Stretched out over approximately 4,250sq miles, the Chobe National Park’s clay pans, floodplains and woodland are home to one of Africa’s largest concentrations of flora and fauna. But it’s the Chobe River on the park’s northern border that steals the show: the cobalt strip snaking through central Africa transforms the area into a magnet for the park’s wild inhabitants.
Commandeering a prime position, yet blending effortlessly into the raw wilderness, Kubu Lodge is an intimate retreat for wildlife aficionados. Just outside the safari gateway town of Kasane, the lodge is set on 74 acres strewn with giant ebony and wild fig trees. Guests can bed down in one of 11 thatched chalets dotted across a lawn that leads down to the riverbank. Pared-back decor with local design accents welcomes guests, and just beyond each chalet’s private verandah, the elegant Chobe bushbuck antelope can be spotted grazing.
A stroll down to the water’s edge reveals just why the Kubu Lodge takes its name from the Setsana word for ‘hippo’ — look out for the telltale ear tips just above the surface. Guests can plunge into the riverside saltwater pool to bask in the views before heading to the Leathaba Restaurant, where a mix of refined European and traditional African influences creates unforgettable dishes.
To explore the charms of the area, a safari game drive or a boat cruise along the river into the Chobe National Park will get travellers up close to Africa’s largest population of elephants. There’s also the option to venture out on a sunset cruise to the confluence of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers, where Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia share a border. Also on offer are fishing trips, an excursion to a crocodile farm or a visit to the World of Wildlife and Biodiversity Centre, home to snakes, birds and reptiles.
Back at the lodge, guests can strike out on a walk through the lodge’s woodland — located on a major avian migration route, any of more than 400 feathered species can be glimpsed winging their way overhead. Come evening, the elevated Morubisi bar is the perfect place to sample award-winning Cape wine and rejuvenate while planning the next day’s activities.
A day trip out to the iconic Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to marvel at the world’s largest sheet of falling water
Need to know
· 11 thatched wooden chalets
· Swimming pool
· Riverfront verandah
· Nature walks
· Game drives
· Boat cruises
· Trip to World of Wildlife and Biodiversity Centre
· Visit to a working crocodile farm