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Mapula Lodge

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Gold price level

Mango Opinion

We crossed Mapula off our list for years as it had slipped. Recently the lodge has been taken over by great operators at Natural Selection, with plans for a full rebuild. For now, the little touches they have added, along with their excellent guide team, make Mapula a compelling option for those looking for value.

There’s an area on the northern fringes of the famed Okavango Delta, an enormous, 220,000 acre concession that’s a matrix of floodplains, woodlands and channels. Waterways snake across the landscape, spilling into glassy lagoons and encircling islands of stately palms and trumpeting elephant. It’s an iconic Delta landscape, and a magical environment in which to enjoy the abundance of wildlife.

In the middle of it all, on a large tree island surrounded by seasonal floodplains, is the laid back Mapula Lodge. Designed by the creators of the Kalahari legend, Jack’s Camp, this is a stylish safari outpost with serious panache. Even better, it’s located on a private concession making for exhilarating game viewing in a blissfully uncrowded area.

At Mapula there are nine canvas-and-thatch bedroom tents (one family tent), replete with king size metal four-posters and feather-filled pillows. En-suite bathrooms have both indoor and outdoor showers. Safari-chic finishing touches finish the decor.

At the main area, an aquamarine swimming pool is the perfect for hot Delta afternoons. Activities include game drives and boating & mokoro safaris.