Okavango Delta, Khwai Private Concession
THE LUXURY OF SPACE
If you’ve been forever dreaming of an iconic Okavango Delta experience, then end your search with Tuludi. The camp is located in the Khwai Private Reserve, over 200,000 hectares of pristine wilderness, and the landscape is fit for a fairy tale: floodplains stretch as far as the eye can see and the glistening waterways and emerald forests attract all the stars of the safari show.
At Tuludi itself, we wanted to capture the magic of being enfolded in nature and the serenity and space that comes with it. Picture seven, tree-house style rooms, shaded by the boughs of cool leadwood trees, sophisticated interiors that mix the contemporary with the traditional, and airy spaces, dotted with intriguing maps, botanicals and treasures from around the area. The result? An exclusive oasis that you’ll be delighted to return to after a day exploring the extraordinary ecosystem.
We wanted Tuludi to reflect the space and freedom of the surroundings and the high, pitched canvas roofs of the bedrooms create light and airy spaces to retreat to at the end of a busy day in Khwai. The fact that each tented room is a wonderful 60 square metres in size also helps! Wooden boardwalks wind through the leadwood trees to connect the seven ‘treehouse-style’ tents and each is kept cool by the shady boughs. Inside, the earthy palette is sophisticated and warm and you’ll find separate dressing and sleeping areas, an ensuite bathroom, indoor and outdoor showers, and splashy bathtubs. If that wasn’t enough space to relax, there’s also a sunken seating area and a private plunge pool on the outside veranda (a further 44 sq metres of space), both overlooking those enormous floodplains.
Back at the main area, the lofty space is raised on decks and strewn with cushions, sofas and armchairs to flop into for an afternoon of view-gazing and wildlife-watching. Handily, it’s positioned in the perfect spot to watch the sunset so if you choose to stay in camp for an evening, you won’t be disappointed. Next door is the dining area and just in front is a firepit, meaning you won’t have far to wander for a post-dinner drink and campfire chatter. There’s also a large swimming pool to cool off in the heat of the day, a treehouse library, elevated four metres in the boughs of the trees, and plenty of trinkets and treasures that tell the story of both the camp and the extraordinary ecosystem.
We wouldn’t be lying if we told you that Khwai was one of the most consistent areas in the Okavango Delta region for year-round fabulous wildlife encounters. As a result, Tuludi is open all year and along with excellent game viewing, each season brings its own quirks and charms.
In the winter dry season from June to October, the Okavango Delta is in flood. The rivers and waterways are full and flowing making this the best time of year for water-based game viewing from traditional mokoros and boats.
The summer season brings the much-longed-for rains and alongside mind-bogglingly beautiful sunsets and thunderstorms, you’ll notice plenty of newborns springing around the plains. Birding at this time of year is also excellent as the migrants return from their various corners of the globe.
The Okavango Delta may be known for its wildlife, but sometimes, it’s the landscapes that really steal the show. In the Khwai Private Reserve, in the secluded, northern reaches of the Delta, this couldn’t be truer and the real magic of the 200,000-hectare reserve is its astonishing diversity. Think vast, flowing floodplains that stretch out like the prettiest of emerald-green carpets; pockets of verdant forests and battalions of enormous Leadwood trees; pockets of lily-covered lagoons and meandering waterways. And in the middle of it all is the fast-flowing Khwai River, the lifeline of the reserve and one that attracts herds of wildlife in their droves.
As for location, the reserve is bordered by the world-famous Moremi Game Reserve to the south, and the vast Chobe National Park to the east. Together the three reserves are part of the greater Okavango Delta World Heritage Site. We are particularly lucky in Khwai however, as visitor access is somewhat limited and you’ll only ever bump into a handful of guests (if that) – and all from Natural Selection camps! Tuludi itself is located in the southern reaches of the reserve, far from the public areas.
The floodplains around Tuludi aren’t simply beautiful, they’re also the perfect location for enormous herds of elephant and buffalo who wander amongst the grass undisturbed. Whilst the Khwai River is the main water source in the area, the waterways that spindle out through the grasslands attract game from far and wide, and there’s no shortage of zebra, giraffe, antelope and other plains game.
But really, it’s the predators that steal the show here and the concentrations are superior to most in the area. Expect prides of lion on the hunt as dusk falls, leopard lazing in the forest and cheetah stalking their territories – and have your cameras at the ready at all times! The area is also home to a good number of endangered wild dog and if you’re lucky enough to spot them in the wild, you’ll never want to leave.
The name ‘Tuludi’ is a Tswana word that describes the colours or markings of the leopard, and is also sometimes also used to describe cattle with spotty or flecked skin. It is in fact a ‘royal’ colour or marking that is held in very high regard in Botswana. So, what’s that got to do with our camp? we hear you cry. Well, the day that our partners in Khwai set out to find a spot to build Tuludi, they found themselves camping in a grove of enormous leadwood trees. With their low-hanging boughs and shady leaves the trees are first choice for leopards and lo and behold, a beautiful female walked straight past the team after only a few minutes. Later, as the sun began to drop, the rays created a stunning, dappled ‘tuludi’ pattern on the ground all around them – and it was at that moment that they knew this was the spot for Tuludi.
Natural Selection Safaris
Semi-Permanent Tented Camp
Max. clients in vehicle
Day & Night Game Drives, Mokoro, Walking