Belmond Khwai River Lodge
What We Love
- Jetsetter 2014 Best of the Best Winner: Best Hotel For Communing With Nature
- Rate includes all meals and drinks (including premium spirits and wines), two game drives a day, flight to/from Maun, national park fees and more
- Staying off the grid in the Okavango Delta, with the option to stay in touch with free WiFi access and satellite TVs and phones (on request)
- Post-safari sundowners by the fire pit
What To Know
- Minibars come stocked with preferred beverages (selected prior to arrival)
- Most journeys involve an overnight stay in Johannesburg, a flight to Maun and a short flight to Khwai River Lodge
- Children eight and over are welcome at the lodge
- The small plane to the camp allows only soft bags, and there’s a 44-pound weight limit per person
- Pair with a stay at one of Belmond’s neighboring safari camps, Savute Elephant Lodge or Eagle Island Lodge
- Free WiFi
At the Belmond Khwai River Lodge, on the flood plains of Botswana’s lush Moremi Wildlife Reserve, guests sleep outdoors. But the tents here are far from ordinary — they’re more like five-star suites with private terraces that overlook the Moremi Wildlife Reserve, which teems with elephants, wild dogs, zebras, hippos and more. Chaise longues and wooden furnishings give the 15 tents a colonial homestead feel, and the discreet raised observation decks and terraces hidden beneath the ebony trees allow you to watch animals graze and sleep near the 65-foot pool.
Bed & Bath
Rattan roofs, canvas walls, colonial-style furnishings and handsome dark wood floors create a rustic look in the 15 tents. Mosquito nets are draped over four-poster beds, hammocks sling low on private decks, and en suite wooden bathrooms (some have outdoor tubs) are sleek and spacious. Unlike at most bush camps, Khwai’s tents are equipped with air conditioners that are as quiet as a whisper, and minibars that come stocked with preferred beverages (which guests can select via a prearrival questionnaire).
Open-top Jeep drives depart daily at dawn and at dusk (when the animals are most active). Expect myriad giraffe, buffalo, hippo, crocodile, wildebeest, impala, wild dog, warthog, kudus zebra and leopard sightings. Encountering more than 20 elephants on a bush walk in the Moremi Reserve is as ordinary as learning how to get water from animal dung. Don’t want to lug your camera on the three-plane flight to the lodge? The property lends photo equipment, as long as you supply the memory card. In between game drives, dine alfresco on authentically prepared dishes such as grilled crocodile and seswa (goat stew), and sip post-safari sundowners by the firepit or pool. For pure indulgence, unwind at the spa with the Inkomfi Sloughing body treatment, which exfoliates with walnut and marula shell grains and nourishes with an antioxidant cocktail.
How to Get There
Celebrated my son's 40th here. Each and every one of the staff are exceptional. They meet your every need and more but in a very relaxed way. Our guide Tsilie was amazing and so knowledgeable. He made great sundowners too! My second visit here and it certainly wont be my last. Thank you all for yet another fantastic visit.
You fly in in a small plane from either Kasane or Maun to a small airstrip to be met by a safari truck for the 5 minute trip to the hotel to be greeted by all the staff singing a welcome.
An amazing experience with the best view from our veranda that we have ever had overlooking the Khwai river with resident hippos, visiting elephants, Nile Crocodiles, Lechwe antelopes, Impala and so many birds including Fish Eagles, Goliath Herons, etc. Wonderful service from very helpful and friendly staff. Excellent food (except for v tough bacon at breakfast one morning!) A surprise African evening at a traditional Boma (Tue and Sat) was done with dancing, song and the most delicious barbecued meats. We had a very knowledgeable and entertaining guide (Tsile) who did a marvellous job and we saw every animal and bird including lions and leopards. He also was very good at finding the right positions for photographing animals (in the Khwai concession vehicles can diverge from marked tracks which is both thrilling and facilitates viewing elusive species).
Lovely lodges great location, the food "not really up o Belmond standard, and you need to get the right guide ours was not that inspiring. We did manage to see lots of animals in their natural habitat.
We had 3 cottages beside each other for our 3 night stay on this property which is beside the river where elephants drink and eat and hippos rest during the day. The main lodge where all beverage and meals are available seems like it is a natural part of the environment and of an earlier era. The books of photography are heavy and worth a viewing. The cottages are very nicely appointed and comfortable. The safaris are early morning and late afternoon as the animal and nature sittings are best at these times of day. Our safari guide Rio was incredible. Rio was experienced, knowledgeable, personable and delightful. He loves his country and it’s gifts. We saw many of the animals that one would want to see while in the Okavango Delta. Rio started our day with a quiet smile and a tray of coffee and crunchy biscuits at our cottages. One very clear evening, Rio introduced us to the very starry Botswana night sky and the Milky Way.
The staff at the lodge in general were friendly and helpful. Service is very relaxed. The food and beverage was good. The pool needed a vacuum and more towels at or near the pool would be helpful as there are no pool towels in the cottages.
Please make sure you keep your cottage door shut at all times. Being near the river means there are lots of animals and other creatures. As we learned this includes very venomous snakes. One of our family had a direct encounter with a spitting snake that could have blinded her if she didn’t have her sunglasses on. The venom did cause a deep red colour and blistering and red streaks on her face for several days. Apparently the door to the cottage had been left open during the morning clean by staff. The snake was removed but they apparently live near the river. Staff do escort all guests around the lodge and cottage area when it is dark at night.
You will love the safari sightings here and relaxing in the main lodge and experiencing the Okavango Delta and its beauty.
This was our second Belmond safari during this visit....rooms were fantastic with direct views of elephants and hippos...The common areas were smaller and more intimate than at Eagle Island. Food and service all great.. the safari itself exciting and saw all we wanted to. our guide Eddie was cordial and very knowledgable...with a good sense of humor.. cant recommend more highly!!!