led wine tastings, and high-tea served on the observation deck. Cocktails and champagne can be enjoyed at the 20-meter-long pool area adjacent to the lagoon, where hippos and elephants become constant companions. 

An Ancestral Boma area provides a sacred space dedicated to the region’s past generations.

Activities include comfortable private game drives and night drives, as well as community visits to the local area. There are guided safari hikes on foot, helicopter safaris, bush dining, open air cinema, photography safaris, stargazing, fishing and dug-out mokoro canoe expeditions.  For families there are a raft of children’s activities to enjoy.

Conservation and Sustainability

Atzaró Okavango Camp in Botswana.
Atzaró Okavango Camp in Botswana. Photo courtesy Atzaró Okavango Camp.

Atzaro Okavangó is involved in important projects in the area to rejuvenate the natural habitat and support the flora and fauna ecosystems. The camp also works with anti-poaching patrols to safeguard the diverse wildlife found in the surrounding areas to prevent illegal hunting and protect endangered species.

During the building phase of Atzaró Okavango, the conservation of existing trees on the site was paramount. There is an on-site solar farm, featuring cutting-edge solar photovoltaic technology with lithium-ion battery storage.  All the water used at the lodge undergoes purification via a state-of-the-art reverse osmosis treatment plant and then the water is re-mineralised.

The camp also operates with sustainable practices, from reducing plastic waste to utilizing renewable energy sources as well as on-site organic matter waste composition of all organic kitchen waste.

Botswana Safari Wildlife

Lions on safari in Botswana
Lions on safari in Botswana. Photo courtesy Atzaró Okavango Camp.

The Okavango Delta’s wildlife is diverse and abundant, thanks to its rich ecosystems, Botswana Government’s vigilant efforts against poaching, and the protection provided by the World Heritage Foundation status. The Delta sustains large concentrations of animals year-round, with seasonal and migratory variations.

Careful management has made it one of the world’s most exclusive wildlife destinations. The camp’s experienced guides from African Bush Camps offer guests unrivalled sightings of elephants, hippopotamus, lions, leopards, gazelles, cheetahs, impala and buffalo.

In addition to the captivating wildlife found naturally in the Okavango Delta, the experienced guides offer guests unparalleled opportunities to witness breathtaking animal views up close and personal. The camp is situated in an area where a dynamic seasonal shift of animals occurs between the arid and grassy regions surrounding the delta itself.

During the wet season, large animals migrate from the delta to the lush grazing plains of its outer regions. As the winter months approach and the grazing fades, the water entices the wildlife back to the delta, and flocks of birds once again making it their home.

The emerald season in November brings the birth of herds of new antelope and Impala, a favorite time of the Camp’s owners when thousands of new foals dot the landscape, attracting large prides of big cats.

The camp offers an ideal vantage point to witness this constant migration of exquisite wildlife in thousands. At Atzaró Okavango Camp, safari travelers can experience the splendor of African wildlife in its natural habitat. The surrounding lagoons, rivers and plains create a landscape teeming with animals, fulfilling every wildlife enthusiast’s dream.

Encouraging longer stays of 5 days or more, the Atzaró Okavango Camp invites guests to fully relax amidst the wildlife and immerse themselves in the soothing sounds of nature. Guests are invited to indulge in the wellness and fitness facilities, following their existing or new routines, rejuvenate, and settle into one of the world’s last untouched wildernesses.

Each private villa is equipped with its own vehicle and ranger, available for sunrise and sunset game drives.

Atzaró Okavango Camp Rates 2024

Rates start from $690 per person and range up to $1490 per person per night during the peak season. Private villa rates, with a capacity of 4, start at $3,450 and go up to $7450 in the peak season.

Enquiries & Bookings: info@atzaro-okavango.com

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