It’s a bird! It’s a pangolin! No, it’s andBeyond’s new Sandibe Lodge.
Why Go: Have you ever heard of a pangolin? If you are unfamiliar with the term, do a quick online image search. The scaly anteater, native to Africa and Asia, was the inspiration for the architecture of the new andBeyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge. One of several high-end camps on the Okavango Delta, Sandibe opened in 1998 on the banks of the Santantadibe River. In January the camp closed and was rebuilt, with the pangolin-inspired main lodge and eight suites (from $910 per person, all inclusive) designed to look like weaverbird nests. In addition to its interesting look, the rebuild betters the previous camp on views, spaciousness, and overall comfort.
What to Expect: Apart from unexpected architecture, Sandibe affords guests alternatives to the ever-present game drive by Land Rover. Many camps in this carefully managed northwest corner of Botswana have a sizable private concession to explore, and Sandibe is no exception. Thus, guests are allowed to safari on foot, at night, and by helicopter. The camp’s eight-suite total inventory ensures that the concession cannot feel crowded, and ample guides and trackers allow guests flexibility they may not experience elsewhere. Surrounding wildlife includes the Big Five, hippos, cheetahs, buffalo, antelopes, African wild dogs, and endless bird species—and pangolins, of course. The camp’s location adjacent to the delta’s permanent waterways ensures its viability year-round. Summer game drives occur in the mornings and late afternoons; in the winter, they are more enjoyable in the heat of the day.
How to Get There: Guests can fly into either the Maun or Kasane airports and then take a light-aircraft flight to the Okavango Delta, followed by a short drive to the camp. Visits can be combined with stays at andBeyond’s 33 other lodges and camps. (+27.11.809.4300, andbeyond.com)