Chobe Water Villas A Gorgeous Modern Safari Lodge

Life on the Chobe River

It was a sad day when we had to leave Namibia and cross the border into Botswana. We had come to admire the desert country during our month there.

We felt especially fond for the Caprivi strip. However, we crossed over the Ngoma border post and geared up to explore more of Africa. The brand new Chobe Water Villas were awaiting us. 


Chobe Water Villas


Chobe Water Villas
Drone footage of Chobe Water Villas

We didn’t miss Namibia too long, though, because two hours later we were crossing the Chobe River and getting our passports stamped back into Namibia. It had been a long day of driving from the Katima area.

Filled with attempted bribery, sweltering heat, and an African border crossing. We were beyond excited when our boat pulled up to the brand new Chobe Water Villas on the Namibian side of the Chobe River.

The interior of Chobe Water Villas
Pool area at Chobe Water Villas

It is the first African lodge we stayed at located on a river.  It’s also the most modern accommodation we have seen in Africa. Walking into the main area transports you into a varying array of time zones and locations. The interior was decorated in chic white and gray décor and stark shapes.

Exploring the architecture and decoration of the hotel leads to sources of inspiration from around Namibia.  From the skeleton of a whale, to the seasonal rains that bring life.

in-the-pool at Chobe Water Villas

The lobby is certain to entertain guests as it features a self-service bar, coffee station, a library full of Afri-chic books, and a cinema room.

I knew we were in for a day time treat when I walked out onto patio area and was faced with a giant infinity pool, next to an in-ground boma perfect to enjoy a round of sundowners.

With the heat of the African summer setting in, I knew we would be making use of the bar, books, and the infinity pool.

{Read More: The Ultimate List of Eco-Friendly Products to Take on Your Travels}

The rooms – or villas – I should say, at Chobe Water Villas are all set on stilts above the Chobe River. All across from the famous Chobe National Park and Sedudu Island in Botswana.

The villas were spacious and housed bells and whistles like their own espresso machine and mini-bar. Cameron made full use of the game finder while I was able to chill out with a new book on the back deck on the river.

We had a great nights sleep in the massive comfortable bed, with an air-conditioned canopy called the evening breeze. (didn’t I say this place was modern?).

{Read More: Traveling Africa: 18 Reasons I am Determined to Overland the Continent}

telescope-in-the-room Chobe Water Villas
The Bar at the Chobe Water Villas
Bed time at Chobe Water Villas
Overlooking the Chobe

Now, Cameron and I are not morning people, but we made the extra effort to wake up for sunrise every morning.

The rooms are in the perfect spot to watch the sunrise up over Southern Africa. Watching Africa come to life from the banks of the river is magical.

Sunrise at Chobe water Villas

On our first day, we made our way across the river and back into Botswana into the Chobe National Park. Chobe Water Villas organizes trips into the park for guests on either a half or full-day safari basis.

We choose to do a morning game drive and saw a plethora of elephant, newborn impala, vultures, and buffalo. We kept our fingers crossed for a leopard sighting, but unfortunately, it just wasn’t our day.

Chobe National Park has one of Africa’s largest concentrations of game. They have a staggering amount of elephant in the park as well as the rest of the big five. We had a leisurely ride back into Namibia with the team and finished the afternoon with a dip in the infinity pool.

Elephants at Chobe Park
Baby Impala in Chobe National Park!
elephants-in-chobe national park

{Read More: Ultimate Safari Clothes Guide: What To Wear On Safari In Africa}

Evenings are a special time on the river as tourists set out for a boat safari into Chobe National Park.

The boat safaris get you up close and personal (but not too close) to the hundreds of hippos, crocs, antelope, and abundant birdlife around the water. All of this, is enjoyed with snacks and sundowner drinks provided by the villas.

Pied King Fisher
two feet away from the Pied King Fisher – my favorite!
Bee Eaters in Chobe

Speaking of snacks, I have to mention that the food we were served at Chobe Water Villas was some of the best we’ve had in Africa.

Going with the whole modern theme the food at the lodge is multi-cultural and new era inspired. Breakfast always started with a nice cold plate of croissants, fresh fruit, and cheese while dinner is served in their 36 seater restaurant.

lunch-time
The lounge at chobe Water villas

Dinner is always a three-course meal with meat, fish, or vegetarian options and unlike many lodges, food here was an international affair. Dinner and breakfast were fantastic; however, r the real treat was served at lunch for us.

The staff prepared for us a table in the private garden lithesome light food. Salad, charcuterie plate, mac & cheer, plus views equal happiness.

{Read More: Namib Desert Exploring: A Field Guide To Driving Southern Namibia}

Mokoro Rides on the Chobe

Sunrise to sunset and everything in between at Chobe Water Villas was surreal. Day time activities are filled with wildlife viewing, riverside drinking, and leisure.

Evenings are spent in relaxation as you enjoy the ambiance of the Chobe River with some delicious food.


Book A Stay At Chobe Water Villas

Fun and Games

Book A Stay at Chobe Water Villas


Namibia General Info

  • Because we were coming from Namibia we had to cross over the Ngoma border post into Botswana. Both Namibia and Botswana ran smooth border post operations here. US citizens do not need a visa to enter Namibia or Botswana, but be sure to state how long you want to stay in Botswana because the border officials will give you exactly that many days.
  • If self-driving expect to pay a road tax fee of 50 Pula. Payable by card at the Botswana border post.
  • Chobe Water Villas covers the cost of the park entrance fee into Chobe National Park. If you are not staying at CWV expect to pay 120 Pula for a day pass.
  • The gateway to Chobe Water Villas and the rest of Chobe is through Kasane, Botswana. This is a small town, but there are a number of ATM’s, coffee shops, restaurants, and a Spar.
  • This is Africa, so watch your car where you park it in Kasane. I would recommend a guarded parking lot.
  • Don’t have anything shipped to Kasane. I had to have a few things delivered to me so I was informed Kasane might be the best place to have international packages delivered. After a month, none of my packages were there and one had been signed for under someone named “George.” This is Africa.
  • A stay at Chobe Water Villas include full board, drinks, and all activities.

Book A Safari in Namibia


Namibia

Traditionally if you wanted to book a safari you’d have to go to a travel agent and have them book your safari for you. They made suggestions for camps and lodges then presented you with a large bill. Most of the industry still operates in this fashion.

However, Timbuktu is a new platform that allows you to select the lodges you’d like and see the pricing per day that way you can select the best itinerary for yourself. They will then contact the lodges and help you through booking your safari. With experts on staff, they can also provide suggestions and arrange the little details much like a travel agent.

Plan Your Safari in Namibia


Check Out Some Lodges in Namibia


Wolwedans

Wolwedans Dune Lodge

Wolwedans Dunes Lodge features ten chalets mostly constructed out of wood instead of canvas tents. Each room opens up to the east, offering incredible views of the sunrise every morning. We slept with the canvas tents rolled up and could gaze at the stars all night. We felt at one with nature while still having an extremely comfortable sleep.

Wolwedans Dunes Lodge has a massive pool attached to the pharmacy (or the “bar”) and continues to spill into one grand lobby area. This is where Cameron and I spent most of our day – basking in the intense Namibian sun surrounded by cool water and a good book.

Read About Our Time At Wolwedans Dune Lodge

Book A Stay at Wolwedans


Chobe Water Villas

Chobe Water Villas sits on the wildlife-filled Chobe River.  It’s also the most modern accommodation we have seen in Africa. Walking into the main area transports you into a varying array of time zones and locations. The interior was decorated in chic white and gray décor and stark shapes.

Exploring the architecture and decoration of the hotel leads to sources of inspiration from around Namibia.  From the skeleton of a whale, to the seasonal rains that bring life.

Book A Stay at Chobe Water Villas


Gondwana Canyon Village Namibia

Gondwana Canyon Village

The Gondwana Canyon Village was set up in the form of a small village lost in the desert. Turning off the main road you wind 3km down a sandy track before arriving at the main lodge a low stone building with a massive thatched roof.

We arrived early in the day eager to explore the area. After checking in we wasted no time and took advantage of the cloud coverage before the sun was in full swing.

Read About Our Time At Gondwana Canyon Village

Book A Stay at Gondwana Canyon Village


What to Pack For Namibia?

things to do in Namibia

Things to do in Crete
Travel Insurance

We don’t travel without travel insurance and neither should you. You never know what can happen in a foreign country and it’s best to be prepared. World Nomads provides good short term coverage

SafetyWing is perfect for digital nomads. See our full review here!

Check Rates


Overland Tour in Africa

Traveling Africa on your own can be daunting to many travelers. However, there is no need to fear with overland tour companies who will show the ropes and a great time. You can check out some of them here to compare the different companies and possibly score a discount.

African Safari Tours


Grayl Waterbottle
Travel Water Bottle

Plastic pollution is a problem in Africa so it’s best not to contribute to the problem buying plastic water bottles everywhere. The tap water in Tanzania is generally not safe to drink, but a water purifier, like the Grayl waterbottle, works well!

However, we also love filtered water bottles in areas we’re uncertain of the water supply. Read more about favorite water bottle for travel in our post.

Best Travel Water BottlesGrayl Ultralight Water Bottle


Travel in Zanzibar
Camera Gear

Chances are you’ll want a camera for your trip to Africa. Our favorite pocket-sized point and shoot camera for quick trips are the Sony RX100V. It takes fantastic photos and video and is the size of your palm. 

For more professional photographs we use our Fuji XT-3, and LOVE IT.

Fuji X-T3

Best Cameras for SafariBest Cameras for VloggingBest Travel Cameras

Africa Adapter
Adaptor

You’ll need this adaptor in Southern Africa, and this one in Eastern Africa.

Buy Before You Land


Africa Guidebook
Guide Book

Sometimes it’s nice just to have a real book in your hands when traveling. We recommend picking up a Lonely Planet to get you through the wireless nights. Are you going on safari? We always carry our Robert’s Southern Africa Bird Book and a good mammal guide.

Lonely Planet


Safari Shirt

You’ll want a safari shirt while on safari. They are lightweight and keep the bugs away. Plus they look ideal in photos and blend into the environment around you!

Shop on AmazonShop on BackcountryShop on REI


Safari Pants

Lightweight pants that are made from synthetic material are tremendous to have in your pack. It’s what we wear most days when traveling around Africa as they’re comfortable, antibacterial, and protect our legs from mosquitos (malaria).

We recommend neutral colored pants as they’re great at hiding dirt and can match most shirt colors. What’s great is they’re useful beyond Africa as they are a travel staple and we pack a pair everywhere we travel.

I like two pairs, one pair is made by prAna and rolls into capris and the other are convertible pants. For men, prAna makes the Stretch Zion Pant, a tremendous pair of hiking pants for a reasonable price.

Women’s PantsMen’s Pants


Things to do in Crete
Rainbow Sandals

Sandals are great for walking around at night when you’re relaxing. Get yourself some Rainbow brand sandals, seriously everyone around you will be wearing them – and for a good reason. They are uber comfortable once you break them in and last forever!

Rainbow Sandals


African Safari Boots
Safari Boots

If you’re wondering what necessities to bring to Africa then sturdy shoes are perhaps the most important thing you will need before you get to Africa.

I love my Merrell Moab Ventilators and have been going strong in them for two years! Check out my other recommendations on women’s shoes, and we have a post on the best safari boots.

I cannot stress a good pair of shoes enough because if you land anywhere outside of South Africa a quality pair of hiking shoes will be hard to come by. If you plan to walk around a lot get thick rubber soled shoes as acacia thorns are prone to stab through thin shoes. Cameron learned the hard way one day when he pulled a thorn out of his foot that went straight through his thin rubber sandals.

Best Safari Boots


Buff Headband
Buff

I love my buff. I usually wear it for keeping my hair back, but it’s also served its purpose as a scarf and wet rag too. Buffs last for years and aren’t only helpful in Africa. I actually wear mine every day when I’m snowboarding in the mountains. It’s been one of my top travel accessory investments ever!

Buffs


Things to do in Crete
Sunscreen

Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF when traveling around Africa. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house as you will need it underneath the sun in the summer.

We highly recommend getting an eco friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals.

Purchase Sunscreen


Beach Packing List Sunglasses
Sunglasses

Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun. There are a lot of options for sunglasses and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes.

We made our first investment in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Truthfully, not everyone needs to invest $150 in a pair of sunglasses, but they do make a huge difference from the crappy $10 ones.

See Sunglasses


Best Travel Towel - REI Micro Lite towel
Travel Towel

Most hotels will provide you with a towel, but they often aren’t suitable or allowed on the beaches. I like to travel with a microfiber towel because they are light and fold up small, and they also don’t cling on to sand our dirt. Here are a few of our favorite travel towels.

Best Towels For Travel

Thank you to the Chobe Water Villas for partnering with us on our stay. As always, all opinions expressed are our own. 

THANKS FOR READING!

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