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Close wildlife encounters

Your guide quietly directs the boat into the reeds; you wait there, motionless. An elephant mum wades through the water, coming closer and closer. She stares at you, and then turns around to play with her family in the river. At Elephant Valley Lodge, be prepared for some close encounters with wildlife. This area is home to the largest wild elephant population in the world, estimated at 140,000 individuals. The tented safari camp lies within the Kasane Forest Reserve extension of the Chobe National Park in Botswana. Sturdy acacias reach high above the camp, forming large canopies of shade, under which you will find custom-built meru-style luxury safari tents. The entire camp breathes an African ambiance; authentic tents, lampshades made of calabash, big tree branches that appear to shelter you. Given the ubiquity of elephant in this wildlife sanctuary, the camp is fenced for ensured safety (and some peace of mind). The lodge overlooks a well-attended water hole, a very bustling place during ‘rush hour’. Enjoy exceptional views in the early mornings, while lunch is served or during dinner: you will see giraffes, buffaloes, lions, elephants (of course), hippos, crocodiles – the list is endless. The same can be said about the hospitality at this camp: more hospitable places are few and far between.

Elephant Valley Lodge consists of twenty meru-style tents ensuring an authentic safari experience. Tents are spread through the forest or along the edge of the valley, so you can hear the multitude of nightly sounds as you drift away. Features include en-suite bathrooms with a shower and toilet, twin beds, fan, tea and coffee facilities and a private covered deck. The main lodge area is large, open-sided and under thatch. Enjoy breakfasts and lunch buffets in the comfortable lounge or covered dining area. A great chance to meet with other couples and families, comparing experiences while indulging in amazing homemade bread, fresh salads and cheesecake for dessert. Evenings are for outdoor dining on the deck or in the boma. After dinner, you might feel like venturing out to the game viewing hide at the water hole (bring your binoculars) to witness wildlife preparing for the night to come. Something else than switching on the television, isn’t it? For those who need some more unwinding: the swimming pool with comfortable sun loungers will be just the place for you.

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