WHAT: On safari at the fantastic Ngoma Lodge, on the western edge of Chobe National Park, where Botswana meets Namibia. This 2-year-old eco-lodge is far removed from the chaos of the marina area, where the majority of park accommodation is located. And with just eight chalets, each featuring a private plunge pool and outdoor shower, both perched in the bush over the river, in an area open to free range wildlife — listen for lions and elephants at night — it is also secluded and romantic: perfect for honeymooners.
Safaris here are a unique (all day) experience as mornings are spent on the river looking for hippo, elephants, crocodiles and plenty of birds, while afternoons are dedicated to hunting for kitty cats in the bush. We got really lucky and saw a mama leopard and her cub with a kill in a tree. Leopards are notoriously hard to spot, and although I have been on dozens of safaris over nine different trips to Africa, had yet to see one. My friend Busi spotted this one somehow and we were treated to about 1.5 hours of leopard antics. Truly a special way of wrapping up a special introduction to this remote corner of Botswana.
Rates at the lodge are inclusive of activities, meals and drinks. The food was delightful – breakfasts offer every imaginable option, while dinner is a candlelit multi-course affair. The environs were equally delightful and more African modern than your typical safari lodge, but still managing to blend into the bush.
GETTING HERE: It is easy to reach Chobe from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, which is also safe to travel to. If you want to book into Ngoma Lodge transport can be arranged from the sister property, Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. For more details, see http://www.africaalbidatourism.com. A trip to Chobe works very well with a visit to Victoria Falls and a second safari in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, famed for it’s herd of presidential elephants and the ability to get up close and personal with them.