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Sandibe Lodge

Sandibe Lodge

Imagine waking up every morning to the call of a fish-eagle and its mate, or possibly to the sounds of a Francolin scurrying to a feeding spot, or (if you are lucky?) to the trumpet of an elephant announcing its arrival in no uncertain terms.

Sandibe Safari Lodge is situated next to a permanent channel of the Okavango Delta and combines the water experience with that of big game viewing on dry land. Guests here have exclusive access to 66,700 acres of wilderness adjacent to the world famous Moremi Game Reserve. The terrain comprises six broad habitats with a diversity of bird, plant, and animal species to match.

The wildlife in the area around Sandibe is quite good, with red lechwe, impala, tsessebe, kudu, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and resident herds of buffalo and elephant. The dominant predators are lion and leopard, but cheetah and hyena are seen here too. Sandibe Safari Lodge has the dubious privilege of a “resident” elephant who often likes to hog the paths and appear at the swimming pool.

Accommodation at Sandibe is in eight en-suite thatched cottages, which are of solid construction and have large gauze covered windows. The interiors are beautifully decorated and have ceiling fans and screeded floors for maximum coolness in the heat of the day. Comfortable beds with unusual copper-colored mosquito nets make for good sleeping after you finally settle down from a day full of adventure. All the cottages face the water and are shaded by the tall tree canopy. The en-suite bathrooms offer a delightful outside showers for washing “al fresco.” Raised decks afford great views of the surrounding area.

Sandibe's two-story main lounge and dining area is a soaring, open structure that is extremely inviting. The décor is in pleasing neutral tones, and the African art and artefacts seem at home in the environs. The ground floor hosts an appealing lounge area with a well-stocked fridge for helping yourself to drinks. The covered dining area is attractive, but when the weather is good meals are often taken outside next to the open fire. During the rainy season, dinner is often served in your private cottage, as even the dining area is a little too open to the elements. An excellent wine cellar offers the standard wines but also has a good selection of premium wines and champagne. On the upper level are more comfy chairs, and the views are excellent. A splash pool is a set just apart from the main area, but sun-loungers and shady trees make it a prime spot for relaxation.

Daily and nightly game drives led by experienced tracker-guides are the primary activity at Sandibe. Bush walks in the delta are an excellent way to connect with the bush in a more intimate way. Mokoro (traditional dug-out canoe) excursions are perhaps the quintessential delta activity. Both by mokoro and by specially-designed “silent” motoboats, guests can get quite close to animals that would otherwise be too skittish to approach or simply not accessible via land.

Birdwatching is excellent and numerous water birds, including ducks, geese, and teals, are common, while more unusual specialities include long-winged falcons, slaty egrets, black coucals, black egrets, and brown fire finches.

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