A guide to the Okavango Delta concessionsRead More
At the south eastern extreme of the Delta, NG 32 is a large concession is situated to the south of the Chitabe Concession. This is a community operated concession and home to Sanctuary Safaris’ two land and water Delta camps as well as more recent camps. When water levels allow, NG 32 is the route for one to four day mokoro trips from Maun up the Boro River into the Delta.
NG 32 is 260,000 acres in size. It shares part of its border with the Moremi Game Reserve and benefits from the movement of the varied and prolific game from the reserve. It lies to the south of the Chitabe Concession. It is divided from the Maun area with its significant human population by the veterinary fence. Because of its southernmost position in the Delta, it is the last area to receive the floods so if it is a year of low water, the area can remain much drier than more central Okavango Delta locations. The water for the area comes from the Delta via the Boro and Santantadibe rivers.
The concession is controlled by the Okavango Kopano Mokoro Community Trust (“OKMCT”), a trust registered in 1997 as part of the community based natural resources management policy. The trust serves six villages namely Ditshuping, Boro ,Xharaxao, Xuoxao, Daunara and Xaxaba. These villages’ inhabitants come from the local tribe called Bayei. The OKMCT is made up of board-members from these communities. OKMCT’s aim is to benefit its communities by means of tourism so that the local tribespeople can benefit from the natural resources in their area.
The concession has been divided by leases granted by the OKMCT into areas that are held by several safari companies. Sanctuary Safaris operates the long-established Baines’ Camp and Stanley’s Camp. Machaba’s Gomoti Plains is to the north east and near to the Gomoti River. Qorokwe is a Wilderness camp and Amber River and Maru are two new camps run by Okavango Hidden Gems.
Animals – This concession is home to the Living with Elephants Foundation which was started by Sandi and Doug Groves, who first came to Botswana to return elephants from America to Africa as part of a film project. Therefore, if you are keen on elephant interaction, visit NG 32 or the Abu Concession NG 26, the only other concession where these sorts of meetings up close with habituated and handled elephants take place.
Currently the Foundation cares for Jabu and Morula, two rescued elephants who were orphaned during an elephant cull. The elephants are kept in a spacious natural habitat allowing them freedom to explore and forage and to express natural behaviour. Jabu was injured by a bull elephant in a fight for dominance and the Foundation is trialling regenerative treatments for his injured joint in collaboration with Colorado State University Centre for Immune and Regenerative DVM Medicine with the aim of developing stem cell treatment, which would be a world first in elephants. They also run an elephant outreach school programme with the aim of addressing and de-fusing human/ elephant conflict by allowing young Batswana to meet, touch and learn about these magnificent animals up close.
Due to the dry nature of the concession this is a good area to see cheetah. Game viewing is better away from the veterinary fence that divides the south of the concession from the significant human habitation of Maun. In terms of antelope, Kudu, zebra, impala, tsessebe, warthog, reedbuck and red lechwe are found here. Giraffe, buffalo and elephant are also in the area, as are lion in good numbers.
Birds – Due to the peripheral nature of the concession, there is a great combination of dry and wetland birds. Ostriches, sandgrouse, francolin, kgori bustards, yellow and red-billed hornbills are all inhabitants of the drier areas. There is also a good concentration of birds of prey such as goshawks, bateleur and snake eagles.
Plantlife – Due to the lack of regular inundation, the fragrant wild sage occurs in large swathes and also vachellia hebeclada or candle pod vachellia (acacia) which is a sign of a predominantly dry area. There are areas of riparian woodland with jackalberry and sausage trees and also areas of mokolwane palms (Hyphaene petersiana). Around the shallower, more southerly stretches of the Boro and Santantadibe Rivers there is miscanthus and phragmites and as the rivers deepen, the landscape develops more and wider pools and papyrus and palm islands.
Access – By light aircraft
Best Months – The dry season is better for game viewing although bird-watchers will find the rainy season most productive.
Camps: Baines’ Camp, Stanley’s Camp, Gomoti Plains, Qorokwe, Amber River Camp, Camp Maru
Walk Botswana Safaris is an independent mobile outfit specialising in private walking safaris in the Okavango Delta. The focus is on the quality of the guiding, their motto being, ‘a good guide = a good safari’. Every safari is tailormade to suit personal interests and requirements and while walking is the focus other activities are offered too. Camps are offered at various levels of luxury and are set up on private concessions in the Okavango Delta.
David Foot is one of Botswana’s most experienced private guides- specialising in walking and riding safaris in the Okavango Delta and Kalahari. David Foot safaris is a family run outfit offering authentic, unique and highly personable safari experiences on foot and on horseback. Safaris are offered privately or as a group on set departure dates, making this one the most affordable safaris options within this specialist field. Private 4x4 mobile safaris are also offered.
Amber River Camp is the sister camp to Camp Maru and will have the same tented, classic style and atmosphere. Amber River Camp will be situated 30 minutes by mokoro from Camp Maru and will open in 2020. Like Camp Maru, Amber River Camp will have only six tents for an exclusive, intimate experience. Natural luxury is the byword at Amber River Camp.
If you are looking for old-world, authentic and pared down luxury evoking the first days of safari in the 1930s, Camp Maru captures that spirit. The camp has only six tents and a maximum of twelve guests and offers intimacy and exclusivity in classic, comfortable canvas tents shaded by a grove of magnificent leadwood trees. Camp Maru’s setting at the edge of a permanent lagoon is a magnet for bird and wildlife.
The latest edition to the Machaba Safaris collection, Kiri Camp in the Okavango Delta is due to open in 2021. Like Gomoti Plains Camp, it lies in the NG32 private concession and offers the same superb and exclusive game viewing experience. Kiri Camp promises to be a stylish and luxurious camp with views overlooking the Kiri channel offering game drives and mokoro rides. Given the track record of their camps, we have high hopes for Kiri Camp.
Gomoti Plains Camp is a classic tented camp with a modern elegant style overlooking the Gomoti river system in a particularly scenic and game rich area of the Okavango Delta. Ten spacious and thoughtfully designed tents offer a fantastic base to explore this exciting area. This area consists of a variety of habitats, from woodland to open grasslands and wetlands attracting an interesting array of wildlife and good concentrations of animals year round. An excellent classic camp.
Overlooking a papyrus -lined river on a private concession bordering the Moremi, Sanctuary Baines’ Camp is a luxury camp with a range of safari activities including an unique elephant interaction. Each spacious room offers expansive views over the Okavango and feature star bed extensions, offering the option to sleep under the stars. Baines' Camp offers guests an intimate, romantic safari experience with land and seasonal water actives.
Set on a beautiful 260,000-acre private concession, bordering the Moremi Game Reserve, and set among majestic ebony and sausage trees, Stanley’s Camp is an intimate property with magnificent views over the floodplains of the Okavango Delta. A classic camp, Stanley’s Camp is surrounded by beautiful riverine forests and is best known for its superb elephant activity, while also offering traditional Okavango land and water activities.
Rra Dinare Camp (meaning ‘Father Buffalo’) lies on a private concession adjacent to the Moremi Game Reserve in the southeastern side of the Delta, an area with varied and exciting game viewing. Overlooking the Gomoti flood plains, Rra Dinare has a scenic setting which enjoys a steady stream of wildlife throughout the day. A traditional, unassuming but very comfortable camp offering some excellent game viewing with 4x4 drives and seasonal moroko activities.
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