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Okuti
Okuti
Okuti
Okuti

Okuti: Our full report

Okuti Camp lies beside Xakanaxa Lagoon, in a prime area for wildlife in the heart of Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve.

Although it's on a relatively small site, close to neighbouring Xakanaxa Camp and a public campsite, Okuti has a very private feel from inside the camp. It has a smart and highly innovative design, very different from the more traditional camps found across the Delta.

A raised wooden walkway runs from Okuti's entrance arch to the main area and on across the camp to all the chalets: a useful safety feature given the high game densities in this location. The main area includes reception, lounge and dining area under the beehive-style thatched roofs of five huge rondavels (also referred to as “masasas”). Inside, these are furnished in a contemporary style, with smooth wooden floors, comfortable woven seating and various ethnic carvings. Adobe walls beneath a high, tunnel-like roof define the large lounge, which culminates in a partly open area with great views across the lagoon and floodplain. There are plenty of chairs and tables, and guests are welcome to help themselves to drinks from the bar.

Similar in construction is the long dining room, where brunch and dinner are usually served. Meals at Okuti are quite sociable occasions. Both the guides and camp staff join guests during the meals and typically end up engaging the guests in lively conversation and laughter, which contributes to a fun atmosphere around the table.

On the large deck in front of the main area is a fireplace, a popular spot for pre- and post-dinner drinks. Slightly lower down, the decked veranda extends towards Xakanaxa Lagoon and incorporates a plunge pool, with sunloungers overlooking the waterway running past camp.

Okuti Camp's seven chalets are certainly innovative, designed to make the most of the camp's frontage onto the Xakanaxa Lagoon. That said, they are quite close together due to the camp’s location on a relatively small site.

The arched, brown-canvas tunnels provide a distinctive look to the camp and may not be to everyone’s taste. Inside, though, they feel spacious and quite lovely, their walls lined with natural reeds, and with a superb view of the lagoon from each private balcony. It must have taken some bravery for the owners to agree to this concept, and we give the designers top marks for innovation.

All the chalets have wooden floors and are similar in style to Okuti's main areas. Five of them have either twin beds, or a large double. The two family chalets each have two bedrooms with a shared bathroom, so are not recommended for friends travelling together but work perfectly for families.

In each chalet, low rendered walls separate the bedroom from the en-suite bathroom, which has a shower and washbasin, and a flush toilet in a separate cubicle. There is an outdoor shower, reached from the bathroom at the side of each chalet. The honeymoon suite also has a large oval bath. A hairdryer and Charlotte Rhys toiletries come as standard.

During our visit in December 2023, we felt that while the rooms were comfortable, some elements were looking a little tired. We believe that a camp refresh may not be far off so watch this space.

Safari activities at Okuti revolve around open-topped 4WD game drives and motorboat trips on the stunning Xakanaxa Lagoon – all escorted by the camp's experienced safari guides. Because all the activities at Okuti Camp take place within the Moremi Game Reserve, note that night drives, walks and off-road driving are not permitted.

During the dry season (July–October), we have found game viewing and birdwatching to be excellent in this area. By contrast, sightings earlier in the season tend to be less consistent. On one visit in May, when the grasses were high and spotting animals was more difficult, we found fresh lion prints and could hear two males roaring nearby, but we were unable to spot them from the road.

Travellers also should be aware that Okuti is very close to Xakanaxa and Camp Moremi as well as a public campsite. As a result, there can be more vehicles on sightings here than in other areas, especially as guides from the three camps communicate by radio. However, we feel that the superb game viewing at Camp Moremi outshines the number of vehicles.

Boat trips on Xakanaxa Lagoon and the surrounding waterways are a major highlight at Okuti and more than once we were rewarded with fantastic birdlife, including what our guide called the “mini heronry”, a spectacle usually at its best around September to December. It was fascinating to watch beautiful white egrets, grey herons, ugly marabou storks and even reed cormorants roosting and vying for a perch on the little islands in the lagoon.


Our view

Okuti's unique design makes the most of its limited lagoon frontage, and its friendly team made us feel very at home. Although safari activities are conducted in what can be a busy area, and are limited by park regulations, there are compensations: it's in Xakanaxa - a stunningly beautiful part of the Moremi Game Reserve, and home to some of Botswana's densest wildlife populations, particularly in the dry season. It also offers particularly good value.

Tom Morris

Tom Morris

Botswana expert

Geographics

Location
Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Ideal length of stay
A two- or three-night stay is usually perfect at Okuti. The camp is often combined with its sister camps in private areas of the Delta, Kanana and Shinde and Dinaka in the Kalahari.
Directions
Access to Okuti is usually by light aircraft into Xakanaxa Airstrip, then it's a short 20-minute drive to camp. It is also possible to boat to Okuti from Shinde, which makes for a particularly interesting transfer.
Accessible by
Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Full Board & Activities
Food quality
On our most recent visit to Okuti, in December 2023, we enjoyed some excellent food here. With sufficient notice, Okuti can cater for vegetarians and other dietary requirements. They can also prepare special meals for children, on request.

Before heading out on the morning activities, a light breakfast of cereal, yoghurt, pancakes and fresh fruit is served. There is also the option of a cooked breakfast.

Although we didn’t have the chance to enjoy it on our last stay, brunch is usually served on retuning to camp at around 11.00am. On a previous stay this included a very tasty beef boteti, and a spinach casserole for those preferring a vegetarian option. These were accompanied by a tasty red cabbage and apple salad, a green salad and a green bean salad with a sesame dressing. There was also freshly baked bread and a cheese platter to finish.

For afternoon tea, just before the afternoon activity, we were offered goat’s cheese and biltong pizza slices and mini chai custard tarts. There was also a platter of fresh fruit, homemade lemonade, a fresh smoothie, iced rooibos tea and iced coffee.

On returning from our afternoon drive, dinner was served at around 8.00pm. We enjoyed a chilled carrot soup with a fresh bread roll to start. This was followed by pan-fried chicken with baby carrots, roast potatoes, risotto-style rice and mangetouts. Dessert was a rich, fudgy brownie with vanilla ice cream served with a glass of dessert wine.

Occasionally, the team will prepare a traditional dinner of pap (maize meal – a staple food of Botswana), seswaa (shredded beef) and morogo (a green, leafy vegetable similar to spinach).
Dining style
Group Meals
Dining locations
Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Further dining info, including room service
Private meals can be arranged for special occasions on request.
Drinks included
All local and South African soft and alcoholic beverages such as beer, cider, house wines and spirits are included at Okuti. Fine wines, imported spirits and liqueurs all come at an extra cost.
Each room is provided with glasses and a flask of drinking water, which is replenished daily. We don't recommend that travellers drink from the tap.

Special interests

Family holidays
Okuti is part of the Young Explorers programme, offering families a specialist guide who has experience guiding children in the bush. It is also fenced and takes children aged 7+ making it a great family-friendly safari camp.
See ideas for Family holidays in Botswana
Wildlife safaris
During the dry season, the Mopane Tongue area of the Moremi Game Reserve has some of the densest game viewing in Botswana that we have seen. Big cats, such as leopard and lion, are common, and elephant, hippo and giraffe are prolific.
See ideas for Wildlife safaris in Botswana

Children

Attitude towards children
Okuti welcomes children aged 7 years and over.
Property’s age restrictions
No children under 7
Special activities & services
There are no specific activities for children at Okuti, although there are some board games in the main area. Children's meals can be prepared on request.

However, along with its sister camps, Okuti can be booked as part of the Young Explorers programme. This programme pairs families travelling with young children with specialist guides. Please contact one of our team members for more details.
Equipment
The camp has two family rooms.
Generally recommended for children
Because there's a fence around the camp, and high walkways linking the main areas to the chalets, Okuti can feel deceptively safe, but wild animals – including predators – are known to move through the camp. In addition, the chalets are relatively close together so it's important to be mindful of others with regard to noise levels. We'd recommend it for children over about 12 years old who are enthusiastic about wildlife.
Notes
The pool is unfenced and there is no barrier between the camp and the water, so parents must keep their children under constant, close supervision.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Okuti

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Okuti have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.

Elephant

100% success

Giraffe

100% success

Hippo

100% success

Lion

100% success

Wildebeest

100% success

Zebra

100% success

Buffalo

83% success

Leopard

71% success

Wild dog

43% success

Spotted Hyena

33% success

Roan antelope

20% success

Cheetah

17% success

Aardvark

0% success

Black Rhino

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Sable antelope

0% success

Sitatunga

0% success

White Rhino

0% success

Communications

Power supply notes
There is a back-up generator.
Communications
WiFi is available in the chalets.
TV & radio
There is no television or radio at Okuti.
Water supply
Borehole
Water supply notes
All the chalets have plumbed hot and cold running water for showers as well as flush loos.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Yes
Medical care
The nearest doctor is in Maun. Management and guides are first-aid trained and medical evacuation is available in case of emergencies. Please note that it is only possible to fly out of camp during daylight hours as the bush airstrips do not have any lighting at night.
Dangerous animals
High Risk
Security measures
Guests are escorted to their chalets after dark as dangerous wildlife is known to wander through the camp. “Foghorns” are provided in the chalets to summon help in case of emergency.
Fire safety
There are fire extinguishers at all the chalets and in the main area.

Activities

  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

    Birdwatching

  • Boat trip

    Boat trip

Extras

Disabled access
On Request
Laundry facilities
A full complimentary laundry service is included.
Money
No exchange facilities are offered at Okuti. There is a small safe in each chalet.
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.

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