Condé Nast Traveller Middle East - - Contents -

Sanc­tu­ary Chief’s Camp, Botswana

Of all of Africa’s big-game sa­faris, we dream of Botswana, where the wilder­ness is at its most ex­treme – from the arid Kala­hari in the south to the wa­ter­logged Oka­vango Delta in the north. The lat­ter is a haven of ele­phant and buf­falo herds, rein­tro­duced white rhi­nos and Oka­vango spe­cial­i­ties such as si­tatunga, tsessebe and red lechwe, which live among the pa­pyrus swamps and sea­sonal flood­plains dot­ted with is­lands and lat­ticed with wa­ter­ways. And the largest and most spe­cial of th­ese is­lands is Chief’s, which seethes with wildlife. It is also home to Sanc­tu­ary Chief’s Camp, set in the star­tlingly beau­ti­ful Mombo Con­ces­sion, for­mer tribal hunt­ing grounds that have since re­cov­ered and are now known as Africa’s preda­tor cap­i­tal.

Part of the Aber­crom­bie & Kent port­fo­lio, the camp’s 12 newly re­vamped pav­il­ions are three times big­ger than the pre­vi­ous rooms. There are decks with deep plunge pools, out­door din­ing ar­eas and chill-out salas. The in­te­ri­ors are clean and lin­ear, us­ing pale nat­u­ral woods and muted earth tones to off­set rus­tic hand­i­crafts. As part of the makeover, there’s now also a new Ge­of­frey Kent Lux­ury Suite, dec­o­rated with evoca­tive pho­to­graphs of the sa­fari pi­o­neer, and with its own bar and fire pit (al­though it’s much more fun to gather round the camp­fire with other guests). Head off for a game drive with Martin Tsheko, a bril­liantly knowl­edge­able guide whose foren­sic track­ing skills de­liver pri­vate au­di­ences with elu­sive cats, hye­nas and wild dogs, and then re­turn to share tales of chee­tahs pur­su­ing reed­buck and li­ons de­vour­ing fresh kills.

Dou­bles from AED 7,620; 0044-12-4254 6609, sanc­tu­aryre­

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