Splash Camp

Kwara Private Reserve, Botswana

Splash is very much a contemporary take on the romanticised, traditional safari lodge. Large, modern rooms overlook the waterhole, promising sightings from the comfort of your bed, while public areas are convivial and comfortable. Staff are incredibly friendly and there are a wide range of activities to choose from.

Location

9 / 10

Splash can only be accessed by air and is found in the heart of the Okavago Delta within the Private Kwara Reserve. The Reserve shares an 18-mile (30km) water boundary with the Moremi Game Reserve and has both permanent water and seasonal flood plains. The transfer from the airstrip to the camp is a safari in itself and we were treated to the rare sight of a pack of wild dogs on departure.

Style & character

8 / 10

Arriving at this small, intimate camp feels a little like arriving at someone’s home. The staff are incredibly welcoming and the beautifully done lodge is low key, inviting guests to interact not only with the staff but with each other. Fridges with cool drinks are immediately at hand – a welcome sight in the heat – and there are a mix of open-air communal areas, from a high table with bar stools to cosy cream sofas complete with blue cushions and a convivial boma. This is not your traditional lodge, but has an altogether more contemporary, modern safari feel. Natural wood is the star of the simple yet elegant design here, with soft touches of white. The small public areas are all open on one side and look out over the boma to the pan beyond. 

Service & facilities

8 / 10

The service reflects the homey atmosphere and mealtimes in particular make you feel as though you are a guest at a large, friendly family dinner. Guides and trackers will likely regale you with humorous tales of why they are more scared of honey badgers than lions as you eat. The main area has a small yet refreshing plunge pool, a bar, fire pit, and lounge as well as a curio shop. Activities on offer within the reserve include game drives with sundowners, mokoro excursions, boat cruises, seasonal fishing and walking safaris.

  • Bar
  • Laundry
  • Pool
  • Restaurant
  • Wi-Fi

Rooms

9 / 10

With no fencing, the camp is completely open to the elements – a theme that is continued in the 10 tented rooms. The large stilted rooms face the pan and water hole, which is popular with a variety of wildlife from game to big cats, and have floor-to-ceiling doors, which open up to give you a fantastic view. You could sit out on your terrace or lay on your bed and see almost every species you’d see out on safari. Each has an ensuite and both an outdoor shower and indoor rain shower, and while billed as 'tents', these are very much luxurious, comfy rooms with solid walls and roofs.

Guides will accompany you to your room at night and in the early morning as lions and leopards have been known to wander the grounds (we were driven back to our room on one occasion and had to wait for the lioness lying across the path to get bored and wander off before we could enter).

Food & drink

8 / 10

The food here is served from a little counter overlooking the singular large dining table. For the evening meal, your starter and dessert are served at the table, while the main is available buffet-style. A variety of home-cooked food is on offer and every taste is catered for; on my visit there was a delicious homemade sweet potato soup to begin, followed by a mini-buffet on the counter that included a piece of cut meat (beef) plus a variety of fresh salads and a warm vegetarian pasta option.

Breakfast is more home-cooking, including freshly made granola and a selection of seasonal fruit, served around the campfire as the sun peeks over the horizon. Brunch is made up of a selection of freshly made salads and meat or omelettes and High Tea can be enjoyed at 4pm if you’re feeling a little peckish. 

Value for money

8 / 10

Permanent tents from $725 (£574) per person in low season; and from $1,420 (£1,124) in high. Includes all meals, scheduled game activities, local branded drinks and laundry. No Wi-Fi or connectivity.

Access for guests with disabilities?

Not suitable.

Family-friendly?

As well as the main camp, there is also a private enclave available for groups of six to 10 people that has no age restrictions (in the rest of the camp, children must be above the age of six) and is perfect for families. The enclave comes with its own plunge pool, dining area, lounge and bar. Families with children below the age of 12 will need to book a private vehicle.

Kwara Private Reserve, Western Okavango Delta, Botswana.
00 267 686 1449
Rooms from £ 574
per night