Leroo La Tau
Easygoing style on the edge of the Boteti River
Leroo La Tau
Leroo La Tau is perched on the banks of the seasonally flowing Boteti River, west of the well-known Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana. The region is famous for its large yearly migrations of zebra and wildebeest - thousands can be seen in the riverbed during the end of the dry season (September/October). The river itself has a fascinating and tumultuous history, drying up significantly in 1988 for two decades, affecting wildlife behaviour and prompting incredible adaptations like terrestrial dwelling crocodile building dens into the dry riverbanks. However, since a record high flood in 2009, the seasonal flow has been adequate and wildlife again congregate on the river, typically from May through October. The lodge is one of the few luxury options in the region - you'll feel utterly spoiled but also easily at home in this grand setting with warm, down-to-earth hospitality.
At the lodge
There's no disputing it—these expansive grounds are a stunning setting for sheer relaxation and seasonal game viewing. Enjoy the lovely open riverfront area, including a large swimming pool, a wrap-around deck, a sunken sandy fire pit and a hide tucked into the reeds on the Boteti River. Thatched roofs with manicured lawns and a grand dining table create an air of African tradition seasoned with prim and proper colonial style finishings. The upstairs loft with outdoor seating and views overlooking the river is an exclusive treat between the activities.
Twelve sizeable raised chalets sit well-spaced along the riverfront, each with it's own view. Here, it's all about the view, with the huge sliding glass-doors in the bedroom and large windows in the en-suite bathroom. Each has a double bed and a single bed, comfortably accommodating three per room. The neutral colour palate, sisal matting and calico curtains give this a natural, well-blended style. Tea and coffee facilities allow you to help yourself to a cup-a any time you like, and the large outdoor deck transforms this simple but luxurious dwelling into a palace.
Located outside Makgadikgadi National Park on a small private reserve, the majority of the game driving takes places in the park itself. Drives are therefore subject to park rules: no off-roading or night drives allowed. You'll spend most of your time on or along the river's edge - be it a game drive or a boating cruise -as it yields the most productive sightings. Visiting the interior of the park, where the pans are located, can be a long and arduous journey; it's possible to venture to Nxai Pan, where you'll see the towering, iconic cluster of Baines' Baobabs, though only if you stay a minimum of three nights (it's worth noting it does require a lengthy drive both ways). The highlight is most certainly the river - boating when the water level allows and drives along its edge. Cultural excursions to the neighbouring Khumaga Village, where many of the lodge staff call home, offers a fascinating peek into the people of the region, living amidst a bonafide wilderness.