10 Best Okavango Delta Safari Lodges & Camps

Welcome to an immaculate wildlife paradise, one of the world’s biggest inland deltas that can swell to nearly three times its size (approximately the same size as Lake Ontario) when floodwaters arrive. Consisting of vast meandering waterways and over 150 000 islands (some tiny, some as significant as Chief’s Island), this World Heritage Site is home to around 500 bird species and more than 250 000 mammals, including endangered wild dog.

The sublime Okavango Delta is considered Africa’s Garden of Eden and one of the last remaining wildernesses on Earth. It’s a leading safari destination that offers unique activities like traversing the waterways on a mokoro – a traditional dug-out canoe that is propelled through shallow waters by skilfully pushing a pole – the Delta’s quintessential game-viewing vehicle.

Here are our Top 10 Okavango Delta safari lodges and camps:

1. Camp Okavango

Type of Accommodation: Water-based Safari Lodge

Located on the remote Nxaragha Island in the heart of the Delta's permanent wetlands, Camp Okavango is a hidden gem of a safari lodge that offers year-round water activities. Explore the Okavango Delta’s meandering waterways on a modern motorboat or opt for the old-fashioned method: quietly gliding over the tranquil waters on a mokoro. The lodge’s open-air design and elevated position provides a fully immersive Okavango Delta safari experience.

Highlights:

  • Secluded lodge situated on its own island
  • Very spacious and well-appointed rooms
  • Motorboat and mokoro excursions throughout the year
  • Nature walks on neighbouring islands
  • See rare animals like sitatunga antelope and Pel's fishing owl

Best for:

Couples and families

2. Chief’s Camp

Type of Accommodation: Luxury Lodge

Consistently rated by Condé Nast as one of the best safari camps in Botswana, Chief’s Camp is perfectly set on the biggest island in the Okavango Delta, Chief’s Island. Not only does this Okavango Delta safari lodge boast some of the largest rooms in the area but its design and décor reflect safari-chic in every way. The main area features a beautiful bar and expansive dining room that extends onto a pizza deck, equipped with a pizza oven.

Highlights:

  • Award-winning camp on the largest island in the Delta
  • Very spacious and luxurious suites
  • Children’s retreat with games and fun activities
  • Game drives and mokoro trips
  • Reliable Big 5 and predator sightings

Best for:

Couples and families with children older than six

3. Mombo Camp

Type of Accommodation: Luxury Tented Camp

This Okavango Delta safari camp offers spacious tents with sweeping views over the lush floodplains of an area widely known as ‘the Place of Plenty’. Here you will see enormous concentrations of plains game and predators like lion, leopard and rare wild dog. Mombo is also the area where black and white rhino were reintroduced into the Delta, occasionally seen by a very lucky few. Mombo Camp’s open-air boma (enclosure) hosts traditional outdoor dining around a convivial fire, complimented by the twinkling African night sky and the Mombo Choir’s mellifluous serenade.

Highlights:

  • Situated in a game-rich private concession
  • Suites and walkways are raised – animals wander freely beneath the camp
  • Fantastic predator sightings, especially lion and leopard
  • Reintroduction of black and white rhino into the area
  • Photography hide to get those once-in-a-lifetime shots

Best for:

Couples, honeymooners and photographers

4. Xugana Island Lodge

Type of Accommodation: Water-based Safari Lodge

Widely recognised as one of the most spectacular permanent water sites in the entire Delta, Xugana Lagoon provides a gorgeous island setting for this Okavango Delta safari lodge. Xugana Island Lodge features spacious reed and thatch chalets with beautiful views over the lagoon from private viewing decks. Xugana’s open-sided lounge, bar and dining areas are set back under the shady canopy of ancient trees. The swimming pool is located within the mature gardens in the centre of the island – a fantastic spot to unwind.

Highlights:

  • Spectacular island setting overlooking the famous Xugana Lagoon
  • Lagoon-facing chalets with private viewing decks
  • Explore the waterways on tranquil mokoro excursions
  • Guided nature walks on surrounding islands in the private concession
  • Catch-and-release fishing for tiger fish and bream

Best for:

Couples

5. Duba Plains Camp

Type of Accommodation: Small Tented Camp

Duba Plains Camp is positioned in a sublime 82 000-acre private reserve, which is also the chosen home base for acclaimed wildlife filmmakers and National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence, Dereck and Beverly Joubert. Duba Plains is beautifully designed to blend into its natural surroundings and evoke the vintage 1920’s style that few other Okavango Delta safari camps can match. Each tent features a lounge area, a specially designed eco-friendly air-conditioning system over the bed, and a private veranda complete with plunge pool and shaded sala.

Highlights:

  • Intimate camp in a remote part of the Delta
  • Located in an area famous for lion and buffalo clashes
  • Game drives in a wildlife-rich private concession
  • Young Explorers Club offers unique activities for children
  • Discover intriguing Kalahari species like aardwolf and pangolin

Best for:

Serious game viewers, photographers and discerning families

6. Jao Camp

Type of Accommodation: Luxury Tented Camp

Settled deep in the heart of the Delta, Jao Camp is surrounded by small forested islands and vast open floodplains, teaming with wildlife. This luxury Okavango Delta safari camp only has five tented suites and two ultra-luxurious villas – offering guests an intimate and private Botswana safari experience. The expansive views from your spacious tent’s private sala are breath-taking.

Highlights:

  • Secluded camp on a remote island
  • One of the best safari spas in Botswana
  • Excellent predator sightings
  • Glass-bottomed mekoro (traditional canoes)
  • Romantic sleep-out in a star bed, 20 minutes from camp

Best for:

Couples and families with children

7. Vumbura Plains

Type of Accommodation: Luxury Safari Lodge

Located in an area with diverse wildlife and a great mix of dry land and water, the luxurious Vumbura delivers a superb all-round safari experience in Botswana. The annually flooded grasslands that surround this Okavango Delta safari lodge are home to elephant, giraffe, buffalo, hippos and crocodiles. Predator sightings of lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog are superb, and the birdlife here is exceptional.

Highlights:

  • Spacious suites with private plunge pools and salas
  • Land- and water-based activities in an unfenced private concession
  • Hot-air balloon rides
  • Guided walks in the wilderness
  • Spot-lit night game drives

Best for:

Families or groups

8. Abu Camp

Type of Accommodation: Luxury Tented Camp

See the African bush and its wildlife through the eyes of elephants as you immerse yourself in the mesmerising world of these gentle pachyderms. You will likely form an emotional bond with the famous Abu Herd and gain a deeper understanding of elephant conservation during your stay at this Okavango Delta safari camp. Abu Camp is nestled in a pristine riverine forest and looks over a big lagoon. Each tent features its own distinctive furnishings and private teak decks fitted with copper bath tubs.

Highlights:

  • Pristine riverine forest setting, overlooking a lagoon
  • Interactions with the resident elephant herd
  • Bush Buddy programme for kids under 17
  • Beautifully decorated canvas suites
  • Scenic flight over remote areas

Best for:

Couples and families with children

9. Kadizora Camp

Type of Accommodation: Luxury Tented Camp

Sandwiched between the wildlife-rich Vumbura River and the mysterious Selinda Spillway, Kadizora Camp sits in a prime location that’s only accessible by light aircraft. You will enjoy a good selection of safari activities like day and night game drives, guided walks, mokoro excursions and boat trips. In addition, Kadizora is one of very few Okavango Delta safari camps and lodges that offer hot-air balloon flights.

Highlights:

  • Spacious tents furnished in a classic style
  • Track lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog on game drives
  • Incredible hot-air balloon ride
  • Sunset boat cruises
  • Visit a local village

Best for:

Couples

10. Jacana Camp

Type of Accommodation: Water-based Tented Camp

Located on an alluring island in the private Jao Concession, Jacana is a typical Okavango Delta safari camp. While primarily offering water-based safari activities like mokoro rides and boat cruises, guests visiting in the summer months (about November to March) can also enjoy game drives. Jacana’s Meru-style tents are set on raised wooded decks to take advantage of sublime views over the Delta’s tranquil water channels.

Highlights:

  • Intimate camp on a beautiful island
  • Breath-taking views from your tent
  • Dense populations of hippo, elephant, crocodile and other big game
  • See rare sitatunga antelope
  • Rich variety of water birds like wattled cranes and Pel's fishing-owls

Best for:

Families with children