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Go­moti Plains Camp, a new tented camp in the Oka­vango Delta, of­fers fam­ily-friendly sa­fari style in the wild

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Botswana’s new­est tented camp of­fers the best of the oka­vango

From its dra­mat­i­cally diver­gent ter­rain to its boun­ti­ful fauna, a sa­fari in Botswana is like no other in africa. a ver­i­ta­ble noah’s ark team­ing with wildlife of all shapes, sizes and speed set­tings, the wa­ter-rich oka­vango delta of­fers vis­i­tors the op­por­tu­nity to view it all; from lion stalk­ing through scruffy Kala­hari grass to river­banks grid­locked with lazy, sun­baked croc­o­diles.

It is here that Mach­aba sa­faris de­cided to, quite lit­er­ally, pitch tent. Their newly opened go­moti Plains camp of­fers a clas­sic sa­fari ex­pe­ri­ence and mod­ern-day ameni­ties with­out be­ing too decked out or gen­tri­fied.

The camp, sit­u­ated in a new con­ces­sion in the south-eastern part of the

Go­moti Delta is built on land leased from the lo­cal com­mu­nity. As Mach­aba Sa­faris man­ag­ing ed­i­tor Alis­tair Rankin ex­plains, ‘Mach­aba’s phi­los­o­phy in Botswana is about cre­at­ing from the ground up and work­ing with the lo­cal com­mu­nity’.

Sit­u­ated on the edge of the Go­moti river sys­tem, the camp con­sists of a tented main area where guests can feast on old­fash­ioned, home-style cook­ing un­der the stars. There’s also a li­brary and swim­ming pool. Ten lux­ury tents, in­clud­ing two fam­ily units that can ac­com­mo­date four pax, on raised look­out decks make up the ac­com­mo­da­tion of­fer­ing.

Alis­tair’s brief for the struc­tures and in­te­ri­ors to ar­chi­tect Lisa Rorich and in­te­rior de­signer An­drew Irv­ing from In­ter­deco was straight­for­ward: keep it sim­ple. ‘I wanted the fo­cus to be on the out­side, not the in­side, but still main­tain a high-lux­ury fac­tor,’ he says.

Lisa drew in­spi­ra­tion from the

1950s sa­fari style, up­dat­ing it with con­tem­po­rary flour­ishes and ma­te­ri­als. She opted for dark grey can­vas ex­te­ri­ors to mimic the shad­ows of the sur­round­ing thorn trees, ef­fort­lessly cam­ou­flag­ing the tents into the sur­round­ing land­scape. Sim­i­larly grey­ish tim­ber tent struc­tures and poles mimic large tree branches. ‘Large roll-up blinds and meshed open­ings were also a must to max­imise on the in­door-out­door re­la­tion­ship,’ says Lisa.

In­side, the decor pal­ette re­flects the sur­rounds, too; roughly wo­ven bas­kets and fab­rics are rem­i­nis­cent of sun-bleached grass­land, deep blues and re­flec­tive sur­faces reference the wa­ter and khaki-hued up­hol­stery cite the green-grey fo­liage of the lala palms found all along the river­bank.

When not re­clin­ing on a comfy sofa or en­joy­ing a drink on the deck star­ing off into the vast African veld, guests can sa­fari by road (day and night drives), foot (guided walk­ing sa­faris) or wa­ter (pad­dling along the shal­low waters of the oka­vango in a dug-out ca­noe called a mokoro). Which­ever mode you choose, be sure that the ex­pe­ri­ence will be rich and burst­ing with life. Mach­aba Sa­faris n 8 mach­abasa­faris.com

go­moti plains camp in botswana

Read our travel fea­tures for in­stant wan­der­lust on house­andgar­den. co.za clock­wise, from top left a dou­ble tent; roll-up can­vas walls de­liver easy in­side-out­side flow; in­te­ri­ors riff on the colours and tex­tures of the land­scape

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