Completely rebuilt to combine spectacular design with exceptional wildlife adventures, &Beyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge re-opened its doors on 1 September 2014. Situated on a private concession in the magnificent Okavango Delta, Sandibe boasts exclusive traversing rights over a vast stretch of land adjacent to the wildlife-rich Moremi Game Reserve. Inspired by nature and celebrating its stunning setting, the lodge features the best the Delta has to offer in terms of outstanding design, outstanding wildlife viewing and warm local hospitality.
Set in a cool forest canopy of wild palms and gnarled fig trees, this flagship lodge blends seamlessly with one of Africa’s most breath-taking landscapes. Behind the lodge, golden-grassed floodplains inhabited by a staggering variety of wildlife stretch into the distance, framed by lush palm islands and the spires of giant termite mounds. A channel of clear, cool waters runs directly in front of the elevated guest suites, offering unrestricted views over the shimmering beauty of the Delta.
Inspired by one of the Okavango Delta’s most secretive inhabitants, the guest areas of &Beyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge rise out of the trees clad in a wooden skin of shingles and timber that mirrors the pangolin’s body armour of overlapping scales. Organic and handmade, the lodge blends perfectly with its surroundings, becoming one with the Delta itself.
Stairs rising out of bower of trees lead into cool and spacious interior, ending on a terrace set just above ground level. A curved wooden roof soars high overhead, creating a grand and immense sense of scale. High interiors let in the clear African light and the endless Delta horizons, while an interactive kitchen tantalises guests with the fragrant aroma of spices at each mealtime. Warm and inviting, the vast expanse of the bar invites guests to linger over a sundowner drink or a morning cappuccino, enjoying spectacular views over a sea of papyrus from the elevated viewing deck. Descending to the shaded forest floor, a series of decks open out onto a lantern-lit boma formed from huge logs of descending size that mimic the tail bones of the pangolin.
Decorated in shade of copper and wood, intricately woven baskets abound throughout the guest areas, celebrating the arts and crafts of the Delta. The vast dining room is dominated by an immense table roughly carved from the root of an ironwood tree. Two large woven carpets duplicate the intricate patterns on the underneath of the area’s beautiful water lilies.
Grand interiors open out onto even grander vistas and every nook and cranny opens out onto unparalleled Delta views, even the cosy and intimate massage sala.
While the main guest areas embrace the shelter of the Delta forest, the twelve elegant guest suites beep out from beneath its canopy, raised above the fringes of papyrus that line the Delta channels.
A maze of sparkling lagoons, meandering channels and overgrown islands with its own unique wildlife, the Okavango Delta lies like a sparkling jewel at the heart of the Kalahari Desert. Here the Okavango River, flowing more than a thousand kilometres from Angola, disappears beneath the sands, creating a lush inland delta in the middle of this otherwise arid country. Known as the river that never finds the sea, the Delta’s crystal clear channels spread over the thirstlands of the Kalahari with their papyrus-fringed banks and fertile floating islands.
Adapted for life in and out of water, the elegant red lechwe and shy sitatunga are found in this watery wilderness. Lion, cheetah, leopard and African wild dog share the floodplains with large herds of elephant and buffalo. Hippo inhabit the deeper channels and lagoons, while honey badgers can be seen in broad daylight. Tall termite mounds are home for families of dwarf and banded mongoose. Iridescent dragonflies, frogs of every colour and jewel-like kingfishers live in the papyrus-lined banks.
Weather & climate
Botswana has hot, wet summers that last from October to April. Temperatures can rise to over 40°C and usually drop to 25°C at night. Winters (from May to September) are dry and cool and the nights can be chilly. The rainy season, usually experienced in the form of magnificent afternoon thundershowers, is from late December to the end of February, sometimes continuing into March. Summer rains bring spectacular migrant birds to Botswana. The average annual rainfall is approximately 500 mm.
The currency is Botswana pula. US dollars are also widely accepted, however notes dated before 2003 or higher denomination notes are no longer accepted.
Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club and American Express are accepted by most restaurants, shops and hotels.
Visas and documents
South African passport holders travelling to Botswana do not require a visa.
Travellers to Botswana must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least six months from date of travel and should have at least two blank pages available in their passport.