Chobe Water Villas: Our full report
Located in Namibia’s ‘Zambezi Region’ of the Eastern Caprivi, Chobe Water Villas sits on the northern bank ...... of the Chobe River, overlooking Sedudu Island (known as Kasikili Island in Namibia).
Previously the site of King’s Den Lodge, Chobe Water Villas opened in 2016, occupying a beautiful stretch along the banks of the Chobe River.
16 spacious villas look across Sedudu Island to Botswana’s Chobe National Park. Surrounded by lush gardens, currently undergoing new landscaping after being damaged in the floods of early 2018, the villas are linked by wooden walkways and set in pairs off the main boardwalk.
Raised high on a stilted wooden deck, each water villa has dark wood flooring under a thatched roof, with private decks to the front and back of each. Inside the large open plan lounge and bedroom area, twin or double beds and bedside tables (complete with reading lamp and power points – international and USB) sit under a voluminous mosquito net, along with an ‘Evening Breeze’ cooling system. A comfortable sofa is positioned beyond the foot of the bed, with both facing out through glass doors which concertina open to give full views to the river. Loungers are in the sunniest spot on the deck, with shaded benches and cushions to each side.
Whitewashed storage cupboards down the length of the room conceal a well-stocked minibar, tea and coffee facilities, along with a Nespresso machine, electronic safe, torch and mosquito repellent.
En suite bathrooms set to the back of each villa are also spacious, with shower and toilet separate in individual rooms to one side, plus a freestanding bath, twin sinks and towel rack full of fluffy white towels. Toiletries, hairdryer, robes and slippers are also provided.
The cavernous main area is intricately designed, with every feature having an intriguing concept behind it, representing elements of Namibian wildlife, weather or culture. Jars of sand from each of the three villages that make up the local conservancy have pride of place near the entrance. Folds in lightshades bring to mind zebra stripes, while grey metallic sections built into the ceiling represent the footprints of the elephants plodding across Etosha’s salt pans. Elaborate wooden windchimes over the dining area, interspersed with white lights, signify the thunderstorms across the desert – it looks pretty, but when the wind blows through and you hear the rumble and clinks created by the different materials, the clever design is logical. Without an explanation, the lodge simply feels stylish and contemporary. With, it brings a feeling of thoughtfulness and precision to the whole lodge.
The large dining area has tables inside and out, separated by floor length curtains to keep out the wind on cooler winter nights. To one side, a large buffet area can be hidden behind ingenious, decorated sliding doors when the buffet is being cleared, or is not in use. Attentive staff are on hand, and there is a self-serve tea and coffee station, as well as an open bar for local wines, beers and spirits.
Lounge areas include a selection of more casual and formal seating spots, with a library section, squashy sofas, and bar stools. Further outdoor seating areas surround a large infinity pool, as well as a fire pit.
Activities from Chobe Water Villas naturally concentrate on the Chobe River, with boat trips, sundowner cruises and birdwatching on offer. Game drives are also offered into Botswana’s Chobe National Park, which are often included on the final day of your stay, in order to reduce the travel times through immigration points.
At extra cost, fishing trips, village walks, cultural tours and visits into Zimbabwe to see the Victoria Falls can also be arranged through the lodge activities desk.
Sister lodge to Mokuti Lodge in east Etosha, and the Strand Hotel in Swakopmund, Chobe Water Villas combines well with both on a self-drive trip through Namibia, though also works well added to a trip to or from Botswana or Zimbabwe.
Do be aware that the villas are located on the Namibian side of the Chobe River and so, especially in the wet season, you may not find the wildlife to be particularly prolific. Though you will have the opportunity for a game drive within Chobe during your stay at the Water Villas, if wildlife is a priority, time in one of the lodges within the Chobe National Park itself may be a better option. However, for a relaxing stay near to a relatively peaceful section of the river, we think the design of this lodge is beautiful without being over the top, and the quality of the rooms, food and service are excellent.
- Caprivi Strip, Namibia
- Ideal length of stay
- We’d recommend a stay of at least 2 nights here, to make the most of the activities on offer. Chobe Water Villas works well as an add-on to your self-drive trip in Namibia, or as an addition to a safari in Botswana.
- Accessible by
- Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- Chobe Water Villas have a mix of African and European food options available – and they’re able to cater to a range of dietary requirements.
Breakfast is served buffet style, with continental options, and an à la caret menu for cooked options.
We stayed for lunch on our last visit, and were suitably impressed with the sharing Mediterranean mezze platter, piled high with koftas, meatballs, olives, potato and green salads and freshly baked bread, served with generous servings of dips, including hummus and baba ganoush.
Dinner is generally served from a 5-course set à la carte menu, though sometimes there will be a braai or traditional buffet.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Drinks included
- Water is filtered and is processed through a reverse osmosis system. Filtered water is provided in the rooms, and tap water is suitable for drinking, though bottled water is also available. All soft drinks, local wines, beers and spirits are included – the lodge has a self-service bar in the main area. Premium spirits are in a separate bar, and are an extra cost.
- Whilst perhaps not the spot for unique species sightings, the sheer volume of birds inhabiting the river banks near Chobe Water Villas makes it a great spot for birdwatching in Namibia.
- See ideas for Birdwatching
- Attitude towards children
- Children over the age of 12 are welcome at Chobe Water Villas.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Special activities & services
- None provided.
- None provided.
- Generally recommended for children
- We think Chobe Water Villas is better suited to older children, due to the stylish and more adult nature of the lodge.
- Wild animals do enter camp at times, and there are no fences to the pools, or the river – children should be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times.
- Power supply notes
- Chobe Water Villas has a back-up generator on site. Each room has plenty of power points, and sockets and adaptors for most international plugs and USBs.
- WiFi is available in all of the villas, and in most public areas. You’ll find limited cell phone reception, though the lodge is looking to get a booster installed.
- TV & radio
- There is a TV in the lodge’s conference facility room.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- Water is pumped from the river and filtered. Toilets and showers are plumbed, and there’s hot water to all of the rooms.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- A first aid trained member of staff is on site at all times. The closest doctor is located in Kasane, via a boat trip and short drive. For more serious incidents, you would be flown to Windhoek.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- Chobe Water Villas has 24 hour security, with watchmen on site during the night, available to escort you back to the room if you prefer.
- Fire safety
- All rooms have fire extinguishers, and there are more extinguishers as well as fire hoses dotted across the property.
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- A laundry service is available, at extra cost. The Water Villas staff aim to get this back to you on the same day, though they advise it’s a next-day service.
- Each villa has an electronic safe. The main reception is able to arrange currency exchanges for small amounts, depending on the currencies available, but this is generally better done in town.
- Accepted payment on location
- Payment is accepted in Mastercard and Visa, though the lodge is unable to accept American Express or Diners Cards. It’s also possible to pay in pula, euro, Namibian dollars, British pounds or US dollars.
Other lodges in Caprivi Strip
Alternative places to stay in this same area.