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Duke’s Camp
Duke’s Camp
Duke’s Camp
Duke’s Camp
Duke’s Camp
Duke’s Camp
Duke’s Camp
Duke’s Camp

Duke’s Camp: Our full report

Summer 2022 saw the opening of the elegant Duke’s Camp in the north-west of Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

Set at the foot of the Panhandle on the private Kgao Island, it lies on the shores of a permanent lagoon within a vast 89,000-hectare concession that reaches as far south as the Moremi Game Reserve.

Duke’s is the fulfilment of a vision by Ralph Bousfield, creator of Jack’s Camp on the wide open Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, and with a similarly eclectic yet luxurious approach. While we have yet to visit the new camp, we anticipate a similar style – with guiding and service to match.

The camp’s namesake is Sarefo “Duke” Sarefo, born and bred on the island which now belongs to him, and with a long heritage of traditional fishing in the Okavango. It’s that tradition that has kept the land pristine.

With its 9 tented chalets raised on wooden decks and nestled among mature ebony and leadwood trees, Duke’s aims to blend into the landscape. Whether in doubles, twins or the family tent – two en-suite rooms with a lounge in between – guests will find rooms redolent of old-style safaris with many a quirky twist.

Not for Duke’s the standard tent linings; here you’ll be almost enveloped in patterned drapery that sets the scene for mahogany furniture, four-poster beds and Persian rugs on polished floors. Brass fittings in the en-suite bathroom continue the theme, while on each private deck you’ll find both leather directors’ chairs and a chaise-longue from which to scan the plains in front for wildlife.

The same style permeates the main area, where you can cosy down at low tables in the tea tent, or relax in the more traditional lounge with a view out onto the plains. In keeping with safari tradition, meals are served at one long table, either outside under the trees or in the dining area. Either way, polished crystal and antique cutlery are the order of the day; dining is taken seriously here.

Wildlife watching can continue around the pool while as night falls the firepit comes into its own to chat over the day’s adventures.

And adventures are plenty! Game drives top the list of activities, exploring this exceptional wilderness area in 4WD vehicles in search of wildlife that ranges from sitatunga and elephant to lion, leopard and cheetah – and bird species in the hundreds. Water levels permitting, glide almost silently along the channels or try your hand at fishing.

Or, at extra cost, consider a helicopter trip, either to view the surrounding area or to the Tsodilo Hills. And in case you need a little more adventure, there’s the possibility of spending a night under the stars on a separate island.


Our view

We have for many years worked with Jack's Camp, and are looking forward to seeing Ralph Bousfield’s new creation in the Okavango. We are anticipating a mix of romance and remoteness with a level of luxury that excludes Wi-Fi and electric lighting, along with excellent guiding and cuisine.

Anton Walker

Anton Walker

Botswana expert

Geographics

Location
Okavango Delta Safari Reserves, Botswana
Ideal length of stay
3 - 4 nights.
Directions
Duke's Camp is approximately 40 minutes by light aircraft from Maun, followed by a game drive into camp. the duration of the drive depends on the wildlife you see along the way and the water levels.
Accessible by
Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Full Board & Activities
Food quality
We would expect a high standard of cuisine at Duke’s to mirror that which we have experienced at Jack’s.
Dining style
Mixture of group dining and individual tables
Dining locations
Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included
Bottled water, soft drinks, local beers and spirits and a limited selection of (usually) South African red and white wines are included. Champagne and imported wines and spirits cost extra and may need to be requested in advance.

Guests can help themselves to tea and coffee in the main area throughout the day.

Children

Attitude towards children
Duke’s welcome children aged from 6 years. For guests aged 6–12 on game drives, a private vehicle must be booked at extra cost.
Property’s age restrictions
No children under 6
Special activities & services
There is a family chalet with two en-suite bedrooms.
Generally recommended for children
Although the camp accepts children from the age of 6, we expect it to have an adult feel that is not in keeping with young children. It is also in an area where dangerous animals are free to roam, so it’s best suited to much older children.
Notes
This is an open camp surrounded by tracts of water with an unfenced pool and dangerous wildlife roaming through. Children must be supervised by a parent or carer at all times.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Duke’s Camp

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Duke’s Camp 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.

Buffalo

100% success

Elephant

100% success

Giraffe

100% success

Hippo

100% success

Lion

100% success

Spotted Hyena

100% success

Wild dog

100% success

Wildebeest

100% success

Zebra

100% success

Aardvark

0% success

Black Rhino

0% success

Cheetah

0% success

Eland

0% success

Leopard

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Roan antelope

0% success

Sable antelope

0% success

White Rhino

0% success

Communications

Power supply notes
Guest tents have 24hr solar-powered electricity.

Each chalet has a multi-point plug adaptor.
Communications
Duke’s does not have Wi-Fi access.
TV & radio
No TV or radio
Water supply
Other
Water supply notes
All the tented chalets are plumbed with hot and cold running water and flushing toilets.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Yes
Medical care
The nearest doctor is in Maun. All management and guides are first-aid trained and there is a nurse on call (via radio) 24 hours a day. Medical evacuation is available in case of emergency, but 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.

Swimming pool warning: Please be aware that the swimming pool at Duke’s does not have depth markings or No Diving signs. Bathers need to be careful when entering the pool.
Dangerous animals
High Risk
Security measures
Guests are escorted to their suites after dark as dangerous wildlife is known to wander through the camp. A safety briefing is given on arrival. “Foghorns” are provided in the suites to attract attention in case of emergency.
Fire safety

Activities

  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

    Birdwatching

  • Fishing

    Fishing

  • Fly-camping

    Fly-camping

  • Guided walking safari

    Guided walking safari

  • Helicopter

    Helicopter

  • Mokoro

    Mokoro

Extras

Disabled access
On Request
Laundry facilities
A complimentary laundry service is in place, with the exception of undergarments, for which washing powder is provided in each bathroom.
Money
There is a safe in each suite. No exchange facilities are offered.
Accepted payment on location
Visa and Mastercard are accepted, as are cash payments in US dollars, euros, GB sterling, South African rand and Botswana pula.

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