Setari Camp: Our full report
Close to the base of the Okavango’s ‘Panhandle’, where the Delta proper starts as the Okavango River starts ...... to spread out, Setari Camp stands on an island dotted with palm trees. It’s surrounded by permanent channels, huge green reed-beds dotted with stands of papyrus, and lily-covered lagoons. This is an environment of deeper water than almost any other camp in the Delta. It’s a base for exploring by motor boat, guided walks and mokoro trips, and perhaps to visit a local village.
The Expert Africa team have yet to visit Setari Camp, but we know this area, and an old camp (Jedibe Island Camp) which was nearby many years ago. We also know the team behind starting the lodge – having worked with them on private camps, and in other camps, previously. So whilst we haven’t seen this place yet, we have a good deal of confidence in what we’re expecting here.
Firstly, it’s important to say what Setari Camp won’t be good at: this isn’t a game camp, It doesn’t offer game drives, or promise dry-land big-game sightings. So although there are plenty of animals around, and we’d expect our guests to see a good number when visiting here, we wouldn’t suggest anyone come here specifically to look for lots of antelope or big cats.
Conversely, we do expect Setari to offer a great camp for a great experience of the Delta. If your image of the Okavango is of a watery wonderland, with crystal-clear channels and silky-smooth lagoons, ripe for exploring on a quiet mokoro with an expert poler – then this is the place to come.
Setari Camp opened in mid-2018. It’s taken a fairly classic design of what a typical Okavango Camp would have looked like and updated it. There are nine tents here, including one designed for families, which comprises: 2 adjoining tents, each with its own private outside shower and bathroom. All are smart, very comfortable and raised up on wooden platforms; they’re sturdily made with a pole-and-canvas construction. The camp takes a maximum of 20 guests.
Inside the high double or twin beds are under mosquito nets, and there’s enough space to easily have a writing desk, comfy chairs and – at the back behind a screen – an en suite bathroom with separate flush toilet and hot shower. Outside is a small, shaded veranda.
In classic Okavango style, Setari Camp’s main area has open-sided lounges beneath high thatched roofs; plump sofas with scattered cushions, and quite large expanses of open-air deking stretching way beyond the veranda to include some observation decks over the reeds. Much is bilt on high platforms, giving great views of the surrounding reedbeds.
Activities here focus around activities on the water and nearby islands. The deep-water channels around lend themselves very well to exploring on motor-boat trips. You’ll probably pause and float as much as you’ll motor, as the lagoons and channels are great places for seeing some of the birdlife, whilst getting a real feel for the geography and the environment.
Mokoro trips are rather like ‘punting’ trips, with your poler at the back of the boat, using a long pole to push you through the water. These are the best way to explorer the shallower reedbeds, and can be nearly silent – allowing you to glide along very quietly, at eye-level with the reed frogs, just about the surface of the water.
Fishing will also be available throughout the year, with the amazing ‘barbel run’ happening sometime between August and the end of October. Tiger fishing is also good in these parts, however, be aware that there is a no-fishing period during January and February.
Satari Camp is in the area of the Jedibe Community (NG24) – and has been built with their help. One promising activity, which is very unusual for the Okavango Delta’s camps, is the possibility of visiting the a village, and interacting with the community there. We’re keen to see how this develops, as cultural interactions like this are rare in Botswana, and this could be really fascinating and, we'd hope, have benefits for both the visitors and the village.
Walking safaris, always accompanied by an armed guide, are also available – and though there is big game on the islands, this is then the camp that we’d recommend if your top priority were game viewing. However, as explorations of the nature and environment, we’d expect these to be excellent.
We’re very excited by the opening of Satari Camp – a true deep-water camp which really is in the heart of the Delta. It promises something relatively new in the Delta – as it isn’t focussing on game-viewing, but more walking and boating. Setari is backed by an experienced team and we have high hopes for it. We look forward to reporting back when we’ve seen it for ourselves.
Country manager: Botswana
- Okavango Delta Safari Reserves, Botswana
- Ideal length of stay
- 2/3 nights
- Setari is only accessible by a short aircraft flight followed by a boat transfer.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Dining style
- Mixture of group dining and individual tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Drinks included
- Soft drinks, bottled water, spirits, local beers and a selection of South African wines are included. Imported wines and spirits and champagne cost extra – and may even need to be requested in advance.
- Attitude towards children
- Setari Camp will accept children of 6 years+ on request.
- Property’s age restrictions
- 12 years and over are welcome for all activities. Will accept children of 6 years + on request.
- Water supply
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Fire safety
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- No exchange facilities are offered. There are small safes in all the rooms.
Other lodges in Okavango Delta Safari Reserves
Alternative places to stay in this same area.