We also hear owls, elephants and sometimes the lion’s roar, which is my favourite sound in the bush and can be heard for miles around…
We have an amazing position in the delta at Camp Okavango, so we wanted to give guests a unique way to experience it.
So over lockdown, we built a sleepout deck in the middle of the bush! It’s about a 10-minute drive from the lodge, in a really remote area, with a double bed and bathroom set up on a raised, stilted platform.
One of our guiding team drives guests out in the evening after dinner and leaves them for the night, staying close by so we’re on call if needed. Guests are given a radio to call on, and then we come back in the morning with tea and coffee.
The deck is totally open apart from the mosquito nets, so guests can expect to hear plenty of night sounds! You can see and hear plenty of wildlife passing by beneath you – hippos grazing on the grassy area around it, reminding you you’re in the Okavango Delta. We also hear owls, elephants, and sometimes the lion’s roar, which is my favourite sound in the bush and can be heard for miles around.
It can get cold in the night, so we tell guests to bring lots of warm layers, but there are hot water bottles in the bed to keep you warm, and because it’s the dry season, there aren’t many insects around.
Of course one of the biggest draws is sleeping under the clear night sky; the stars are very bright here as there’s no light pollution, and you can often see satellites going over, which is incredible. Then in the morning there’s an amazing sunrise over the delta, as the deck faces the east.
The deck is free for guests staying three nights or more from June to the end of October, and we’ve had older guests as well as younger couples trying it – an extra bed can also be added for families wanting to get adventurous. It’s quite an unusual thing to have in Botswana – sleepout decks are popular in South Africa but fairly new here – so everyone is really excited about it. Sleeping under the stars in the middle of nowhere might not be for everyone, but for guests after a real adventure, it’s an amazing way to experience the bush.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Louise, who's travelled extensively in Botswana. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the rangers who'll ensure you'll spot the best wildlife in Chobe, the village chiefs who'll give you an insight into local life and the helicopter pilots who can land you on an island in the Delta never visited by humans before.
Freephone an expert 01306 744 656