If visiting the Okavango Delta is on your bucket list and money is no object, you may want to consider a stay at Sandibe Okavango, a sustainable safari lodge in Botswana that boasts a light environmental footprint.
The recently reopened Sandibe Okavango blends in with the landscape and stands out from local architectural typology with its distinctly curvaceous timber-clad form. The strikingly breath-taking 24-bed lodge overlooks the banks of the Sandibe River, a rich body of water characterised by the sounds and sights of animals ranging from frogs to hippos.
Elevated on stilts, the sustainable and cocoon-like lodge takes its inspiration from the pangolin, an endangered scaly animal native to the African bush. The architects clad the curvaceous facade with natural and locally sourced shingles and woven saplings in a bid to minimise the building’s environmental footprint. The building is entirely concrete-free and a solar panel farm generates the electricity.
Curved shapes find their way into the interior of the lodge as well, where the 12 suites take on the appearance of suspended weaverbird nests and large timber arches evoke a cathedral-like character. The building opens up towards the river to allow for natural ventilation and lighting, as well as wildlife views. The interior has minimalist décor to keep the focus on the landscape.
The Sandibe Okavango is without a doubt a sight to behold, beautiful almost beyond compare. Well, except Botswana does have countless classy lodges of outstanding beauty! But, I think it’s only fair to give credit where it’s due. I have been to many gorgeous safari lodges, but while they are all stunning, Sandibe Okavango has a very unique look, which just adds to its beauty.
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The fact that it was built with the environment in mind will add to its appeal and charm. It’s just a shame that the average Motswana can only admire it from afar because with rates that start at an eye popping US$1,405 per person per night, not many would ever be able to afford the price tag! I’m saving this one for a lottery win or a surprise windfall.
A Botswana organisation which ought to know better recently ruffled a few feathers, when it took to social media to ask why Batswana appeared not to appreciate their beautiful country as much as the foreigners who visit it every year. Naturally, people (me included), were upset because the simple answer lies in this very article. While some people like me have a burning desire to explore our beautiful country, our budget simply doesn’t stretch that far. Let’s face it, not even some of the foreigners, who have the added advantage of their currency exchange, can afford to visit a lot of Botswana’s holiday destinations. For now, we can only resign ourselves to admiring popular holiday destinations in Botswana such as the Sandibe Okavango Lodge from the sidelines.
What do you think of the Sandibe Okavango Lodge? Do you think the hefty price they charge per night per person is fair? Please share your thoughts with YourBotswana.