Mapula Lodge (Okavango Delta) Botswana
WHERE LOCATION IS EVERYTHING!
There’s an area on the northern fringes of the famed Okavango Delta, an enormous, 220,000 acre concession that’s a matrix of floodplains, woodlands and channels. Waterways snake across the landscape, spilling into glassy lagoons and encircling islands of stately palms and trumpeting elephant. It’s an iconic Delta landscape, and a magical environment in which to enjoy the abundance of wildlife.
In the middle of it all, on a large tree island surrounded by seasonal floodplains, is the laid back Mapula Lodge. Designed by the creators of the Kalahari legend, Jack’s Camp, this is a stylish safari outpost with serious panache. Even better, it’s one of only a handful of camps in the concession making for exhilarating game viewing in a blissfully uncrowded area. And if you don’t believe us, you’ll just have to pay us a visit.
WHY BOOK THIS CAMP?
- This is your chance to explore one of the continent’s most game-rich and beautiful concessions.
- Safari in complete exclusivity, away from the tourist crowds and bulging 4x4s; here, it’s just you, your binos, and the wildlife.
- Float down secluded waterways and access areas remoter than you can imagine on a mokoro safari.
- Game view from the cool depths of the swimming pool and watch the steady stream of wildlife at the lagoon in front of camp.
- The guides at Mapula are some of the best in the business; trained by safari legend Ralph Bousfield, each one has an intricate knowledge of the area that’s hard to beat.
Accommodation & Amenities
9 tents: 6 twins, 2 doubles, 1 family
Ensuite bathrooms with indoor & outdoor showers
Wifi available: no
Battery charging facilities: in the mess tent & in room
Complimentary laundry service
Child policy: we welcome children aged 6 years and older
Disabled access: please enquire with reservations
All meals and local drinks; activities (NB some activities at an extra surcharge – helicopter flights, hot air ballooning)
What’s not included?
Flights; premium brand beverages; tips & gratuities; insurance
Mapula Lodge is open all year round
Green season: 10th January to 31st March
Shoulder season: 1st April to 14th June; 1st November 9th January
High season: 15th June to 31st July; 1st September to 31st October
Peak season: 1st – 31st August
This enormous, 220,000-acre concession is slightly to the north of the renowned Vumbura and Duba Plains concessions on the northern side of Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Despite its vast size (and the abundance of game), the area is home to only a handful of camps, making it a prime destination for those looking for an exclusive experience in a blissfully uncrowded area. The camp itself occupies an enviable position on a large, treed island at the edge of seasonal floodplains along the upper reaches of the famous Selinda Spillway, the river that connects the Okavango Delta to the Linyanti.
The landscape is iconic in all its Delta-esque beauty. It’s a pristine wilderness of floodplains and grasslands, lagoons and palm-strewn islands, and the diverse habitats support an extraordinary range of wildlife. It truly is one of the most unique wetland areas in the world, unchanged for centuries, and, in our eyes (and many others!) one of the best safari destinations there is.
It’s not a Bousfield family camp if it’s not a little bit quirky and jam-packed with character, and Mapula is no exception. The team have given the original lodge a facelift, and the nine canvas-and-thatch bedroom tents are replete with king size metal four-posters and feather-filled pillows to fall face first into after a day’s game viewing. Ensuite bathrooms have both indoor and outdoor showers, and there’s two natty Malawi chairs in the mini lounge area, ideal for siesta snoozes. Safari-chic finishing touches include rich Kilims on the floors, polished butler trays and brass lanterns.
At the main area, an aquamarine swimming pool is the perfect antidote to hot Delta afternoons – and if the cool waters don’t tempt you in, the views over the hippo-filled lagoon below might. If you’d rather stay dry, pick a perch in the lounge to keep watch over the wildlife action; there’s a variety of comfy sofas and slouchy armchairs to choose from. Then there’s our ‘chill pit’, a sunken lounge area overlooking the lagoon, which does exactly what it says on the tin.
The Mapula Lodge is an exclusive Safari Lodge situated ideally to provide both land and waterborne activities to its guests. The shallow channels and floodplains invite guests to the tranquil canoe trips in the clear Delta waters, while the larger islands surrounding the Mapula Lodge are home to a wide variety of game which can best be viewed from open 4x4 game drive vehicles.
The traditional design and use of natural log at the Mapula Lodge in Botswana creates a unique large central lounge with an open balcony featuring a small library, open-air bar and curio shop. Guests also have access to the lodge's refreshing swimming pool.
The main building of the Mapula Lodge with its extensive decks overlooks the permanent lagoon where the resident pod of hippopotamus resides. It is here where guests will find the comfortable lounge, dining area and a bar area with one of the best views in the Okavango Delta. A small library and swimming pool completes the main area.
We’ve already established that this incredible concession in the Okavango Delta is a true wildlife stronghold and whether this is your first time on safari or you’ve traversed the continent with your binos, you won’t be disappointed by what’s on offer. In fact, those in the know (and who’ve been around the safari block more than a few times!) say that the area has the highest concentration of lion anywhere in the Okavango Delta. But the allure isn’t simply in the number of animals you’ll see, but in the diversity of species in the reserve.
Yes, there’s lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog, but you’ll also spot elusive and lesser-known predators like caracal, serval and mongoose. On the edge of the water, buffalo congregate en masse and trunk-swinging elephant bathe, watched beadily from the channels by sun-basking crocs and hippo.
Antelope dot the floodplains in every direction, and zebra and giraffe appear at the flash of a camera. The birdlife here is especially noteworthy, with the endangered wattled crane, carmine bee-eaters, and the African paradise flycatcher all regularly spotted to the delight of many a twitcher.
Accommodation Rates:- From $650 per person per night. Please contact us for a quote and suggested itinerary.