Great Plains, the iconic eco-tourism company, is delighted to announce the opening of Sitatunga Private Island, a water-based Réserve-Collection Safari Camp in the upper reaches of Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
Built on a raised, wrap-around railway sleeper private deck, Sitatunga Private Island can accommodate a maximum of four adults in two separate and stunning private suites. The spacious double-bedroom Sitatunga Private Island Suite hosts four adults or a family of two adults and up to three children, offering a total footprint of approximately 607m2. Sitatunga Private Island can host up to eight guests in total sharing the two suites and the two-bedroom Sitatunga Private Island Suite.
Constructed almost entirely of recycled materials, breathing new life into old treasures, the new camp offers discerning explorers a ‘slow safari’ experience that is as sustainable as it is luxurious. Each of the two guest suites, as well as the 2-bedroomed Sitatunga Private Island Suite comes complete with an indoor lounge, gorgeously appointed bathrooms with baths and separate showers, a private deck with outdoor lounging and seating areas as well as a private pool with expansive views over the lagoon that stretches in front of the camp itself.
Sitatunga Private Island will provide guests with the most authentic ‘Robinson Crusoe’-inspired experience and a refuge for the soul in the Okavango Delta. As elaborated by Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains:
“Sitatunga Private Island is unlike any other Great Plains property, pushing the eco-design boundary in a remote region in Botswana whilst also offering the highest level of hospitality and accommodation. It is also one of the few locations in the world where one can still see sitatunga, the rare aquatic antelope, from camp and by boat, which is the main activity here in addition to walking. It is deep Okavango Delta and, as such, is rich in birding. Head out on a boat to view elephants, crocodiles, and hippos all day, every day. I know our guests will enjoy every moment of it, as I do”.
Dereck and Beverly Joubert have been pivotal in the interior design process, imbibing a sense of place and authenticity into the camp, with the giant bamboo fisherman basket structures of the suites paying homage to the Bayei people who historically occupied the area.
“Sitatunga’s design tells the story of the Okavango, a camp surrounded by water, and one that has had indigenous fishermen in the region for over 200 years,” explains Dereck Joubert. “Those fishermen designed and used fishing baskets and traps made from reeds in a funnel shape, so I took this reference and designed the rooms as tents hanging inside of giant fishing baskets. The interiors, as a result, draw on a color range that mirrors that of the Okavango – a blend of misty greens and light bleached woods.”
A true labor of love, all materials within the camp have been personally sourced by Dereck and Beverly over the years and used to create Sitatunga Private Island. The suites seamlessly blend into the natural landscape of the Okavango Delta, conjuring a strong imaging of its ancestral origins while respecting the local environment. As Joubert explains:
“Sitatunga Private Island is very ‘Robinson Crusoe, desert island-ish.’ It is designed with a ‘salvage’ inspired reference. Thick, shaggy thatch covers canvas roofs and walls. There is thick pole woodwork, feeling like masts salvaged from a shipwreck, but the very spacious inner floorspace is actually some of the largest we have ever built. Each suite is set up very high in the ebony trees, a traditional way to seek and find safety, take advantage of the views, and rest in the cool shade. And, of course, to spot sitatunga!”
A water-based camp, guests can choose from a variety of ‘slow safari’ adventures, from boating safaris and mekoro rides and more. For the traditionalist, walking safaris and game drives are also available, and for a truly indulgent celebration, guests can even opt for a scenic private helicopter tour of the Okavango Delta – complete with champagne, naturally! Flexibility is at the core of every Great Plains’ stay, and guests are encouraged to create their own unique itinerary in line with their interests, with guidance and recommendations from professional guides who know the Delta like the back of their hand.
“Sitatunga Private Island is the perfect camp to slow down in, to walk, to get on the ever-soothing water”, adds Joubert. “Get on the river. Let its pace determine yours, give yourself to it and find silent moments on your safari. Because, like the river, it is not about the water itself but the journey.”
For those guests keen to unwind within their new home-away-from-home in Botswana, Sitatunga Private Island offers yoga mats, an exercise bike, and light weights with in-room massages available upon request. A unique wine cellar and boutique complete with D&B Explorer clothing are also available to guests within the camp. As has become synonymous with a Great Plains Conservation Réserve-Collection safari camp, each suite comes complete with a complimentary professional camera and lens set, for use while out on the water/in the bush, ensuring lifelong memories can be captured during one’s stay.
Nightly rates at Sitatunga Private Island start from $1,848 per night on an all-inclusive basis. Children must be aged 6 and upwards. For more information or to book, visit https://greatplainsconservation.com/safari/sitatunga-private-island/