Sango is a small traditional safari camp on a concession in Botswana's Okavango Delta.
Sango Safari Camp: Our full report
Opened in 2010, Sango Safari Camp is on the outskirts of the traditional Khwai Village. It is within the Khwai Community Concession, not far from the border of Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve – and its proximity to these two areas allows guests to do activities in both. Sango is a small and quite traditional camp, which aims to focus on the safari experience rather then overly polished service or amenities, and its marketing has been quite low-key to date.
Although a member of the team from Expert Africa is yet to stay at the camp, in November 2013 we did visit to inspect it.
The Khwai concession, where the camp is situated is dominated by the Khwai River, and the riverine forest and open floodplains, which are found along its banks. Away from the river and floodplains, mopane woodland is interspersed with pans that naturally fill with rainwater and act as waterholes, attracting many different animal species.
Sango Safari Camp stands beside a narrow section of the Khwai River and its main area is a large mess tent. A long dining table and serving station stands to one side of this; to the other side is the lounge and bar, with a number of comfortable and colourful sofas and armchairs. It is simple but comfortable. Shelves hold a number of wildlife reference books and magazines for guests to read. The mess tent is open to the view of the floodplain, with a narrow river in the middle. To one side of this main area is a sandy area with deckchairs, where a fire is lit morning and evening.
Sango Camp has six tented rooms which are connected to the main area along sandy paths. They are traditional Meru-style canvas tents, and each is built on a raised deck with a small verandah – on which are deckchairs and a trunk, which is used as a table. Inside the floors and fittings are made from dark polished wood; these tents feel reasonably big and permanent. There are twin beds with bedside tables, small reading lights and bottled mineral water. The beds are enclosed in mosquito netting. There is also an open-faced hanging wardrobe, with a digital safe and a wooden trunk.
At the back of each of Sango’s tents, a doorway leads through to the ensuite bathroom with a flush loo, a large wooden washstand, basin and mirror. A small selection of body lotion, soap and washing powder (for delicates) is also supplied. A further door leads to the bucket shower which is open to the air, but surrounded by canvas for privacy.
Activities at Sango focus primarily on 4WD day and night drives. Walking and mokoro trips (water levels permitting) can also be arranged.
Our viewSango Safari Camp is a comfortable camp in a fairly classic safari style: solid, smart, neat and functional without being ‘designed’. Everything that we have seen and heard backs up the view that it does focus on the experience – and is very successful at doing so. While we are yet to experience the guiding and activities at Sango, we know the concession well, and it is a great area for consistent and varied sightings.
Ideal length of stay: Three nights is ideal.
Directions: A 30-minute flight from Maun will take you to Khwai airstrip. A game drive/transfer to the camp takes about 15-20 minutes, depending on any wildlife you see on the way.
Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer
Owner: Bush Ways Safaris Partly owned by the Sango Family.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: A member of the team Expert Africa is yet to stay at Sango but during our afternoon visit in November 2013 the days menu was as follows;
Early breakfast is served before your morning game drive, which included a choice of cereal, porridge, toast, yoghurt, along with tea/coffee/juice. Fresh muffins and fruit was offered during the mid morning break while out on game drive.
On your return from the morning activity brunch is served in the dining area. This included a broccoli, mushroom and cheddar quiche, beef skewers, potato and green bean salad, cheese board, pickled onions and fresh brown bread.
Afternoon tea is served before the afternoon activity at Sango, with a choice of a savory and sweet snack; such as potato and bacon frittatas and lemon cup cakes. Juice, tea and coffee are available too.
A three-course dinner is served shortly after your return to camp in the evening. Carrot soup and homemade bread rolls, pork chops in a citrus and ginger sauce with white rice, vegetable and cheese bake, selection of vegetables and to finish a chocolate pudding with cream.
Sango Safari Camp is able to cater for most dietary requirements as long as they are informed in advance.
Dining style: Group Meals
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: A wide selection of drinks is available from the bar cabinet at Sango Camp and they are included in the price. Premium brands, such as malt whiskies or French champagne, can be requested for an additional charge.
Further dining info: None
Attitude towards children: Sango Camp welcomes children aged 2 and above. Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to participate on mokoro or walking activities and must share a tent with an adult.
Equipment: No special equipment is available. For families the camp is willing to put an extra bed in the room to make a triple. While the tents aren’t particularly small an extra bed would make the tent feel quite cramped.
Generally recommended for children: We would recommend Sango for older children with a genuine interest in wildlife.
Notes: Sango Camp is unfenced with potentially dangerous wildlife in the area. Children must be under their parents’ supervision at all times.
Power supply: Solar Power
Power supply notes: Sango Camp uses solar power as their source of power but does have a back up generator. Guests are able to charge camera batteries and other electrical equipment in the main area.
Communications: There is no direct phone, fax, or email. Communication is maintained with head office in Maun via radio. There is also a telephone at the wildlife gate in Khwai Village. Some guests may pick up mobile phone reception, as Khwai Village is close by, although this is not always possible.
TV & radio: None
Water supply: Borehole
Water supply notes: The tents at Sango Camp have bucket showers, which are filled upon request. Loos are flushing and there is running cold water in the en-suite bathroom. Fresh bottled mineral water for drinking and glasses are kept on the stand by the bed.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: Sango’s camp manager and guide staff are trained in first aid. In the event of serious injury guests would usually be evacuated by air to the nearest hospital (Kasane, Maun or Johannesburg).
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: The camp is unfenced and dangerous wildlife does often move through camp, so guests are escorted to their rooms after dark. A safety talk is given on arrival. 'Fog horns' are provided in the rooms, and can be used to sound for help in case of an emergency.
Fire safety: Fire extinguishers are situated on the verandah outside each tent.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: A laundry service is included (excluding underwear). Laundry is collected in the morning and usually returned the same day, weather permitting. Washing powder is provided in the room for guests to wash their smalls.
Money: There is a safe in each room. No exchange facilities are offered.
Accepted payment on location: MasterCard and Visa credit cards are accepted; Diners and Amex are not. Cash in the form of South African rand, GB sterling, US dollars, euros and Botswana pula is accepted.