Following a transformational re-design by the team behind famed ‘Jack’s Camp’ and under new ownership by Natural Selection, Mapula Lodge is ready to open for the season.
Sitting in a 220,000 acre matrix of floodplains, woodlands and channels in a private reserve just outside the Okavango Delta, this nine-room lodge is just north of two of the regions’ most prolific game viewing areas, the Vumbura and Duba Plains. The surrounding topography is spectacular – offering permanent channels and seasonal floodplains, open grasslands, mopane woodlands and belts of hardwood forests – and home to only a handful of camps making for a blissfully exclusive safari.
Lion, leopard, wild dog, and buffalo wander the ancient landscape. Mapula is a favorite spot for predators during the day and nocturnal species from porcupine, honey badger, aardwolf and bush babies at night. Rare species such as caracal, serval and mongoose can also be spotted. Then, at the end of a day’s exploring, guests will return to sunset cocktails on the deck, the best food in Botswana, and some seriously-stylish rooms. Famed for their creative expertise in the kitchen, the chefs at Mapula will whip up delicacies from organic tomato tarts to slow-roasted Botswana beef and triple-layer banana cake.
Situated on a tree island in the midst of luscious floodplains, the heart of this seriously-stylish safari outpost is tucked between the boughs of ancient trees and looks straight out over a glittering lagoon. Inside the open-plan lounge, travelers will find jewel-colored sofas underneath twinkling chandeliers, and a long, elegant dining table. Outside, the fire pit is the perfect spot for morning coffee and sunset cocktails, or the swimming pool is ideal for gazing out to the horizon, or for watching hippo and elephant enjoying the water.
The team behind the iconic Jack’s Camp in the Makgadikgadi have breathed new, stylish life into Mapula Lodge. The nine rooms are a combination of canvas and thatch, with large double beds draped in rich fabrics and adorned with fluttering mosquito nets. All rooms have breathtaking views over the lagoon, indoor sitting areas and private outdoor decks, as well as ensuite bathrooms with outdoor showers. Extra-special touches include polished brass water jugs, elaborate Kilim rugs and beautiful wall hangings.
The Mapula guides are the best in the business, having been trained by safari legend Ralph Bousfield, and there are a huge number of activities to enjoy. Water activities include traditional mokoro safaris, boat trips and fishing (all of which depart straight from camp across the lagoon), whilst game drives and walking safaris enable travelers to get to grips with the terrain. Mapula also have a few surprises up their sleeve and you might find yourself sleeping under the stars at their rustic fly-camp or dining around a camp fire in the middle of the bush. Tip-top extras include the opportunity to try a helicopter or hot air balloon flight.
Timbuktu Travel, the revolutionary safari company that aims to make Africa more accessible by empowering travellers to design their own trip online, can arrange stays at Mapula Lodge from £402 – £661 per person, per night dependent on the season.