Where location is everything.
Mapula Lodge sits on the edge of a seasonal floodplain in a private reserve just outside the Okavango Delta. It's just north of two of the regions' most prolific game viewing areas, the Vumbura and Duba Plains concessions, and game viewing at Mapula is just as fabulous as you might expect. Lion, leopard, wild dog, buffalo and plenty of plains game wander across the glossy landscape and the activities on offer will make sure you get a good look at all of them. Then, at the end of a day's exploring, you'll return to sunset cocktails on the deck, the best food in Botswana, and some seriously-stylish rooms.
At the lodge
The stylish main area is tucked between the boughs of ancient trees and looks straight out over a glittering lagoon. Inside the open-plan lounge, you'll find jewel-coloured sofas underneath understated chandeliers, and a long, elegant dining table where meals are taken. Outside, the fire pit is the perfect spot for morning coffee and sunset cocktails, and during siesta time, you may like to retire to the swimming pool and gaze at the views of the horizon beyond.
The team behind the iconic Jack's Camp in the Makgadikgadi have breathed a new, stylish lease of life into Mapula Lodge and it's looking lovely. The nine rooms are a combination of canvas and thatch, and large double beds draped in rich fabrics and surrounded by fluttering mosquito nets have brilliant views over the lagoon. Each has a small indoor sitting area and a private outdoor deck, as well as a small, ensuite bathroom with outdoor shower. Extra-special touches include polished brass water jugs, elaborate Kilim rugs and beautiful wall hangings.
The activities at Mapula are as varied as the spectacular Delta landscape. Water activities include traditional mokoro safaris, boat trips and fishing (all of which depart straight from camp across the lagoon), whilst game drives and walking safaris enable you to get to grips with the terrain. Mapula also have a few surprises up their sleeve and you might find yourself sleeping under the stars at their rustic fly-camp, or munching dinner around a camp fire in the middle of the bush. If you're looking for something really different, add a helicopter flip or a hot air balloon flight to your itinerary for a bit of spice.