To sleep amongst the stars, surrounded by 200 000 hectares of magnificent wilderness, deep in the Okavango Delta of Botswana … that is the ultimate night out for nature and wildlife lovers. Actually, for lovers of any kind, or parties of good friends wanting to share the magical experience of sleeping out in Africa. And since there are just three double Skybed platforms, the camp is also one of the most thoroughly private and exclusive in Botswana. Just imagine.
Each Skybed is an open-air, double-storey ‘bush apartment’ that’s all yours, and can be booked for as an extra-special experience when staying at one of the hideaways within the Khwai concession. First floor is the bathroom, replete with hot-water shower and a discrete dressing room alongside. One floor up is the million-star bedroom, open to the night skies and with endless wilderness all around. The bed is centre stage, dressed in white linen and feather duvet and draped with mosquito netting. It will take your breath away and then make you want to dance with joy. If ever there was an extraordinary and deeply romantic experience in Africa, this is it.
Curl up on your couch in the clouds and watch the wildlife world go by, as they visit the waterhole down below. It’s the only permanent one in the concession, so there is year-round action here. Elephant, lion, buffalo, and everyone else eventually passes by to slake their thirst. In between wildlife watching, soak up the stillness of the surrounding wilderness, so beautifully fresh and pristine. It’s balm for the soul.
Just don’t miss your salute to the end of the day from the stand-alone sundowner platform nearby. Iced G&T in hand, put your feet up and reminisce on another perfect day in Africa. Then, a delectable plated, three-course meal awaits you one level down on the dining platform. Somehow it has all materialised, without fuss, while you were watching the sun sink into the evening.
You’ll be escorted back, whenever it suits you, to your Skybed to drift off to dreamland. Listen for the evening bush lullaby, as it’s always a surprise. It could be the sound of roaring lions or jackals calling from afar. Maybe an owl hooting or a hyena chuckling. It’s a fitting close to a magical day, where closer to the essence of Africa you simply can’t get.
What we love:
- Sleeping so close to the stars
- The natural construction and simple, elegant furnishings
- That it’s eco friendly with virtually no footprint
- Absolute privacy and communion with nature
- Feeling so safe surrounded by wilderness
- Waking up and feeling like you have the whole world to yourself
Need to know:
- Skybeds camp is open during the dry season from April to September each year
- The Skybeds cannot be booked for the first night of your stay at Khwai
- Each Skybed sleeps two guest
- No children under 15 years of age
- There is no wifi or electricity
- South Africans don’t require visas to enter Botswana
- It’s a low-risk malaria area
- Getting there: Fly to Maun, then a 35-minute charter flight into Khwai Private
- Reserve, and a doors-off scenic helicopter flight to Skybeds
Reviewed by Keri Harvey