For some, it’s a delivery of a hundred roses at work, with colleagues hovering over in slight envy. For others, it may be a candlelit dinner by the beach, with the sounds of waves clashing against each another. For me, apparently, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience in a chalet overlooking the Chobe River, with the magnificent view of the greenery in Botswana, coupled with sounds of hippos in the early morning hours.
In case you missed it in my introduction, I am talking about O&L’s Chobe Water Villas.
My goodness, where does one begin?
The thing that initially fascinated me about the Villas was the entry way into the lodge. Namibians can only access the lodge via Botswana. Well, not only, but that is definitely the route I will recommend.
That means, during Covid-19 times, you need a negative PCR test, and naturally, your passport. Don’t worry too much about the admin though, the lodge is worth all that effort.
What does arriving at the lodge feel like, you ask?
Heaven, or close to it.
You leave the small town of Kasane (in Botswana) via boat, and that boat ride is nothing short of perfection. The greenery of the trees on the banks of the river, the population of hippos and crocodiles, elephants coming to drink and the smooth waves of the river. Like I said, perfection.
We arrived just a little over 16h00 – the perfect time, apparently, because the weather was perfect that day. No rain, no storm, no uncontrollable heat. Everything was in our favour.
The staff, whom I say are probably Chobe Water Villas’ best asset, welcomed us in song and dance. I learnt to say “this is beautiful” in the local language, but age is catching up with me apparently… I can’t seem to remember it anymore! It was truly the warmest and most beautiful welcome.
Cuisine at the lodge was one of my best yet.
Dinner is always three courses – starter, main and dessert.
I have a terribly sweet tooth, so dessert was naturally always my favourite, but not a single course was amiss. Everything hit the palate just right.
Imagine this: You leave your room for a game drive, arrive back sometime after lunch, and head to your room for your regular nap. Instead of just a cleaned room, the staff surprises you with a romantic gesture – rose petals on the bed, rose petals around the tub and heavenly bath salts. Stuff only movies are made of.
I was living in the moment, but at the same time, out of it. It was out of this world.
Activities at the lodge include a game drive
Because the Chobe National Park gate is in Botswana, we drove back into Kasane bto experience the game drive. It sounds strenuous but it really isn’t, everything is generally quite smooth.
I learnt the Chobe National Park has a population of about 320 000 elephants, so we saw many of them – some big, some small, some hungry, some having mud baths, some lonesome and many in groups of at least 10. It was quite a sight.
The Park has four of the big five. Can you imagine that? And the possibility that you will see all four is also very high.
Of the four, we saw lions, elephants and buffaloes. We missed out on seeing a leopard, and the park has no population of rhino. An eventful drive anyway, and definitely worth the time and effort.
My favourite activity at the lodge is the boat cruise.
I don’t know if it’s the feeling of being on water or the fact that hippos fascinate me, but I really recommend the boat cruise. It’s always worth it!
Our three-night stay at the lodge ended with perfect room service of a three-course dinner while enjoying a mini storm, overlooking the mighty Chobe River with sounds of happy hippos all around us. I don’t know about you, but that definitely sounds like a perfect night to me. - firstname.lastname@example.org