If you are looking to combine a top safari experience and incredible landscapes with five-star hospitality and unique lodges, then Botswana might just be your ultimate honeymoon destination. Located in the heart of Southern Africa, Botswana is home to Chobe National Park, known for its large elephant population, as well as the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Africa’s most biodiverse areas. With so many options it can be difficult to narrow down the choices, so we have compiled our top five lodges in Botswana for your perfect honeymoon experience.
Tau Pan Camp
There is no better way to put the desolate and parched landscape of Central Kalahari Game Reserve into perspective than with a highly anticipated flight on a small bush plane from Maun to Tau Pan Camp. Balanced on the edge of an ancient sand dune, you immediately feel a part of something much bigger – a million miles from civilisation and the perfect base for honeymooners to disconnect from the outside world.
Don’t waste time unpacking your bags and head straight to the camp’s large viewing veranda and sun-downer deck which is a photographer’s dreamscape. As the sun begins to set, get ready for one of Africa’s best night skies to unfold. Without any light pollution, local guides will help you map out the night’s sky and spectacular lighting displays whilst the rival of the lion’s roar approaches from the distance.
‘Tau’ which means Lion in Setswana, is named after the pride of black-maned Kalahari lions frequently seen by the camp. You will hear them before you see them! You’ll also get to experience an array of desert-adapted wildlife perhaps not as prolific as the predators of the Delta but still fascinating in their own right.
Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp
Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp offers some of the best game viewing in the Okavango Delta, but what really sets this camp apart is their unique interaction experience with two rescued elephants. Guests are invited to visit Jabu and Morula, living in a reserve close to the camp where you’ll join them on a fascinating educational morning walk for a rare chance to get up close to these incredibly smart creatures. You’ll also be treated to a gourmet bush breakfast whilst the elephants enjoy their own right next to you – you couldn’t ask for better company!
After a morning like no other, you can take an afternoon dip in the swimming pool while watching elephant, giraffe and antelope grazing on the trees right in front of you. The new outdoor bar has wrap-around views of the surrounding landscape so you can sip on a chilled Amarula in style.
Stanley’s is in a private concession which is an area not open to the public and reserved just for those staying at the camp. It also offers the freedom to go on night drives to spot nocturnal animals rarely seen during the day. If you are lucky enough, you may even get to track a leopard after dark on the hunt which is an exhilarating experience for any honeymoon couple.
Chief’s Sanctuary Chief’s Camp
Flying over one of the worlds’ greatest waterways intoSanctuary Chief’s Camp already feels like an exclusive experience in itself but wait until your feet touch the ground. This camp offers the ultimate 5 star luxury honeymoon safari as you are greeted by singing staff and welcoming smiles before promptly being shown to your secluded bush pavilion, fit for royalty with private plunge pool, outdoor shower and four-poster king-size bed!
A former royal hunting ground of Chief Moremi, this camp has an extraordinary setting in the heart of the Okavango Delta with elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog often spotted nearby. During the flood season between June and October you can explore the maze of water channels by mokoro (dug-out canoe) in search of neighbouring hippos and if the water is high enough you can even glide out on the water directly from the camp.
With some of the finest cooking and wines included at Chief’s, as well as a pizza deck and wood fire oven, honeymoon couples can retreat after dinner to the blazing campfire whilst local guides share their dramatic and humorous stories late into the night.
Leroo La Tau
Leroo La Tau is easily accessible by a short scenic flight from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and perfectly situated for exploring the jaw-dropping landscapes of the renowned Makgadikgadi National Park. A highlight for honeymoon couples has to be a pre-booked day trip to the isolated wilderness of Makgadikgadi Pans – a salt pan believed to be one of the largest in the world and visible from space! It is a place of disappearing horizons, shimmering salt lakes and otherworldly beauty.
Back at camp, on the banks of Boteti River, it is possible to witness the Summer migration between June and October when the massive herds of wildebeest and zebra pass through the area because of the rivers water source. Look out for predators on the hunt around the lodge in the busy stampede zone!
For a culturally immersive experience, why not visit one of the neighbouring villages and schools of Khumaga to see and understand about their rural life in this remote area of Botswana. With so much to do, we recommend at least 3 nights at Leroo La Tau.
Bakwena Chobe Botswana
Bakwena Chobe Botswana is an eco-conscious luxury camp on the banks of the stunning Chobe River. For honeymooners wanting water-based activities with a sense of exclusivity; close encounters with wildlife on the river are a given. The camp is named after the Bakwena tribe which takes their name from the Setswana word meaning “people of the crocodile”.
The river is renowned for its large elephant and buffalo numbers and is also a haven for many other animals including hippo and lions. It’s also one of the best locations for bird watching in Africa. Take your pick between River View Chalets overlooking the Chobe River or the on-trend Treetop Chalets perched on stilts.
Enjoy boat trips along the Chobe River watching large herds of elephant coming down for a drink – the sunset cruises are considered to be some of the finest in Botswana. Not far from the mighty Victoria Falls, this camp is a great base for exploring the surrounding areas or just sit back and take in the unspoiled natural setting.
Matt Gannan is the CEO and Owner of Tucan Travel. Tucan Travel operate cultural tours in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, Asia and Europe, as well as tailor-made holidays in Latin America, Africa and Asia.