Best places to stay on safari in the Okavango Delta

Best Places To Stay On Safari In The Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta could be described as Africa's finest safari destination. As the world's only inland delta, this magical place is one of a kind in its own right. On an annual basis, the rain in the Angolan highlands causes the Okavango River to swell and overflow. The flooding transforms the Okavango's grassy plains into an underwater playground for elephants and hippos that frolic in the vast quantities of water. The water levels don't deter the predators however, and the abundance of water attracts wildlife from far and wide, making it a hub of life and natural splendour. Predator-prey interactions are frequently seen, especially between lion and buffalo which make for adrenaline fuelled viewing. The Delta is also home to one of the highest pack densities of Africa's most enigmatic characters: the wild dog. For those safari enthusiasts who are hoping to spend time with these magnificent creatures, the Okavango should definitely be an option to consider. With the vast amount of game, combined with the extraordinarily beautiful landscapes, the photographic opportunities are second-to-none. The possibility of boat safaris as well as walking and driving safaris present a whole host of adventurous ways to get up close and personal, from different perspectives, of the wildlife. All camps are fly-in resulting in a truly wild and immersed experience that is hard to rival anywhere else on the planet. The government's 'high quality, low quantity' tourism scheme means that staying in the Delta does come at a high price, but the reward is a far more secluded and personal experience.

There are loads of safari camps and lodges in the Okavango Delta, ranging from the infamous Duba Plains to the charming and isolated Little Vumbura, but no matter where you stay, you are sure to have an enchanting time that you will remember forever.

Little Vumbura

Little Vumbura is gorgeous camp set on an island, well off the beaten track.  This classic Wilderness Safaris camp is a favourite of ours and we have a big soft spot for using it over its big sister, Vumbura Plains.  Little Vumbura only has 6 rooms whereas Vumbura Plains is made up of two, nine room camps.  The difference in service is noticeable as main camp is a premier camp. But when it comes to the decision as to which one, there is no doubt that Little Vumbura has more charm.


The name Qorokwe means “the place where the buffalo broke through the bush into the water" and is evocative of the high-density game area in which it is situated. Qorokwe in the south-eastern part of the Okavango Delta, reveals diverse habitats supporting a wealth of wildlife, earning the area’s well-deserved reputation as one of the best Botswana safari destinations.

Vumbura Plains

Vumbura Plains has a great setting overlooking a floodplain of bulrushes and papyrus; the lodge is charming.  We like this camp for its spaciousness.  You really feel like you have your own little house in the bush.  The rooms are great and the main areas offer 360 degree views.  The game here is incredibly varied and its position in the Delta permits a wide range of activities. The game is VERY good and the rooms, complete with virtually everything you could ever need, are fantastic.  So if you want luxury and have the budget then it is a good option but if you want something less luxurious and smaller, then Little Vumbura is a good choice.


Wilderness Safaris Chitabe Camp is one of the Okavango Delta’s finest safari camps for dry game viewing. Located in the Southern Okavango this camp receives very little water and so no boating activities are possible. However the quality of game viewing in the area is phenomenal with Chitabe well respected as being one of the best big game viewing areas in the country. A fantastic little camp which is a great combination with one of the Okavango’s wet camps


Jao is one of Africa’s most famous camps.  Built high up into the trees the design of Jao truly takes your breath away; the rooms are absolutely beautiful with vast beds, lounges and outside double ‘sala’ beds.  The communal areas offer views out over the flood plains from the high trees surrounding camp and the game is very good throughout the year.

Little Kwara

Little Kwara is the sister camp to Kwara itself and again, Kwando have come up with the goods!  The main reason we love Kwando is their dedication to the client experience.  They focus so much on the quality of their guides and providing a real safari atmosphere in camp that they have become incredibly well regarded by safari connoisseurs.  The camp is unpretentious, intimate and authentic and the game area, with access to big river safaris.  So Little Kwara does not let you down, carrying all the quality we expect from the Kwando tag.

Okavango Horse Safaris

Regarded as one of the best safari experiences around, this reputable safari is a natural, safari-focused and authentic bush experience. Okavango Horse Safaris have been operating longer than anyone else in the Okavango Delta and carry with them a wealth of local knowledge, guiding skills and experience. There is no better way to go on safari than horseback and there is no one better to go with than Okavango Horse Safaris. Nothing beats the best guides, close game viewing, intimate wildlife moments, adventure and experience than the knowledge, expertise and professionalism of Okavango Horse Safaris. Our favourite riding experience in Africa.


The word Pelo in Setswana means ‘heart’ – a fitting name inspired by the distinct heart-shaped island on which the camp is built in the heart of the Jao Concession. This is the Delta as it is meant to be enjoyed – remote, genuine, and wild.


We visited Sandibe a month before its re-opening in September 2014 and found a brave but successful redesign of an &Beyond lodge we used to dislike because of its concrete foundations. It is one of the best concessions in Botswana for game and it now has a very good lodge to match.


A new Kwando Safaris camp, Splash Camp opened in June 2018. Within the private Kwara Reserve, this camp hosts a very friendly, authentic and relaxed atmosphere in a fantastic animal dense area. Kwando have always put customer experience at the heart of everything they do and the new Splash Camp is no exception to this.


Wilderness Safaris' Abu Camp is one of the continent's most unique safari experiences and is widely regarded as offering the finest elephant interaction on the planet.  Located in the heart of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, Abu Camp is one of Africa’s most luxurious camps and the only Wilderness Safaris product to have its own luxury brand.  Safari at Abu takes place amongst a herd of elephant with guests riding or walking with the herd, exploring one of the most beautiful parts of the Okavango.  The camp itself is one of Africa’s finest.  A truly exceptional safari experience... 

Camp Okavango

Camp Okavango, a unique and exclusive African safari camp is situated on the remote Nxaragha Island. This hidden treasure, in the heart of the permanent Okavango Delta, assures its guests of an unparalleled year-round water wilderness experience.


Kwara Camp is a really great camp set in a lovely area of the Okavango.  What we really love about Kwando is their dedication to the client experience. They focus so much on the quality of their guides and providing a real safari atmosphere in camp that they have become incredibly well regarded by safari connoisseurs.  The location is just as good and with easy access to main river channels of the Okavango they have the full range of activities on offer. We do prefer Little Kwara as the camp is just that little bit more intimate… but we have always loved Kwara!


Kwetsani is a magnificent camp, set high up in the trees on an island that looks over the Northern plains of the Jao flats. We really like this camp as it is extremely spacious, has stunning views and great balance between activities. With only 5 rooms, all spread out along the fringes of the island you can be sure to find your escape and privacy here. We love Kwetsani and actually think it is the best camp in this whole concession!

Little Tubu

Located on Hunda Island and nestled amongst a canopy of trees overlooking a seasonal riverbed, Little Tubu offers an exceptional and intimate bush experience for just six guests.

Machaba Camp

Situated in the game rich Khwai area on the eastern tongue of the Okavango Delta, lies the sophisticated Machaba Camp. The setting is exquisite and guests will fall in love with the understated elegant colonial architeture of Machaba. Wake up to the sounds of hippo wallowing in the Delta and enjoy outdoor dining on the banks of the Khwai.


Motswiri is a small and personal camp, stylishly and comfortably rebuilt in 2010. It meets the latest, exacting environmental standards and is largely solar powered. They pride themselves on personal service, attention to detail and ability to tailor activities to suit individual ambitions and interests.
The camp is located on the banks of the spectacular Selinda Spillway, an ancient watercourse linking the Okavango and Kwando-Linyanti floodplains in northern Botswana. The Selinda Reserve lies to the east of the Okavango Panhandle, and is a revered and exquisite wildlife area.

Nxabega Tented Camp

Nxabega is a good tented camp.  It is not glamorous but it fits the &Beyond model of good standards of accommodation with great levels of guiding and high quality food and service.  The rooms are smart but not the type to set you alight and the communal areas are similar. Given the price tag, they should be more appealing.  In addition, the area is nice but it is not known for its concentrations of large game.  It is a very tranquil spot with pockets of interesting animals and a variety of terrain.


Once used full time as an elephant research facility, Seba Camp sits on a beautiful little lake. Predominantly now used for safari, the camp still offers clients a chance to mingle with the researchers who are working in the area. Alongside this, with access to good game viewing and the water of the lake, Seba is a fantastic option for families and couples alike. Our preferred camp in the Abu concession, Seba is a good option for those wanting wilderness rather than game abundance.

Tubu Tree

Due to the camp's location, on the edge of a massive island, Tubu has an advantage over the other camps in the Jao Reserve in that it has easy access to a large island and therefore can easily offer long game drives. The other camps in Jao are surrounded by the Okavango’s flood water during the heavy flood months and therefore game drives are trickier to arrange. Tubu itself is stunning and with only 5 rooms it gives off a homely safari feel that many of the other camps lack. Overall Tubu Tree is one of our favourite camps in the Jao concession (which is saying a lot as the camp quality in this reserve is set very high) and one of the most unpretentious camps in the entire Delta. We love it and wish that other countries had lodges of this quality!!


This camp is all about an area of stunning beauty and nature at its most delicate.  When the flood water comes down from Angola, the Kalahari changes from an arid desert into a lush lily covered wetland filled with life.  Nowhere in the whole of the Okavango is this more beautiful that in the area surrounding Xigera.  Look at the camp and you will see that it is very close to the famous Mombo….but the sheer volume of big game that Mombo is so famous for is cut off by water and cannot get to the Xigera concession; a genuinely stunning area.


The central areas at Baines are stunning and with only 4 rooms the lodge is one of the most exclusive throughout the whole of Botswana. The food and service is top class. Couple all this with the fact that the elephant interaction on offer, with ‘Elephant Guardian’ Douglas Alan Groves, being one of the most unique experiences on offer and you have the making of a top safari lodge. However…the resident game in the area is poor in comparison to elsewhere and neighboring Stanleys is quite a bit cheaper. So, for this reserve we actually prefer Stanleys and believe that a 2 night stay is sufficient. Overall, good but not quite good enough


Located on the banks of the Khwai River, Banoka Bush Camp is situated in the north-eastern corner of the Okavango Delta, adjoining the Moremi Game Reserve.  The accommodation comprises ten en-suite tented rooms complete with private verandas. As a family camp that welcomes children over 6 years old, Banoka offers two family tents each accommodating two adults and two children.  A great selection of game drives, night drives, boating, mokoro trips, fishing and walking activities are available.

Duba Plains

Great Plains Conservation’s Duba Plains is one of Africa’s most famous safari camps. Renowned for its unique interaction between the areas lion prides and buffalo herds, Duba offers a game viewing experience like nowhere else on the continent. Made famous by the film makers Derek and Beverley Joubert, the ‘Lions of Duba’ hunt buffalo diurnally and are the only lions in Africa to habitually hunt in water. As a result Duba Plains is one of Botswana’s most popular camps and is considered as one of the finest lion viewing camps in Africa. 


Jacana is a lovely small camp, set well off the beaten track and prides itself on its magical water-based experiences.  Being inaccessible by vehicle and only by boat you get a real sense of privacy and exclusivity.  For a Wilderness camp, it doesn’t blow your socks off with style but certainly with character.  It offers that relaxed feel that a lot of the more formal camps don’t have. Depending on  the season, it is always worth considering adding to an itinerary.  We love Jacana as it epitomizes the very essence of the Okavango…..this is unpretentious luxury at its best.  And it is absolutely exceptional for birding.

Pom Pom

A very airy and tropical feel to the camp makes for a jumpy and bright atmosphere, predominantly aided by the sheer brilliant design of the open main area. With everything on your doorstep and only 15 minutes from its private airstrip, Pom Pom is an effortless, comfortable camp with everything on offer. It has a great mix of game and terrain and offers a great value camp in a sensible price bracket.

Stanleys Camp

Overall we love this camp but question the real quality of the safari on offer. Yes the area is beautiful but in our experience the resident game has been somewhat poor. With all that said, the elephant experience is just superb….but for the camps we actually prefer Stanleys to its more expensive sister Baines! Yes the camp is twice the size but it is still not big and seems to house a much more attractive character. The activities on offer at Stanleys are exactly the same as at Baines, with the superb elephant activities with ‘Elephant Guardian’ Douglas Alan Groves a must do! So, in summary, a great camp for 2 nights, not 3….come here for the elephants, go elsewhere for the game!


Xaranna is a different camp with a very current feel to it. Not the type of place you would expect to stay in on safari. The prominent colours of the camp are lime green and white! It has tried to be contemporary and it just doesn’t fit in with its surroundings. More to the point, when the floods are up, which is when the delta is in peak season, there is very little land for game driving and night drives are hindered by the flood levels, therefore limiting activities. If you’re not after an authentic safari but more so the current and spruced up feel to life, then Xaranna is a good best bet.


Xudum belongs to &Beyond who have some fantastic lodges, but this one, as amazing as it is, really lets the product down. Designed for those wanting all the creature comforts you get in smart city hotels and it really takes the safari out of safari. The lodge itself is lovely if you are after this and not so great if you want to experience the wilderness. That aside, the game in the area is very poor and when the floods are up, there is very little land to game drive on.

Gunns Camp

Gunns Camp is part of the Under One Botswana Sky camp collection, an extremely well regarded safari operator with years of experience. With only 6 rooms, fantastic game, an excellent location and superb value for money, it’s a great camp to include in an Under One Botswana Sky circuit


Operated by Kerr and Downey Safaris, Kanana Camp is well positioned over on the western side of the Okavango Delta. The lodge itself is set on a small island that sits in between two “fingers” of the delta channels and is known as being a predominantly wet camp as opposed to the drier camps of the eastern delta. With great food and stunning views, the camp is very good for those wanting mainly water based activities. We like the camp as it has an intimate feel…it can be a little tricky to find game, however!

Moremi Crossing

This is a new style of camp to the delta. It has 16 rooms, not the usual 9 rooms, but what a great value accommodation to experience, at its best, what the delta is famous for: its waterways. The location is superb with excellent views and it is lovely place to relax and soak up the bush.


Okuti is a lovely little camp with a lot of heritage which clearly shows through in the experience. Moremi offers year round game viewing and Okuti is well located enough to remain relatively remote within the game reserve. It’s a good value camp and perfect for those looking to keep costs down.


Shinde delivers a fantastic safari experience. It’s once of the Okavango’s oldest camps and continually meet expectations. The game is great and the camp offers a very personal and intimate experience whilst all forms of game activities are on offer.

More information about Okavango Delta Safaris – Best Places To Stay In Okavango Delta Safaris


  • Lion, Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Rhino, Wild Dog and Cheetah. This park has 6 out of our Big 7 icon
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Okavango Delta Safari Lodges



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