Chobe Water Villas
What We Love
- Just 32 guests are allowed at the resort at a time, creating an intimate experience
- The area has one of the highest concentrations of game in all of Africa
- Each villa has its own telescope (don’t forget to look up at the sky at night)
What To Know
- The all-inclusive rate includes two excursions per day
- Prepare to be social—you’ll probably be spending significant amounts of time with other guests
- Free WiFi
- Free WiFi
Transport to this exclusive lodge is by boat—a 15-minute ride from Kasane that crosses Botswana’s Chobe River, home to hippos, elephants, and crocodiles. But don’t worry if you miss sightings along the way—they can all be spotted from the balconies of the 16 elevated water villas, which afford sweeping views over the river. The lodge, which opened in 2016, is up-to-date, from the contemporary design that incorporates indigenous fabrics and custom African-made fixtures and art to the infinity pool overlooking the water. Each suite has floor-to-ceiling glass doors that lead to a spacious terrace equipped with extra-large sun loungers for the most relaxed game-spotting ever; smaller rear terraces have views of the bush and extraordinary sunsets. (Best enjoyed before or after a glorious soak in your oversize tub.) Public areas are beautifully modern but reference local traditions in clever ways: check out the mobile hanging in the restaurant, which is made from thousands of small Meranti wood disks and represents an African rain storm, or the light installation in the bar, inspired by the nest of the giant weaver bird. The lodge was designed to take advantage of the good weather, with plenty of outdoor seating including chairs arranged around fire pits—perfect for nighttime stories recalling the day’s finds.
In the Area
Virtually all your activities here will be arranged through the lodge, since there’s nothing else easily accessible nearby—this is the bush, after all. Daily trips include morning game drives in the national park and cruises down Botswana’s Chobe River timed to the sunset, a good time for spotting wildlife. Cultural tours through local villages, fishing charters, and birding safaris can also be arranged. The lodge is less than 50 miles from Victoria Falls, so build a day trip there into your itinerary.
How to Get There
We spent 3 days at this lodge in November 2018. The accomodation and food was amazing. Gareth the chef is a genius, given that all the food has to be transported in by river. Each meal was an absolute treat.
The one thing you need to be aware of is that this resort is on the Namibian side of the Chobe river which creates a hassel when you want to go over to the Chobe National park to do game viewing. The border post only opens at 8am so by the time you have been through the Naminbian border post and checked in through Botswana side it is past 9am and one only gets into the park at about 9:30, which as anyone who has done game viewing knows is way too late.
We did see a lot of elephant and some buck, but it was disappointing to only start our game viewing so late in the day. Also the Namibian border post closes again at about 4pm (I think that is correct), so you have to be out the park way to early for any late afternoon game viewing.
The best option for game viewing is by boat but make sure that you are out early or do a late afternoon trip. The resort has a number of boats available and on the second evening we did a great trip up the Chobe and had some amazing encounters. Just make sure that the guide takes you further upstream, as the channel directly opposite the lodge is Botswana territory and unless you have been through the border post you cannot go into that channel. If you go upstream there is just one channel and then you can go as close to the Botswanan side as you want and that is the side the Chobe National park is on and where most of the animals come down to the water.
I just wish I was aware of these things before we went.
The villas were lovely, the service firstclass and staff friendly and helpful. We were made to feel very special.
Not suitable for physically disabled people due to the need to check in and out of immigration.
The staff did try to accommodate and were very pleasant....BUT unfortunately, the Manager, Nerise Coetzee, of the hotel was not attentive and too casual about real concerns of the quality of the hotel and guests' concerns. I booked two villas in mid-September to ensure that we had luxury accommodations during our holiday. The Villas' view of the Chobe River is the ONLY plus in staying at the hotel.
I booked two villas in mid-September to ensure that we had luxury accommodations during our holiday. I followed up by personally speaking to the Mgr and she assured me that she would make sure we had “the two best villas of the hotel.” Unfortunately, that was most disingenuous, which we learned upon our arrival. First and foremost, it is NOT a LUXURY hotel as advertised. Chobe Water Villas is probably a TWO star hotel with at five star rates. Very disappointing during our entire stay we did not have Wi-Fi during our entire stay in our rooms. After three days we finally had Wi-Fi in the lobby/reception area. The Mgr claimed it was a storm, but we did not have Wi-Fi before the so-called "storm"…which I did not remind her of. We were never made aware that it is mandatory that you have to go to immigration at least FOUR times a day, twice in Botswana and twice in Namibia where the hotel is located. Most importantly, immigration closed at 16:30 so you really could never have an "evening" safari as the hotel advertised. Finally the rooms need an uplifting, as there was mildew on the headboards of my Villa 14. Mildew on the walls leading to the bathroom. Villa 15 initially had very Rusty water, then the toilet and shower were stopped up…Really!...Luxury!!! The housekeeping staff did not properly clean the rooms and you constantly had to remind the staff you needed clean towels/toiletries. One morning the entire hotel did NOT have running water so you could not take a shower before leaving. Remember you had to leave early in the morning to take advantage of the tours…16:30 immigration closed! When we returned to the hotel from our trip at Vic Falls whereby we were given written instructions of tour..I had to let the Mgr know that the list neglected to include that when crossing the border into Zimbabwe you have to pay in CASH for entry visas...no credit cards. If you looking for a five star hotel and not a daily queue at immigration and sub-standard amenities..no Wi-Fi then Chobe Water Villas is not the Five Star hotel! The WOW factor is get me out of here!
this property makes you feel at home, the staff are warm and welcoming, there is an ambience, a homely feel with loads of luxury amenities great activities good food. i will definitely come back and make recommendations to friends and family.
We had a wonderful time! The transport arrangements, accommodation, food and staff were excellent. I was very impressed to realize that everything has to be transported to the lodge and yet we had suburb meals. With everything included in the package, it was very easy. Even the mini-bar in the room was included in the rate. You have to be checked in every time you cross the river, but it is not that bad if you are aware of it by reading about it in advance. All the staff were great, but Rector, Niven, Lovemor, Josephine and our room lady were very helpful as well as the lady organizing all the excursions. Sadly, I cannot recall their names. Felix and Saruf were excellent guides (excursions are also included). We felt spoiled and relaxed.