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
- Handicap Accessible
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
My wife and I recently stayed 3 nights in the Chobe Water Villas. It's all-inclusive and one of the top places we are ever visited. The Managers, Peter and Brigit are so welcoming and so friendly. Nothing was a problem and everything was superbly organized from the travel, to the game drives etc. We loved the chilled out feel and ambiance about the place along with the great food and wine. From breakfast, through lunch, high tea and dinner, every meal was a delight and served with great attention to detail. We loved the water game drives and saw hundreds of elephants from our boat which was special. Also we were lucky enough to see a pride of lions along with a young cub - absolutely wonderful. The transfers are handled superbly and we just loved the remoteness and sense of isolation along the Chobe river. Waking up to the rising sun or just watching the elephants from our Lodge was so special. Also watching the Zambezi Queen drift along while having sparkling MCC was another moment - So many lovely memories - and yes, we will be back !! Ed and Joanne
A luxurious accommodation in a spectacular landscape, accessible by boat from Kasane . We were driven across the river and the staff received us with a lovely welcome song. Éphraim the manager was on hand to explain the daily routine of the lodge including excursions across the river to Chobe national park across the river and twice daily tours with a boat and guide to see abundant wildlife along the river.Our guide Charles explained a lot about the region and wildlife and we enjoyed a personal connection with him. The staff at the lodge were very attentive and of special mention were Niven and Sebastian in the dining room and Ephraim the manager who shared some outstanding wine and conversation with us. The river wildlife is abundant along the shores and many hippos are an amazing attraction. National park tours on the Botswana side were also part of the lodge organisation and we received a safari guide on the Botswana side from the park including a subsequent boat tour and lunch provided from our lodge.We saw among other things many different herds of elephants with their young in tow in the park and coming out to the river.
I was really excited and looking forward to a long-weekend I booked for my husbands birthday. When you visit from South Africa (due to the exchange rate) this is quite an expensive lodge, but all the positive reviews convinced me it would be money well spent.
We had 2 incidents that left a bitter taste in my mouth - one with the front desk that didn't have their facts straight regarding the cost of an excursion to the Vic Falls, and another during breakfast one morning where I ordered Salted Caramel pancakes for breakfast. I was served plain cinnamon pancakes and when I enquired the waiter told me it definitely was salted caramel pancakes. I asked him to show me the caramel on the pancakes and he said he would bring an extra serving of caramel. He returned from the kitchen stating the salted caramel was out of stock. Just that. No apology, no enquiry whether I would still like to have the pancakes, just that the salted caramel was out of stock.
For the price and the ratings of this lodge, I was disappointed, because this is definitely not service.
We arrived on the Thursday and left the Sunday, and the outside patio sets only had cushions on the Saturday and Sunday. Thursday and Friday there were no cushions outside and no towels next to the pool. It seems clients are only allowed to swim and sit outside during the weekends.
We stayed in Villa 2 and the bathroom floor is in serious need of treatment. The floor doesn't look good and is definitely not 4 star standard.
Moving over to the good - Felix, the speed boat driver, was an absolute gem. He is so friendly and talkative and makes you laugh the whole time. He is such an asset to the lodge. I can say the same about Josephine who is a waitress in the restaurant. She has an excellent sense of humor and nothing seems to be trouble if you ask her for something. Whenever she sees you at the bar, she will always ask if she can do something for you - such a pleasant lady. She decorated the table and wrote "Happy Birthday" with coffee beans! I'm sure that must have taken a lot of effort.
The cleaning ladies also decorated our room the last night with flowers and candles, and went through a lot of trouble to create a very romantic atmosphere.
The stay was enjoyable, but not as much as I've anticipated. I read beforehand about the border crossing every day and the animals being on the Botswana side, so I was prepared for that - nothing the lodge can do about it.
The lodge should focus on client service and at least greeting the customers when they walk past you. Great potential as the lodge is perfectly situated.
My husband and I had an amazing stay at the Chobe Water Villas for our 10th wedding anniversary. On the last night of our stay the lodge spoilt us with champagne and they set up our room beautifully with flowers etc. so special! The food is delicious and the lodge is in a beautiful setting. To enjoy a beautiful sunset all you need do is step out on to your spacious verandah overlooking the river. The staff are all very friendly and willing to help. The manager Ephraim was always there to find out if you are ok and if there is anything he can do to make your stay even better. On arrival and departure we were welcomed with singing and dancing. Overall a lovely experience. Thank you Chobe Water Villas :)
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.