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A luxury tented safari in the Okavango Delta: an insider perspective!

Published:
May 2, 2024
Updated:

A luxury tented safari in the Okavango Delta: an insider perspective!

Arrive in style

You have just arrived at the airport in Maun, Botswana. After going through customs, you head back out on another light aircraft, Botswana’s version of a taxi. These planes pick up and drop off guests to the far and hard to reach places of their Botswana Okavango Delta safari. This will be your transport to the Barclay Stenner safari camp, with exquisite views over the Delta along the way.

The Okavango Delta from the skies in August, a prime game viewing month. © Michelle Pengilly
The Okavango Delta from the skies in August, a prime game viewing month. © Michelle Pengilly

As you step off the plane, you are met by John Barclay, a 5th generation safari guide with deep roots in Botswana. Your luggage is loaded on to the vehicles and then we hop into a game viewer on a beautiful drive to your home for the next few nights. When you arrive at the camp, James Stenner is waiting to welcome you.

Safari boots stepping off plane

John Barclay and James Stenner have spent years on safari together. Their combined experience of safari in the Okavango River Delta gives you the opportunity to be hosted and guided on a unique, real safari. Together, John and James are an excellent team in the 'Bush', with John leading the guiding and James delivering the perfect camp and service. The energy between them will engulf you and truly add to any safari experience. These two gentlemen will be your hosts and guides for the next few nights. 

James Stenner and John Barclay. © Barclay Stenner
James Stenner and John Barclay. © Barclay Stenner

A mobile, luxury safari camp like no other...

The mobile luxury safari camp has been set up in an expertly chosen location in the Okavango Delta to maximise shade during the day and allow for the best wildlife spotting opportunities. These private Okavango Delta safaris under canvas are designed to make the most of seasonal conditions and wildlife moments, not being geographically restricted to one area or camp concession. These are some of the most stunning luxury tents in Africa, placing you in the heart of nature in the greatest comfort. Safety, security and serenity are the keywords of your journey.

A luxury safari tent at Barclay Stenner Safari Camp © Barclay Stenner
A luxury safari tent at Barclay Stenner Safari Camp © Barclay Stenner

The custom designed Meru tents are set amongst the shade of centuries old, indigenous trees. Each African safari tent has a beautiful four-poster bed with 400-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and feather duvets to cuddle up in and is furnished with flushing loos, bucket showers, Persian carpets, brass copper jugs, bone handled silver cutlery and the most beautiful mirrors.

The luxury safari tent interior © Barclay Stenner

Imagine waking up to the sound of the Delta’s morning chorus, and having an outdoor shower whilst a pride of lions roars a few 100m from camp. This is a private mobile safari in style, Africa safari glamping at its finest and one of the closest experiences out there when it comes to that Out-of-Africa feeling.

Some say, the freedom of having an outdoor shower is the ultimate African safari experience... © Barclay Stenner
Some say, the freedom of having an outdoor shower is the ultimate African safari experience... © Barclay Stenner

As the day unfolds, you'll go where the wildlife is

Your entire journey is about the safari and experience. Without WiFi, there are no distractions from the outside world. For the duration of your stay, you just exist in a truly stunning place and really get to unwind. John and James’ ethos is to live the adventure of safari and that’s exactly what you will do. Your itinerary is more like a very broad and loosely defined outline to your safari. 

Elephants at sunrise © Barclay Stenner

In the morning, you wake up to a delightful English breakfast and watch the magic of elephants almost silently coming down to drink at a twinkling waterhole in the morning light, smell the light aromas of the sage that the gentle giants have crushed beneath foot, and then a mad dash to wolf down your breakfast as James has found “steaming” tracks of a leopard nearby and we’re off on safari. If you hear lions calling during the evening then there is where you will be going the next day: heading off in the game viewer in the direction of the “lion audio” and see if you can track them down. There will be water crossings where you may even get stuck and have to get out to haul the vehicle out of the river. And why not set up lunch while you're there?

A lunch set up in the middle of the Okavango River Delta? No problem! © Barclay Stenner
A lunch set up in the middle of the Okavango River Delta? No problem! © Barclay Stenner

This all part of the adventure. If you feel like setting up chairs in the shade overlooking a waterhole and seeing who comes down to drink, then let’s do so! If you want to go on a bush walk and take in some of the smaller interesting little titbits that are often missed when in the game drive vehicle, let’s go! 

Exploring Africa on game drive does wonders for the soul © Barclay Stenner

The perfect ending to the perfect day in Africa

Back at camp, the chefs make sure that you are well-fed with delicious treats whipped up in a tiny bush kitchen - a truly remarkable feat! End the day with a three-course dinner and some beautiful wine to debrief the adventures of the day; just what is needed at the end of long day of tracking leopards or watching herds of elephants splashing in the Delta’s channels. After dinner, let the incredible sounds of the African night envelop you. If you are really lucky you might even hear the king of the bush, the lion, announcing his presence, before you drift off to sleep and dream about what adventures await tomorrow.  

The perfect way to end the day: a campfire in one of Africa's last wildernesses © Barclay Stenner
The perfect way to end the day: a campfire in one of Africa's last wildernesses © Barclay Stenner

Let's make it reality

Do you want to travel to Botswana's Okavango Delta, and experience the realness of the African wilderness on a private safari tailored to your needs and wants? Contact us to book or virtually explore the camp here

Written by Jonty Bozas & Evelyn Poole

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