The majority of Okavango Delta accommodation is provided by high-end safari operators like &Beyond and Wilderness Safaris. Stays in the Okavango camps tend to be organised as part of a package with a tour operator – pre-booked including travel arrangements and transfers. Access to the more remote Okavango Delta accommodation is generally by small airplane or helicopter, whilst some camps not so deep into the delta are accessible by jeep or boat.
The Okavango Delta is a land of ‘concessions’
Outside of the Moremi Game Reserve the Okavango Delta is divided into a number of large private concessions, leased from the Botswana Land Board. These areas were once hunting concessions, and have evolved over the decades to be used by safari operators to offer solely non-hunting safaris. The leases now come with strict environmental standards, ensuring the pristine environment is maintained.
One of the benefits here is that all lodges in the Okavango Delta are non-permanent. Thankfully this hasn’t stopped the accommodation from detracting 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 utilizing 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.
There are XX These concessions offer a large variety of habitats -and safari experiences.
There’s more flexibility in staying in concessions as they allow a broader range of activities such as walking and mokoro safaris as well as night game drives.
Some concessions have multiple safari lodges, while others have just one lodge, ensuring absolute exclusivity on your safari.
This policy of concessions, when combined with the geography of the Okavango Delta has ensured the safari experience here remains exclusive, with few visitors experiencing very low impact activities. Most camps and lodges are sited on large concessions meaning you’re unlikely to see anyone from another camp during your stay.
Should your camp focus on water, land, or both?
Because of the geography of the Okavango Delta, camps and lodges here tend to focus on either the water or the land, with some camps in a position to offer safaris in both habitats to an equal standard.
Water-focussed Okavango camps
Set on the edge of permanent lagoons and rivers, the Okavango’s water-based camps offer water activities year-round.
These camps allow guests to explore the unique delta ecosystem through safari activities such as motorboat and mokoro excursions, safari walks, and often catch and release fishing. As such water-based Okavango camps offer unique views of the delta’s aquatic life and spectacular birdlife.
- Activities such as mokoro safaris, motorboat excursions, walking safaris, and fishing are year-round
- Beautiful locations on remote islands, deep in the watery wilderness
- Outstanding birdlife is all around, from bright bee-eaters to colourful kingfishers
- Beautifully located lodges on remote, forested islands
- Many water-based camps don’t offer game drives
Here are three great water-focussed Okavango camps, or see our pick of the best Okavango water-focussed camps:
Camp Okavango, Shinde concession
One of the original water camps of the Okavango Delta, Camp Okavango was rebuilt in 2016 and is now better than ever. Sat on Nxaragha Island, the camp’s tents have views out over the delta for wildlife spotting in between walking safaris and boat safaris in the resident mokoros or motorboat.
Vumbura Plains, Vumbura concession
Vurumba Plains is a luxurious, contemporary camp, set in an area well known for excellent predator sighting. Given the open nature of the camp, wildlife sightings from the viewing decks are relatively common.
Xugana Island Lodge, Shinde concession
The eight thatched chalets of Xugana Island Lodge lie in the heart of the Okavango Delta, with stunning views over the lagoon from private viewing decks. Alongside walking and water safaris, catch-and-release fishing is on offer for tiger fish and bream.
Land-focussed Okavango camps
Not all of the Okavango Delta is a watery wilderness – amongst the wetlands are large tracts of dry land made up of woodlands, grasslands, and seasonal floodplains. It’s these drier areas that play host to the delta’s world-famous game viewing XXX wildlife sightings.
The delta’s premier land-based camps focus on early morning, late afternoon and night game drives in wildlife-rich regions known for consistently good predator sightings.
- Hands down, some of Africa’s best big game viewing, away from the crowds
- Great chance of seeing the big five and other big cats
- Varied habitats and stunning scenery
- Some land-based camps don’t offer any water activities
See three fantastic land-based Okavango camps, or check out our article on all of the Okavango land-focussed camps:
Xakanaxa Camp, Xakanaxa concession (Moremi Game Reserve)
Xakanaxa amp has wonderful communal areas that give guests the space to appreciate the unique location of this tented camp. The Xakanaxa region is considered one of the Okavango’s finest for big game, and the quality of the safaris here don’t disappoint.
Camp Moremi, Xakanaxa concession (Moremi Game Reserve)
Camp Moremi is a truly authentic tented camp, complete with tree house! The camp is located in the Moremi Game Reserve, overlooking the Xakanaxa Lagoon, and offers superb boat excursions to explore the delta.
Chief’s Camp, Mombo concession (Moremi Game Reserve)
Chief’s Camp is to the south of this wonderful concession, famed for its big game sightings. Recently rebuilt, the camp offers both game drives and access to water for mokoro excursions.
Okavango camps for both land and water
Camps that offer equally good land and water activities are mainly located around Providing a variety of activities the Okavango Delta’s land and water camps offer both vehicle-borne game drives and water activities. Predominantly located in the Okavango Delta’s vast private concessions which surround the Moremi Game Reserve, these camps offer first-class safari experiences.
- Experience a mix of all the delta’s habitats
- Enjoy unsurpassable game viewing
- Frequent big cat sightings
- Tend to be the most expensive camps
We’ve listed three recommended Okavango camps for both land and water activities below, or you can check out our in-depth article on all of the best Okavango camps for water and land activities:
Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp, Pom Pom Concession
Nxabega is a traditional tented camp offering top-end luxury and hospitality, and due to its placement gives guests the option of both day and night game drives, walking safaris, and excursions on mokoro and motorboat.
Shinde Camp, Shinde concession
Set on the edge of the Shinde Lagoon, Shinde Camp’s safari tents each offer stunning views across the floodplains, and the chance of spotting game whilst relaxing at camp between safari activities.
Pom Pom Camp, Pom Pom concession
One of the classic Okavango camps, Pom Camp is in the southern delta on Pom Pom Island. The camp borders the western boundary of the Moremi Game Reserve, and has a mixed habitat for excellent all-round game viewing, with access to permanent Okavango Delta waters.
Okavango Delta camping
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One thing worth noting as you research your Okavango delta All accommodation in the Okavango Delta is graded by the Botswana Tourism Organisation which gives some indication of the quality of each lodge. This rating system struggles to XXX the variety and atmosphere of the many unique lodges in the delta, so it’s important you take into account more than just the BTO rating!
Have you been an on Okavango Delta safari and have something to share about the Okavango camps? If so, please let us know in the comments section below, because sharing is caring!