Why we love it
Like The Pangolin properties, Bushman Plains is an owner-managed lodge but in this case, the owners happen to be the people who have called this exquisite part of the Okavango Delta home for countless generations.
The rustic camp is on the edge of a seasonal island (depending on the floods) and is situated in the southern section of a vast concession occupied by a handful of other lodges. The area directly around the camp is one of the best game viewing areas in the whole of Botswana and the safari experience is hugely enhanced when you add the tracking skills of the local Bushman driver guides and trackers. The camp itself harks back to the days of early safaris before places started adding unnecessary embellishments forgetting that the core reason for being there is the wildlife experience and not a “hot rock massage” or “champagne filled free-standing baths”! It’s a good old-fashioned honest bush camp.
There are four spacious tents at the camp which are configured either as doubles or twin beds. Each has a veranda and sitting area overlooking the plains (which flood from around May to October) as well as an en suite toilet and shower with hot water behind. What more do you need?
What really is five star though is the time spent on the game viewers looking for photo opportunities. The innate tracking abilities of the guides really comes into its own on these drives and the passion and enthusiasm shown by the guides for their ancestral home really shines through. Not only are the guides excellent at locating the key species but they know them and their behaviour to a point of almost being telepathic. Often what seems like a strange decision to move the vehicle at a sighting results in the most amazing piece of behavioural understanding as a great photo opportunity gets even better.
The communal areas of the camp comprise a dining tent, a lovely fire under a Jackalberry tree and a separate tent set up as an editing suite. Being on a thickly wooded island there is plenty of shade throughout the year keeping the camp nice and cool even in the height of summer. The food is good and wholesome and sometimes enjoyed around the fire in traditional manner … without cutlery! There is a well-stocked bar and a tea and coffee station throughout the day.
We love Bushman Plains because of its authenticity and because like us the owners prioritise the experience over the unnecessary.