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Delta Force

The Facts: Botswana Lodges

A government policy of high-quality/low-volume tourism means that the Okavango Delta remains unspoiled and game-viewing is unparalleled. Visitors pay (a lot) to have this wilderness to themselves—and it's worth every cent. High season, reflected in the prices below (which include accommodation, meals, and game-viewing), runs from July through October; rates can drop 30 percent from November through June. Multi-camp packages always include air transfers, which are impossible to figure out on your own and can be booked through operators. Abercrombie & Kent (800/323-7308; www.abercrombiekent.com) and Maupintour (800/255-4266; www.maupintour.com) specialize in independent and group travel to this region and can help you decide where to go.

I zipped through a handful of camps on my trip, but the Okavango is best appreciated at a slower pace. Spending two or three nights at a couple of lodges lets you relax into the rhythm of camp life, which is dictated for the most part by heat and animal activity. Daily schedules vary, but generally guests are awakened at about 5:30 a.m. for coffee followed by a game drive. The guides are familiar with every detail of the region and, unlike those in South Africa, don't carry rifles. The rest of the daylight hours can include many activities—hearty brunches, midday free time, classes, afternoon tea, more game drives—or none at all. Guests are encouraged to create their own itineraries until dinner is served.


KHWAI RIVER LODGE Gametrackers 27-11/481-6052; www.gametrackers.orient-express.com; doubles from $1,090.
NXABEGA CCAfrica 888/882-3742 or 27-11/809-4447; www.ccafrica.com; doubles from $900.
STANLEY'S CAMP Sanctuary Lodges 27-11/781-1497; www.sanctuarylodges.com; Abercrombie & Kent 800/323-7308; www.abercrombiekent.com; doubles from $880, meeting the elephants an additional $210 per person.
LITTLE MOMBO Wilderness Safaris 800/545-1910 or 215/893-9966; www.wilderness-safaris.com; doubles from $1,780.
SAVUTE ELEPHANT CAMP Gametrackers 27-11/481-6052; www.gametrackers.orient-express.com; doubles from $1,090.
JAO CAMP Wilderness Safaris 800/545-1910 or 215/893-9966; www.wilderness-safaris.com; doubles from $1,350.
CHIEF'S CAMP Sanctuary Lodges 27-11/781-1497; www.sanctuarylodges.com; Abercrombie & Kent 800/323-7308; www.abercrombiekent.com; doubles from $1,250.
SANDIBE CCAfrica 888/882-3742 or 27-11/809-4447; www.ccafrica.com; doubles from $900.
JACK'S CAMP Uncharted Africa 27-11/884-1346; www.unchartedafrica.com; doubles from $930.

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