Known for its exceptional range of big game, a host of animals are visible from the comfort of your own private deck at this luxury safari camp.
Orient-Express takes its guests to the heart of each property's destination, and nowhere is this more palpable than out here in the bush. As you spot lions, cheetahs and hippos, with birds of prey circling above, you feel that you are within a world that has barely changed since time began.
With incredible views cross the Okavango Delta and delicious food to match, the dining experience at Khwai River Lodge is one to remember.
Dine in the open-air or under our covered area and watch the sun set across the amazing African landscape.
After dinner enjoy the bar and lounge areas. Seated around our camp fire you can share stories of the days experiences with other guests or simply curl up and relax while the wildlife does the same.
You can now dine in style in the middle of the bush, as your guide serves breakfast or dinner in the open air.
All luxury tents at Khwai River Lodge are housed on raised wooden platforms, offering great views of the African landscape. The tents are shaded by a traditional African thatch roof.
Wildlife is all around you as you relax on your large private deck furnished with easy chairs and a hammock. The deck also provides a spectacular environment for enjoying a private dinner in complete harmony with your surroundings, ideal for a special occassion or just as a treat.
The tent interiors are luxuriously appointed with en suite bathrooms, a private fully stocked mini bar, four poster bed complete with mosquito netting as well as a discreet air conditioning.
Khwai River Lodge has an exclusive private suite, perfect for a more intimate safari experience. The naturally stunning private suite with a spacious secluded deck area is set away from the other tents in the camp.
The extended viewing deck has two relaxing sun loungers, perfect for basking in the warm African sun. To the side, a generous heated splash pool which is set amongst the trees for shade and privacy, yet with full views of the Delta allows one to wallow in communion with the hippos whilst spotting elephant and crocodiles on the island banks.
The open air double showers and beautiful deep copper-framed Victorian bath, with only the tree canopy as a roof, offers further opportunities to commune with nature.
Early morning game drives take you out and among a wild landscape dotted with trees. Expect to see a huge range of creatures, from big cats such as lions and leopards, to hippo, rhino, antelope, giraffe and buffalo. Widely acknowledged to be the predator capital of the world, this is the only place in Botswana where the Big Five can be seen.
Equally atmospheric and exciting are evening drives, as the shadows lengthen and the sky turns red. Animals and birds emerge from their siesta, and suddenly the bush is alive with sights and sounds. Return as the first stars start to shine—when the chance for unusual encounters is at its most intense.
But at any time of year it is wonderful to head out into the bush and among the beautiful trees that surround this camp. Spot the endangered wattled crane, ground hornbill, eagle, several types of stork and many beautiful singing birds such as larks. Special species for twitchers include Arnot's Chat and Hartlub's Babbler.
While you won't see as much as on a day-time drive, the atmosphere is intense. A filtered spotlight on the vehicle may pick out two shining eyes, which your guide will immediately identify as a nocturnal spring hare, an impala, a lesser-spotted ginet, a civet or, perhaps, a larger cat. Birds, too, are visible in the trees, poised to attack their prey. An owl here, a nightjar there: the wealth of animals that emerges under cloak of darkness is truly breathtaking.
Then take a comfortable seat and listen as camp guides recount tales of the bush. Some of these will have been passed down to them by the late Mothupi, the legendary story teller who worked at Khwai for 36 years. Mothupi trained many of today's young guides and inspired them to create tales of their own. And so the verve and humour of Mothupi lives on in the place that now bears his name.
Set out from camp early in the morning into grassland savannah dotted with acacia trees. Stay alert and you soon become attuned to details such as the sounds of hidden animals. There is nothing quite like being able to touch, hear, smell and even taste nature all around. The scents of wild herbs are intoxicating: sage, basil, purple pod weed.
Always follow the safety instructions: remember, this is Africa at its most untamed and raw. No matter what you encounter, never run. Follow the pace of the slowest person and proceed in a row like a train. Groups are limited to six persons and a guide with a two-way radio.
You might spot waterbuck, buffalo, elephants and hippos, and even get the adrenaline rush of sighting the occasional lion. But don't be scared. As they say at the camp "If you don't bother them, they won't bother you". Bird-spotting is superb: be sure to bring along binoculars.