Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp is a classic, unpretentious luxury tented camp set in riverine forest in the heart of the unspoilt Okavango Delta. Game drives, walks and mokoro trips take place on a huge, remote concession area bordering the Moremi Game Reserve, and the game-viewing is some of the best in the Delta. The camp purposefully exudes rustic bush living, but discerning guests will be kept more than satisfied by comprehensive creature comforts, fine cuisine and top-notch service.
With an informal atmosphere and eco-friendly building style, Stanley’s Camp is the type of place that immediately makes you feel at one with the African bush. The huge ebony and sausage trees create a picture perfect setting, and each well-appointed tent has a large deck where guests can recline on hammocks while looking out over the game-traversed plains. Elephants regularly come right up to these secured decks to graze on the lush trees. The camp offers touching interactions with orphaned elephants, while several active hyena dens can be found close by. Guided game drives, as well as mokoro trips during the winter floods, all contribute to a wonderful safari experience.
Typical of many places in the Okavango Delta, the 105 000ha Stanley’s Camp concession is an area of constant seasonal transformation. During the dry months of September and October, the area is covered in golden grasses and dry savannah plains, before the rainy season brings with it lush green vegetation and marginally higher water levels in the floodplains and river channels.
The rain that falls in the Angolan highlands in summer eventually reaches the area in June, transforming the delta into a watery wonderland. Gentle mokoro trips and boat cruises are the best ways to explore the papyrus and palm-tree fringed pools at this time, but exceptional game viewing can be experiencing all year round. While enjoying the the delta’s spectacular array of animals and birds, keep an eye out for vast herds of elephant and buffalo, tree-climbing lions, leopards, rhinos and wild dogs.
When guests aren’t out on safari, life at Stanley’s Camp revolves around the massive main area – a high-ceilinged tent which has been cleverly built around a majestic ebony tree. A main deck overlooks the floodplains in front of the camp, and stairs take you up to an elegant dining area, small library and sitting room, all adorned with artefacts and striking photographs. The shop sells a variety of local arts and crafts, clothes and books. The bush-camp experience is made complete by an outdoor fireplace where guests can relax prior to and after dinner.
There are eight tree-shaded guest tents at Stanley’s, all appointed with comfy twin beds, ceiling fans, decanters of sherry, water and ice buckets, desks and luggage racks. The en-suite bathrooms are fitted with showers and a selection of toiletries and insect repellent. Overall, the rustic feel of the camp lends authenticity to a true African safari.
The first game drive of the day departs at dawn, just when the diurnal wildlife of the delta stirs to life and the sun shines its first rays onto the kaleidoscopic landscape. To build energy for the safari, guests can tuck into a light breakfast of muffins, cereal, fruit and toast, along with the option of cooked treats. The guides are well-versed in every aspect of the environment, and will capably drive the four-wheel drive vehicle through beautiful river crossings, game-rich plains and riverine forests. Walking safaris are also on offer for those who want an up close and personal view of the bush. Guests will return to the camp with sightings of some of the Okavango’s most iconic animal species under the belt, settling down for a hearty brunch before some well-deserved relaxation time around the camp.
Another highly memorable option for the morning activity is the elephant interaction, during which you can walk with three elephants, watch them feeding in the bush and learn all about them from an expert. The elephants can even be touched under the careful supervision of your guide. In the afternoons, a varied high tea will keep bellies full before the next activity, which could be another game drive, or a mokoro trip or boat cruise when the water levels are high. An excellent three-course dinner, accompanied by a fine selection of wines, house spirits or any other drink of preference, awaits you on return to the camp. To end the day in perfect fashion, take a seat around the fire, stare up at the stars and swap stories with your fellow guests.