Namibian hospitality company O&L Leisure has opened Chobe Water Villas, a luxurious riverside retreat in the Caprivi Strip on Namibia’s northern boundary, only a few kilometres from the unique place where four countries meet: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia.
A destination for wildlife photographers and safari lovers, Chobe Water Villas are situated on the northern bank of the mighty Chobe River, which forms the border between Namibia and the Chobe National Park in Botswana, an area with one of the highest concentration of game in all of Africa.
Sixteen stilted suites line a broad stretch of the Chobe River, with views over Kasikili Island and the Chobe National Park beyond. The vegetation is lush and supports a dense population of elephants, lion, buffalo, giraffe and various antelopes, making this a unique corner of Namibia which, in many ways, feels as much a part of wildlife-rich Botswana or Zambia.
Accessible only by boat, the thatched water villas are shaded by acacia trees. Interiors by South African firm Design Union feature sustainable, contemporary lines and incorporate custom-made furniture, indigenous textiles, soft linens and an Afro-chic collection of lighting fixtures and artworks. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors in each suite fold open and lead out to a large front terrace with and uninterrupted 180-degree river views. The river below is teeming with life and guests can watch out for a rich selection of birdlife as well as species such as hippo, crocodile, sable, waterbuck, reedbuck and buffalo – which are largely absent from the rest of Namibia. A rear terrace looks out towards the natural bush and spectacular sunsets.
Facilities at the main lodge include a restaurant and bar and a library lounge – all leading out onto a central garden area with infinity pool and views of the Chobe River. Interiors take cues from Namibia’s landscapes, rich biodiversity and diverse cultures, and subtle touches throughout the property offer a nod to unique Namibian cultural symbolism. A giant mobile in the restaurant made of hundreds of strands of small Maranti timber discs, for example, represent an African Rain Storm, while a ceiling-hung skeletal structure refers to Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. A light installation of a giant weaver bird’s nest can be seen above the bar counter.
Because of its elevated location, wildlife viewing can be enjoyed straight from the villas and lodge looking down onto the river. Daily safari activities include morning game drives in the Chobe National Park, cruises on the Chobe River along the banks of the National Park and Cultural & Sunset cruises on both the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers. The lodge is also only 70 kilometres by road from one of the great wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls, and day excursions by road or air can be arranged.
Chobe Water Villas are conveniently located only three kilometres from Kasane International Airport (Botswana) and from there it is a short transfer by boat. Furthermore, domestic connections from Windhoek are offered to Katima Mulilo in Namibia from where transfers can be arranged. The international airports of Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and Livingstone (Zambia) are also only 80 kilometres away, both of which operate regular scheduled flights to Johannesburg and connect to flights from cities across the world.