Mankwe Bush Lodge has a new name and a new look
Mankwe Tented Retreat is open for business and welcoming safari enthusiasts from across the world, with lots of big plans for 2023 and eager to make an impact on the African safari stage.
If you aren’t familiar with the name, that’s because fate has intervened in the evolution of this beautiful and refreshingly original safari lodge, which used to be known as Mankwe Bush Lodge.
Timing is everything when launching a new brand. It’s a lesson learned over and over again in the tourism industry and one that really hit home for Wildside Africa when it acquired Mankwe Bush Lodge and its associated campsite in Botswana back in 2016.
Located on the eastern edge of the Moremi Game Reserve with easy access to the legendary Khwai region, it was an obvious choice for the fledgling safari company’s first major acquisition in this beautiful Southern African country.
Filled with passion and enthusiasm for its new venture, Wildside Africa decided to close the lodge and significantly upgrade it and the camping facilities, scheduling a relaunch for August 2016 – the start of Botswana’s peak season. What happened next was completely unexpected, but another life lesson for all concerned… A day before the opening, a freak fire decimated the lodge, destroying all of the brand-new communal areas and laying waste to Wildside Africa’s plans.
Efforts at temporary fixes proved impractical, so the decision was taken to start from scratch and undertake a full rebuild and rebrand. That arduous process took three years but resulted in the unveiling of the renamed Mankwe Tented Retreat at the start of 2020. Weeks later a conflagration of a different sort struck – the world shut down as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. The rest, as they say, is history.
Mankwe Tented Retreat’s grand entrance onto the global tourism stage was halted yet again. Its luxurious new tents were mothballed and the gorgeous, flowing communal areas overlooking vast expanses of mopane woodland and pristine African wilderness stood empty and silent.
Slowly, the world emerged from the ravages of the pandemic and Mankwe Tented Retreat cautiously but optimistically opened its proverbial doors to a significantly different tourism landscape. In survival mode, thoughts of grand relaunches and fresh brand positioning went out of the window as the travel world took stock of the untold damage wrought upon it. Until now, that is.
As tourism in Africa rebounds and African safaris once more hog the global tourism limelight, Mankwe Tented Retreat is welcoming the waiting world yet again. A phoenix twice over, having risen from both literal and metaphoric ashes, Mankwe Bush Lodge is no more – replaced by a reimagining of safari luxury that draws inspiration from the incredible wilderness around it.
Mankwe Tented Retreat is not just a new name, it’s a fresh take on luxury safaris in Botswana. Its understated, organic design perfectly complements its location and makes the most of the need for unfussy, down-to-earth yet elegant and modern luxury décor combined with superlative service, exceptional hospitality and a passion for excellence.
At Mankwe Tented Retreat the focus is on the guest experience, from wonderful cuisine, fabulous accommodation and facilities to exciting game activities, community engagement and authentic, immersive safari adventures. With private camping facilities offering self-drivers the opportunity to enjoy some of the lodge facilities during their stay, Mankwe Tented Retreat also puts affordability front and centre, making a Botswana safari more accessible to a wider market as a result.