Botswana’s New Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge
The Okavango Delta (or Okavango Grassland) in Botswana is a very large inland delta formed where the Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough in the central part of the endorheic basin of the Kalahari. The scale and magnificence of the Okavango Delta helped it secure a position as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. Set within the Delta is the Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge designed by London based architectural practice Michaelis Boyd. Organic and handmade, the lodge blends perfectly with its surroundings, becoming one with the Delta itself.
“At &Beyond we seek to maintain a low impact on the land while deriving high yield for our conservation initiatives by creating very small luxury lodges that support enormous tracts of biodiverse land, which remains untouched.”—from &Beyond’s Conservation & Community statement.
Overlooking the rich animal life, the magnificent landscape of Okavango delta, and set in a cool forest canopy of wild palms and gnarled fig trees, this flagship lodge is a celebration of nature and unique design.
Stairs rising out of bower of trees lead into a cool and spacious interior, ending on a terrace set just above ground level. A curved wooden roof soars high overhead, creating a grand and immense sense of scale. High interiors let in the clear African light and the endless Delta horizons.
An interactive kitchen tantalizes guests with the fragrant aroma of spices at each mealtime. The vast dining room is dominated by an immense table roughly carved from the root of an ironwood tree. Two large woven carpets duplicate the intricate patterns on the underneath of the area’s beautiful water lilies.
Descending to the shaded forest floor, a series of decks open out onto a lantern-lit boma formed from huge logs of descending size that mimic the tail bones of the pangolin.
Decorated in shades of copper and wood celebrating the arts and crafts of the Delta the twelve nest-like suites are uncluttered and elegant, becoming private cocoons at night with fireplaces for the winter evenings. The suites are raised towards the wild palms and fig tree canopies, facilitating great views onto the winding channels and lush floodplains of the river delta. Each comes with its own private plunge pool. There is one ‘family unit’ made up of two interconnecting suites.