Where the parched sands of the Kalahari Desert meet the waters of the Okavango River an African legend is born. Annual rains bring with them an inundation that creates life from dust and a verdant paradise from dry thirstland – the Okavango Delta, far from any sea but a unique, African Eden. On its eastern edge, amongst a mopane woodland, is where our Botswana adventures begin…
Mankwe Tented Retreat
Experience a True Safari Adventure
A secret paradise
Bordering the Moremi Game Reserve – the oldest protected region of the Okavango – a vast 85,000ha concession forms the territory of Mankwe – “mother leopard” in the Setswana language of the Batswana people. This is the home of Mankwe Tented Retreat, our base in this breathtakingly beautiful country.
With another 20,000ha of traversing along the stunning Khwai River, this is an intimate, authentic safari camp that has risen, like a phoenix, from the ashes of its former incarnation to become one of the Okavango’s best-kept secrets.
Opened at the start of 2020, just before the world as we know it went into lockdown and history’s course was changed forever, Mankwe Tented Retreat is a survivor in every respect, overcoming a devastating fire and COVID19 to stake its safari claim.
Perfect for exploring the Moremi Game Reserve and the easternmost edge of the legend that is the Okavango, this is a land of contrasts, from the mopane-rich woodland surrounding the camp and the lush, riverine banks of the Khwai River.
Watch elephants pass silently by as they come to drink at the waterhole and nearby pan, or marvel at the birdlife in and around the camp… Relax by one of two sparkling swimming pools and feel the wonder of complete surrender to the rhythms of the wilderness as mind, body and soul disconnect from the artifice of urban existence… Dine in awe beneath a canopy of glittering stars…
It’s a retreat in every sense of the word, a safari sanctuary for the senses.
Redefining Safari Luxury
Effortless… It’s a word used to describe something that just seems to come naturally, without fuss or fanfare and one that perfectly describes the design ethos and guest experience at Mankwe Tented Retreat. We don’t need to tell you our camp is luxurious, we let it speak for itself and take our lead from nature’s understated opulence in the process.
Created in the same simple yet superbly elegant way as its South African counterparts, the camp merges seamlessly with its wilderness surroundings, taking its inspiration from the landscapes around it. This is barefoot luxury at its finest, with a rich blend of safari chic and African organic aesthetics that makes staying here a safari experience in its own right.
We firmly believe in the notion of less being more, using the gorgeous tapestry of Botswana’s magnificent untamed wilderness as a canvas on which to paint memorable safaris, beginning with our 10 beautiful and spacious tented suites. A fusion of modern style and practical design, each is raised on its own wooden platform with hardwood floors and views out over wild Africa from private viewing decks.
With an option of either a kingsize bed or twin bed configuration, all under flowing mosquito nets, every tent has its own en-suite bathroom with a shower, flushing toilet, double vanities and expansive views of the wilderness thanks to a floor-to-ceiling window.
There is a tea and coffee station, hanging space for clothing, a standing fan that provides cooling breezes during the summer months and ample lighting either side of the bed as well as at an elegant desk with a wilderness outlook.
Two additional en-suite tents provide guide/pilot accommodation for privately guided safaris.
Discover ancient, mystical landscapes
At Mankwe Tented Retreat you are surrounded by an African legend – the magical mopane tree… Known as the “butterfly tree” it is a symbol of survival in challenging environments and represents a unique symbiosis between tree and the animal kingdom. It plays a critical role in the lifecycle of the emperor moth, whose eggs are laid on its leaves, becoming caterpillars known as mopane worms before their metamorphosis into one of the most impressive moths in the world.
It’s a story as old as time itself, and one that’s echoed in camp as we invite you to make your own transformation from the stresses of every day life in an urban environment to the gentler, natural and more conscious way of living in the African wilderness.
Choose to forget the life you left behind, even if just for a few days as you discover the nooks and crannies we’ve created to allow for complete escape, in our wonderful open lounge with its comfortable couches and various enclaves of peace and quiet scattered throughout Mankwe Tented Retreat. Or indulge in a private treatment in our wonderful little wilderness spa.
If you have to connect with the outside world, we’ve got you covered with a private business lounge enabling you to hook up with wifi and catch up with your emails.
Exploration is a given as you embark on a range of activities both close at hand on our own concession, along the Khwai River and out into the greater wilderness of the Okavango Delta itself…
- Relax on your private deck overlooking the Botswana wilderness
- Cool off in one of two sparkling swimming pools
- Curl up with a good book or a refreshing drink in our beautiful lounge area
- Lay back on a sun lounger with a colourful cocktail
- Sit on your private deck and do a spot of birding
- Enjoy three-course dinners under a billion stars
- Unwind with a soothing massage at our bush spa
- Sit under a sala next to the big pool and catch up with friends
- Depart on morning and afternoon game drives or a thrilling night drive on our private concession
- Embark on a full-day safari with sumptuous packed lunches as you explore the Khwai River and Moremi Game Reserve
- Explore the channels and reed-lined waterways of the Okavango by mokoro (in season)
- Take a breathtaking boat cruise through the Okavango lagoon system (in season)