Khwai Private Reserve is not only one of Botswana’s best-kept secrets, but it’s also home to the lovely Sable Alley. Opened in 2017, Sable Alley is a piece of light, bright and beautiful luxury amid the game-rich floodplains of Khwai. The cherry on top is that it’s as sustainable as it is sophisticated.
The operator, Natural Selection, has partnered with the local communities in Khwai and proceeds from Sable Alley go straight back into the Khwai Village community projects.
Khwai was formerly a hunting concession. Natural Selection has worked hard to transform the area into a safari destination of note. Today, the operator promises you could go on a single game drive and see over 50 different species.
Located right on the banks of a lily-covered lagoon, home to harrumphing hippo and a favourite drinking spot for elephant and buffalo, the big game quite literally comes to you at Sable.
There are plenty of them in Khwai – leopard, lion, cheetah and wild dog, concealed from unsuspecting antelope in the grassy bushes. There’s every chance you’ll also see herds of buffalo barrelling across the landscape, and enormous herds of elephants, trunks swinging and ears flapping. There are also smaller animals: impala drinking tentatively from pools, baboons shouting from trees and sable and roan antelope.
Formerly known as NG18, Khwai Private Reserve is 200,000 hectares of pristine wilderness. That’s three times the size of South Africa’s Sabi Sands – and 300 times more private! The reserve itself is within Botswana’s most-talked about region, the Okavango Delta.
It sits just to the northeast of the Delta, adjacent to Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park, and the landscape is one of the most diverse. Think mopane clusters jostling for space with riverine forest, acacia woodland, seasonal waterholes and winding channels leading from the mighty Khwai River – scenes visitors to Botswana will surely marvel at.
Sable Alley sits right on the banks of a wildlife-spotted lagoon. The water is home to up to 35 harrumphing hippos, and is a favourite drinking spot for elephant and buffalo, making it possible to watch the animals without even leaving your room.
Sable Alley is spacious, sophisticated and stylish. Each canvas-walled suite is a massive 55 square metres and comes complete with a mini indoor seating area, writing desk, double bed, and some seriously Afro-chic décor.
Screen doors at the front lead to breathtaking, uninterrupted views of the lagoon. For a closer inspection, guests can also take a seat on the veranda. At the back, there are two basins, an indoor shower and a flush loo. For those looking get even closer to nature, there’s also an outdoor shower with a view too.
Just like the bedrooms, the communal areas are designed around the spectacular vistas. At night, dinner is served either in the indoor dining area or alfresco on the deck under the twinkling stars and the rumblings and grumblings of the wildlife. There’s a swimming pool and sun deck, both unique spots from which to watch the hippo pods emerge from the lagoon, or simply for some chill-out time in the heat of the day.