We stayed at Chobe Under Canvas for 3 nights in early June. This was the first of 3 safari camps in Botwsana (the others were Kwando Lagoon and Xakanaxa) and it turned out to be our absolute favourite by a mile. In fact when we arrived at our next camp, we looked at each other and said: I miss Chobe. The accommodations were simple, but of a high quality and very comfortable (feather quilts, soft linens, good quality toiletries and a hot water bottle at night), but not over the top luxurious as was Kwando Lagoon Camp (where we had a freestanding bath!). In our opinion, the simplicity gives you a more authentic safari experience. The food was also excellent. How they manage to cook such delicious meals in a mobile camp is beyond me.
What made this camp stand out to us was it's intimacy. The small size of the camp means you get to interact with the staff and other guests more so than you would in a larger more impersonal lodge. We had a fabulous time with Reuben and Kabelo (KB) who attended to our every need. They were warm and funny and didn't make us feel like they were "serving us", which would have made us uncomfortable. We felt like a big happy family, especially with the other 2 guests who were there at the same time. Hi MJ & Marg if you're reading this!
Meier was our guide, tracker and driver and excelled at all 3. We were spoilt by his knowledge of animals and birdlife. He went above and beyond to ensure that we had the best safari experience and boy did he succeed. His ability to locate animals was uncanny and we got to see some amazing things and elusive animals such as a leopard with it's kill, black sable, mating lions, ostriches, 50 elephants crossing the highway in front of us and 2 jackas trying to catch a new born red lechwe. We also saw amazing birdlife and the usual suspects (giraffes, zebra, elephants, buffalo, hippos, red lechwe, kudu, jackal, warthog etc). Every time we went out on safari we saw something that we hadn't seen before, whether it was a new animal or a new animal behaviour. It was just brilliant. We will never forget his dulcet tones welcoming us with "This is Chobe, it is only the beginning".
As we were safari virgins our safari companions (MJ & Marg) gave us the best piece of advice. Wild animals are unpredictable and mobile. They will not be just sitting by the side of the road waiting for you to turn up to take a picture, so if you are dead set on seeing a particular animal you may be disappointed. Be interested in everything. If the animals are hiding or scarce, look at the birds, if the birds are not around look at the landscape. There is always something beautiful and interesting to see if you open your mind and your senses. That being said, we experienced the greatest amount of wildlife at Chobe. It was significantly more abundant than at the other camps we visited.
We are definitely coming back to Africa and will definitely be staying at Chobe Under Canvas again. It was a dream come true for us.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At andBeyond Chobe Under Canvas, mobile safari tents with ensuite bathrooms (with flush toilet and steaming hot bucket shower) are positioned at secluded sites in the game-rich wilderness of Chobe National Park. One of the top wilderness areas in the world, Chobe is home to one of the largest concentrations of elephant on the African continent. ... more less