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Shinde Footsteps
Shinde Footsteps
Shinde Footsteps
Shinde Footsteps
Shinde Footsteps
Shinde Footsteps
Shinde Footsteps
Shinde Footsteps
Shinde Footsteps
Shinde Footsteps

Shinde Footsteps: Our full report

Small and personal, Shinde Footsteps fringes a beautiful, hippo-filled lagoon in the north of Botswana’s Okavango Delta.



Formerly known as Footsteps across the Delta, the new Footsteps – with just four simple tented chalets – lies on the same site as its predecessor, in the shade of a serene forested area within the Shinde Concession. Surrounded by a mosaic of tree-lined islands and floodplains it offers great wildlife opportunities. Historically, the camp focused on walking safaris, with mokoro trips in season, but guided game drives are now a further option.

The new version of Footsteps remains a simple and rustic little camp,
smaller than many other camps in the Delta, with a very personable feel.

There are just four tented chalets, one of which is a family tent with two separate rooms that can sleep up to five.

Steps lead up to each tented chalet, with smooth wooden decking under a canvas shade to the front, and a daybed with comfortable cushions. Fresh and functional, the tents are spacious and airy, with canvas walls and roofs stretched around rustic wooden poles.

Canvas zipped doors open in to a bedroom with wooden floors softened by rattan rugs, and a double or twin beds beneath a mosquito net. Wooden bedside tables hold solar lights, with charging points alongside, while metal chests at the end of the bed store additional blankets for cooler nights.

A small desk and chair are placed to one side of the tent, with an additional reading light, ample charging points and a standing fan. To the other, a canvas storage area separates the bedroom from the bathroom area. There is plenty of hanging space and shelves, slippers and dressing gowns are provided, and there are kikois and umbrellas for guests to use around camp. A yoga mat and small weights are provided for guests wishing to work out, and you’ll also find insect repellent, bug spray and an airhorn to attract attention in an emergency.

The en-suite bathroom has a large wooden vanity with twin sinks, a tall free-standing mirror, a toilet within a small cubicle behind a wooden door, and a more open inside shower, plus a door leading to a second, open-air, shower.

Of similar construction, the open-sided main area at Footsteps is split into sections, with steps up to each. Polished wooden floors are scattered with persian rugs in muted colours, overhead fans circulate during the hotter months. One side houses large wooden dining tables and comfortable chairs, with a tea and coffee station, a wine fridge and a small bar. A few steps across the sand lead you to the lounge area, where comfortable sofas and cushions add a splash of colour. A coffee table topped with some inspirational wildlife books, a small library corner and a couple of glass-doored cabinets holding a selection of locally crafted curios complete the picture.

Between the two, a sandy area has a firepit encircled with directors’ chairs, looking out to the lagoon and, at night, offering uninterrupted views to spectacularly starry skies.

One unusual feature is a photographic editing suite next to the lounge area, a canvas tented room with tables and chairs in the centre, lockers around the edges for personal equipment, plenty of charging points and a large TV screen to one side for viewing photos.

On our last visit in late April 2024, a pool was under construction to the side of the dining area, which we understand will be finished later in the season.

Historically, Shinde Footsteps focused almost exclusively on walking safaris. Led by a very experienced guide, and accompanied by an armed national parks' scout, each walk lasts for three to four hours. These are not route marches, but opportunities to explore the environment and wildlife with an expert guide, and to gain an authentic taste of the bush.

The recent changes to the camp mean that game drives are now often the main activity. This area of the Okavango Delta is notable for the diversity of wildlife, with lion, wild dog and hyena seen in the area along with a variety of plains game including kudu, tsessebe, zebra, red lechwe, giraffe and impala. Lone bull elephants are also found most of the year, whilst breeding herds migrate here towards the end of the dry season. On our last visit we were fortunate to have numerous lion sightings and a very special sighting of two tiny leopard cubs.

Depending on water levels, mokoro excursions are available, gliding through the channels in the near-silence of the early morning, and boat trips from Footsteps’ more sophisticated sister camp, Shinde, within the same concession, are an option.

Young Explorers

Under the auspices of Footsteps' Young Explorers Club, families with children as young as seven years old can hire the whole Shinde Footsteps camp, including the services of an experienced guide who specialises in working with children.

Activities vary considerably from the standard safari options. During their stay, youngsters could find themselves engaged in activities as diverse as making bows and arrows, playing football with the camp staff, fishing, identifying tracks and learning to cook over a fire.

Young Explorers is available at Shinde Footsteps from March to November, for a minimum of three nights, with participating families getting sole use of the camp. It is also available at sister camps in Botswana, including Kanana Camp and Okuti Camp. By combining this option across two or more camps, the whole family can experience the diverse areas of the Delta, with the same exclusive guide throughout.


Our view

If you're keen to do some walking in Botswana, Shinde Footsteps should be firmly at the top of your wish list – but it’s also great for a mix of activities if you prefer. A remote little camp with a friendly atmosphere, it is a place to escape civilisation and get back to nature. We love the emphasis on appreciating all aspects of the bush, the staff are attentive, the guiding is good and the food is superb!

Amanda Bond

Amanda Bond

Botswana expert

Geographics

Location
Okavango Delta Safari Reserves, Botswana
Ideal length of stay
Two or three nights would be perfect, ideally combined with another camp in a different area in the Delta.
Directions
Guests at Shinde Footsteps arrive at Shinde Airstrip, which is about a 25-minute flight from Maun. From here, it is at least a 40-minute game drive to camp, although the journey can take up to an hour and a half when water levels are high, and it may involve a short transfer by mokoro. Alternatively, a helicopter transfer can whisk you to Footsteps from close to Shinde Airstrip, an exhilarating way to arrive in camp.
Accessible by
Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Full Board & Activities
Food quality
In its previous incarnation, Footsteps had one of the most fantastic chefs we've come across during our travels throughout Botswana and food was consistently superb. We were delighted on our most recent visits in December 2023 and April 2024 to find that the food is still superb, despite the changes to the camp.

Breakfast, laid out before the morning activity, is a selection of cereal, yoghurt and fruit, freshly baked pastries or pancakes, with eggs, bacon and sausages to order.

While we didn’t have time to stay for lunch (served after the morning activity) on our last trip, on a previous stay we were able to choose from the most delicious cold beef fillet, potato salad, chilli quesadillas, green salad and beetroot and carrot salad with a selection of oils and homemade salad dressing, and fresh homemade bread. Dessert was fruit salad.

Afternoon tea usually includes a savoury snack and a freshly baked cake, pie or biscuits. We enjoyed sticky toffee ginger cake, as well as iced tea and coffee, and cheese scones were also on offer.

After your second activity of the day, there is usually a little time to freshen up before dinner. We started with tomato and basil soup, followed by curried chicken thighs, spinach and lentil stew, sweet potato mash and garlic green beans. For dessert came a light chocolate and cranberry tart with yoghurt, with tea or coffee to finish off.

An impressive children's menu with lots of favourites is also available.
Dining style
Group Meals
Dining locations
Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included
Bottled water, soft drinks, local beers, spirits and red and white wines are included. Premier champagne and premium imported brands will cost extra and must be requested in advance.

Filtered water from the borehole in camp is available for drinking. Each tent is provided with glasses and a flask of filtered drinking water that is replenished daily.

Special interests

Family holidays
Shinde Footsteps runs exclusive family safaris in Botswana (“Young Explorers”). Youngsters from seven years up can learn bush skills, from identifying animals and their tracks to cooking on a fire and fishing.
See ideas for Family holidays in Botswana
Photography holidays
With the diversity of activities in camp, and varied wildlife and environments, plus a dedicated photo-editing suite, Shinde Footsteps is a brilliant option for a safari with a focus on photography in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
See ideas for Photography holidays in Botswana
Walking safaris
Shinde Footsteps is a great place for walking safaris in Botswana. Led by excellent and experienced guides, walks are in a remote wilderness area, and focus on the small things: the plant life, the tracks left by animals, and the Delta's fascinating ecosystem.
See ideas for Walking safaris in Botswana

Children

Attitude towards children
Families with children over 7 years are welcome at Shinde Footsteps. Families can also book the camp for exclusive use on the Young Explorers programme. We understand that the age limit will be reduced to 6 years in 2025.
Property’s age restrictions
Minimum age 7 years.
Special activities & services
Under the auspices of the Young Explorers programme, specialist guides keep children as young as seven entertained, while parents relax, or participate with the children, or enjoy separate activities.
Equipment
There is a spacious family tent with two separate bedrooms that sleeps a family of five comfortably.
Generally recommended for children
Children from seven years tend to love spending time with the guides who run the Young Explorers' trips, but if you are not booking under this exclusive use scheme, we do not think that Footsteps is a place for younger children.
Notes
Footsteps is unfenced and dangerous wildlife can wander through the camp at any time. All children must be closely supervised by a parent or guardian.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Shinde Footsteps

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Shinde Footsteps 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

Zebra

100% success

Wildebeest

86% success

Buffalo

71% success

Lion

71% success

Spotted Hyena

71% success

Leopard

29% success

Sitatunga

29% success

Aardvark

0% success

Black Rhino

0% success

Cheetah

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Roan antelope

0% success

Sable antelope

0% success

White Rhino

0% success

Wild dog

0% success

Communications

Power supply notes
The camp has a large solar plant, with a generator as back-up. International charging points are provided in the rooms, with USB charging ports by the beds.
Communications
There is no telephone signal at Shinde Footsteps, but there is limited WiFi in camp. The camp is in touch with guides on activities, and with the main Shinde Camp, by radio.


TV & radio
No.
Water supply
Borehole
Water supply notes
Bathrooms have flush toilets and plumbed showers, with hot water on tap.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Yes
Medical care
The camp's staff includes a first-aid trained member, with a full medical kit kept on site. Shinde Footsteps can arrange medical evacuation in an emergency. 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 and from their tents after dark. All walks are carried out with an armed guide.
Fire safety
There is a fire extinguisher in the kitchen area and outside each tent, plus others around the main areas. Fire safety signage and a sign showing the meeting point are displayed throughout.

Activities

  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

    Birdwatching

  • Boat trip

    Boat trip

  • Fishing

    Fishing

  • Guided walking safari

    Guided walking safari

  • Helicopter

    Helicopter

  • Mokoro

    Mokoro

  • Night drive

    Night drive

Extras

Disabled access
On Request
Laundry facilities
Shinde Footsteps has a full laundry service, with items handwashed, coal ironed (on request) and air dried.
Money
No money-exchange facilities are offered. A small electronic safe is located in each tent.
Accepted payment on location
Mastercard and Visa are accepted; Amex is not. Cash payments can be made in South African rand, US dollars and Botswana pula.

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