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Botswana Safari

Sandibe Safari Lodge

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Elephants at Sandibe Safari Lodge, Botswana
Return to Map of Okavango Delta Camps

View images of Sandibe Safari Lodge: Sandibe Images


The clear waters of the Okavango Delta glimmer through a maze of brilliant green papyrus in front of Sandibe and the game-rich grassy floodplains stretch into the horizon beyond. A private concession, Sandibe has exclusive traversing over 27,000 hectares (66,700 acres) of wilderness adjacent to the Moremi Game Reserve.

Gentle breezes drift through window screens and the outdoor shower makes for great stargazing. Take in the sun on raised private decks with great views over the Delta and then cool off in the swimming pool. Tread in the footsteps of elephants as you walk the ancient paths that bisect Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge in the shady forest of the Okavango Delta.

Awaken to the sounds of animals, laugh at the antics of baboons and squirrels over breakfast, and spend your days exploring mazes of papyrus and golden, grassy floodplains. Connect with the remote wilderness of Africa in this serene, earthy camp, where little separates the comfort of the warm interiors from the haunting beauty of the natural spectacles outside.

Sandibe Safari Lodge is owned and operated by andBeyond.

Unique Selling Points
• Situated next to a permanent channel of the Okavango Delta, Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge offers a water and wilderness experience with the excitement of viewing big game on land
• Exclusive access to 270 km2 comprising six broad habitats and associated bird, plant and animal species
• Guided walking and mekoro excursions
• Night game drives
• Delicious Pan African meals

Accommodation            For images of Sandibe Safari Lodge, click Sandibe Images
Camouflaged under a tumbling canopy of wild palms and gnarled fig leaves, eight thatched cottages emerge in leafy clearings right on the edge of the Delta’s waterways. Blending seamlessly with its surroundings, the tranquil beauty of Sandibe Safari Lodge surprises not only guests but even the occasional wandering animals, startled as rough wooden beams and thatched roofs take shape within the leafy groves. The sounds of Africa lull and soothe travellers, as elephants splash in the quiet waters, baboons chatter and a myriad birds call and twitter in the trees.

The eight intimate African-inspired cottages each have an ensuite bathroom, twin hand basin, separate w.c and outdoor shower and dressing area. The cottages are airy with all windows covered in gauze to maximise views of the forest. Each cottage has an elevated viewing deck which is perfect for intimate candlelit dinners.

The greens of the river bank peer into spacious guest cottages through large, airy screens. Earthy ochre tones bring the forest floor indoors, while tactile textures, from leather and silk to rough hewn wood, celebrate the natural beauty of the setting. Gaze out onto the banks of the Santantadibe River from under the canopy of your king size bed or spend a restful hour watching the quiet play of light on water from your private raised deck. At one with the forest, enjoy the warm luxury of the sun skipping across your skin in the large outdoor shower.

• Accommodation
• Three meals daily
• Soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beers
• Teas and coffees
• Refreshments on game drives
• Scheduled safari activities
• Emergency medical evacuation insurance
• Laundry

Guest Areas
Lazy hammocks slung in the dappled shade beckon and the wooden deck by the sunny poolside offers refreshment. Layered guest areas with comfortable couches invite you to while the afternoon away among cosy cushions. Open sides in sitting and dining areas draw your eyes outward to dazzling plains and reeded river banks. Relax over scrumptious meals in the dining room, while animals wander only metres away or enjoy the cosy shelter of the fire-lit boma as thousands of stars light up the African sky.

In the heart of the camp, tucked under the forest canopy, is the soaring sitting and dining area with quiet decks affording views across the waterways. A shaded swimming pool and well-stocked Safari Shop are close by. Pan African dinners are prepared and served in the open boma that boasts a unique charcoal-cooled wine cellar.

Breakfast: After the morning activity, return to the Camp for a delicious breakfast, with platters of fruit and cheese followed by a selection of hot breakfast dishes. Choose from eggs, oats, waffles or a number of other options.
Lunch: If you wish, you can walk off your breakfast on a short walk near the lodge, accompanied by your guide, who will share his insight into the smaller animals and vegetation in the area. Lunch is served in spacious guest areas with classic Delta views.
Afternoon Tea: Cool off with a refreshing dip in the Lodge pool or indulge in an afternoon siesta. Then enjoy a late afternoon tea before you embark on your afternoon adventure.
Dinner: After the afternoon activity, return to the Camp for a mouthwatering dinner under African skies.

Number of Suites 8
Maximum Guests 16
Children Yes
Triples 1 (children 16 yrs and younger)
Twin Beds All convertible to double
Room Fans Yes
Mosquito Nets Yes
Lodge pool Yes
Indoor Showers No
Outdoor Showers Yes
Separate w.c. Yes
In Room Safe Yes
Telephone No
Hairdryers Yes
Laundry Included Yes
Suitable for disabled guests 1 room
Distance between Rooms 15 meters / 50 feet
Check In / Check Out 12h00 /11h00
Power 220v AC
Internet Access Yes (central guest area)
Childminding Yes
Credit Cards Visa & MasterCard
In-Room Massage Yes

Children are welcome. Regretfully, children 5 years and younger cannot participate in the regular game drives and mekoro activities. Children 16 years and older can participate in guided walks and mokoro activities. Childminders can be booked at an additional cost. Children aged 6 to 11 years are accommodated on game drives at the lodge manager’s discretion. An extra bed can be arranged for a child sharing its parents’ suite. No more than 1 triple in camp at any one time.

Activities & Wildlife
The highly trained guides and trackers will do their utmost to delight guests with a choice of the following activities:

Twice daily game drives - guests can explore the rich wildlife surrounding Sandibe on early morning and late afternoon / evening game drives in an open air safari vehicle, accompanied by an armed guide and tracker. The landscape traversed on game drives includes floodplains, as well as seasonal grassland, woodland, shrubland and savanna. Game drives track the Big Five, as well as a variety of other animals, including the semi-aquatic lechwe and sitatunga antelope.

Interpretive bush walks - take a leisurely walk in the surroundings of the Camp to take in the sights, smells and sounds of the Okavango Delta, accompanied by an armed guide. Learn about how elephant are vital to the survival of the fan palm, try to spot the elusive Pel's fishing owl and keep a sharp eye out for the shy bushbuck.

Mokoro - explore the waterways of the Okavango in the company of our experienced guides. Learn the fascinating details of the Delta's network of channels, fringed by dense reeds and papyrus. A good variety of fish can be found in the clear waters and fishing trips can be arranged on request during fishing season (1 March to 31 December). Spot the nests of weavers and warblers in the papyrus beds and watch out for malachite kingfishers among the taller stems. Beautifully coloured frog species, such as the painted reed frog, abound. Waterlilies brighten up the surface of lagoons, where sleepy hippo splash beneath the surface.

Renowned for its abundant wildlife, the Okavango Delta and the areas surrounding Sandibe are home to a large number of species, including many predators, as well as a number of species adapted to the semi-aquatic lifestyle, such as the elegant red lechwe and shy sitatunga. Lion prides, cheetah, leopard and African wild dog may be encountered, while families of hippo hide in the deeper channels and lagoons. The area supports the continent’s largest surviving concentration of elephant and buffalo, while roan and sable antelope roam the open woodlands.

While lion are commonly encountered near Sandibe, they are not the only predator found in the area. Although predominantly nocturnal and difficult to spot, leopards are fairly common throughout the Okavango, particularly in dense riverine forest. Apart from the more commonly encountered predators, the Okavango is also a stronghold for the endangered African wild dog, although sightings of this rare animal are relatively uncommon. Exhibiting a fascinating social structure, wild dog live in packs led by a dominant pair with a strict social hierarchy.

One of the most common antelope in the Okavango, the red lechwe is especially adapted for the swampy conditions. Its splayed, elongated hooves give it a sure footing in muddy conditions, allowing it to inhabit the outskirts of the permanent swamps. With an incredible wealth of species, the Okavango is also a haven for birding enthusiasts. One of its most sought after species is the huge but elusive Pel’s fishing owl, which roosts in the densest evergreen thickets. A quintessential African sound, the haunting call of the fish eagle can be heard echoing over the channels.

andBeyond is renowned for having some of the most highly trained, professional, passionate and knowledgeable guides and trackers on the continent. They have a passion for people and wildlife, ensuring unbeatable interpretive safari experiences. The guides at Sandibe impart an incomparable wealth of knowledge, personally researched and experienced, about local habitats, ecology, birds, trees, plants, small animals and insects. Many of their guides and trackers belong to the surrounding communities and can share cultural information with guests.

andBeyond runs two full-time ranger training schools headed by professional ranger trainers in Africa - at Phinda in South Africa and Klein's Camp in Tanzania. Each guide at Sandibe undergoes a rigorous eight-week training course at one of these schools before joining their team. They then receive further on-site training and benefit immensely from their colleagues' ongoing mentorship. It is through their passion for what they do, and their desire to develop and learn that &Beyond's guides are among the finest in the world.

Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge is set in a private concession of 8,000 hectares (19,800 acres) on the southeastern border of the Moremi Wildlife Reserve, in one of the most unique regions in the world, the Okavango Delta. Renowned for its lush waterways and abundant wildlife, the Okavango is home to a number of aquatic and land species. Predators from the adjacent Moremi, renowned for its wildlife sightings, often cross into the Sandibe concession.

Located in northern Botswana, the Okavango River is a unique natural phenomenon - flowing more than 1,000 km (620 miles) from its source in Angola, this river disappears beneath the sands of Botswana, creating a lush inland delta in the midst of this otherwise arid country. The Okavango Delta is in a constant state of flux, expanding and contracting according to the rainy season. While some parts of the Delta remain permanently flooded, others only experience high water levels from May to September, when rainwaters from Angola reach the outer stretches of the Okavango.

Covering approximately one third of the Delta, permanent swamp areas are lush and green, with groves of wild date palm, papyrus and water lilies growing around deep lagoons lined with riverine forest. Seasonal swamps, on the other hand, contain a network of small channels cutting their way through papyrus and reed beds to create islands of all shapes and sizes. As the floodwaters recede, the islands grow large until, eventually, water only remains in depressions in the landscape, which transforms into open grassland.

On the outskirts of the Okavango's seasonal swamps, slightly elevated sandy areas allow a belt of shrubs and trees to grow. Tall knob thorn, leadwood and marula trees proliferate in these areas. Grass is abundant, attracting both grazers and browsers such as giraffe, kudu, impala, warthog and elephant. The driest woodland areas are occupied by the massive baobab trees. Bats, genets, monitors and geckos also find refuge in the many crevices in these ancient trees. Impala and grey duiker feed on the baobab’s delicate white flowers, which also attract fruit bats. Baboons and other monkeys, as well as elephant relish the large, hairy fruits.

Some might not believe it, but it is actually the tiny termites that are responsible for the formation of many of the small islands that are scattered throughout the Okavango Delta. The raised ground that these termites create remains dry from the floodwaters, allowing woody plants to grow in the rich, fertile soil. Silt deposits slowly build up over time, expanding the raised ground and eventually joining one or more termite mounds to form an island.

Groves of tall fan palm up to 20 metres in height grow on the outer edge of the floodplains or on the larger islands. Interspersed with short, shrubby vegetation, these are favoured by elephant. In fact, the fan palm relies on this animal for its propagation, as the seed can only germinate once it has passed through the elephant’s digestive system. The elephants seem to enjoy this arrangement, relishing both the palm’s fruit and leaves. Fan palms are also a favourite nesting site for many bird species, with white-backed vultures building their nests in the crown and Dickinson’s kestrel preferring cavities that occur in their trunks.

Other Considerations
• Weather: Botswana has hot, wet summers (October to April). Temperatures can rise to over 40ºC/104ºF and usually drop to 25ºC/77ºF at night. Winters (May to September) are dry and cool, and the nights can be chilly.
• Rainfall: The rainy season – generally in the form of magnificent afternoon thundershowers – is from late December to the end of February, sometimes continuing into March. Summer rains bring spectacular migrant birds to Botswana. Average rainfall per year is approximately 500 mm
• Best time to travel: All year round.
• Malaria: The Okavango Delta is a malaria area and necessary precautions should be taken.
• Ratio of guests to staff: 1 to 2
• Camp closure: Open year round
• Fly times:  Maun-Sandibe 15 mins; Kasane-Sandibe 1hr 15 mins.

Top           Return to Map of Okavango Delta Camps

Water / Land Activity Table for Botswana camps:  Water/Land Botswana
Flying Times between Botswana camps:  Fly Times Botswana

For further information about the Okavango Delta, click More Okavango
For further information about Botswana, click More Botswana

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