In the Okavango Delta accommodation is almost entirely prebooked with travel arrangements made by a tour operator. Access to remote camps and lodges is primarily by light aircraft or helicopter, although some can be reached by vehicle or boat.
Government policy, coupled with the geography of the Okavango Delta, has ensured that Okavango Delta accommodation has remained exclusive. Most camps and lodges are sited on large concessions meaning that you might not see anyone from another camp during your stay. Even when camps and lodges share concessions activities are often restricted to their allocated area.
Generally Okavango Delta accommodation is focused on either water, Desert & Delta Safaris’ Xugana Island Lodge, or land, Wilderness Safaris’ Mombo Camp, activities, however camps and lodges such as Ker & Downey Botswana’s Kanana combine both activity types.
To reduce the impact on the environment Okavango Delta accommodation is required to be non-permanent. Camp and Lodge operators have however not allowed this requirement to detract from the quality of their properties with the Okavango Delta containing some of the most luxurious camps and lodges in Africa. Many camps and lodges are still tented in the traditional style, with some like Footsteps Across the Delta still utilising comfortable explorer style Meru tents, but in recent years radical modern wood and canvas designs, such as &Beyond’s Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge, have become popular.
All Okavango Delta accommodation is graded by the Botswana Tourism Organisation. This gives a rough understanding of the standard of the accommodation and provides a basis for comparison. It is however difficult to capture the essence of such unique properties on such a matrix based standard and grading should form one variable when comparing accommodation.
Self-supported camping is possible in the Moremi Game Reserve and some of the surrounding concessions. It must be noted that arrangements should be made before you travel both to book your campsite and pay park entry fees.
The Major Lodge Operators
Africa’s preeminent safari operator, Wilderness Safaris have properties in most of Africa’s safari destinations and with their aircraft operator, Wilderness Air, are able to put together safaris from the mid to high budget level. Some of Wilderness Safaris’ best known properties are Mombo and King’s Pool.
With limited properties in the Okavango Delta, but an extensive portfolio in the Kwando concession, Kwando provide a good balance of land and water based camps and lodges.
Desert & Delta Safaris
Desert & Delta Safaris have a broad collection of lodges both in the Okavango Delta and surrounding safari country. These diverse lodges provide an excellent overall safari experience.
Ker & Downey Botswana
Perhaps Botswana’s oldest safari operator, Ker & Downey Botswana has an excellent footprint of camps throughout northern Botswana and with its specialist products such as Young Explorers, for children, and Footsteps Across the Delta and excellent guides offer an excellent product for discerning visitors.
The product of a tour operator, Afro Ventures and lodge operator, CCAfrica, &Beyond is primarily known for its lodges in east and South Africa.
Lodges of Botswana
One of the older locally run operations within the Okavango Delta, Lodges of Botswana run authentic rustic properties.
A five star lodge operator Sanctuary Retreats operate two properties in the Okavango Delta as well as Chobe Chiwero just outside the Chobe National Park. These recently renovated Delta properties offer elephant interaction.
One of the best known travel brands in the world, Belmond Safaris operate two properties in the Delta. When combined with Savuti Elephant Camp these provide a broad mix of land and water camps.