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Mankwe – meaning “mother leopard” – is located on a private concession at the gateway to the Moremi Game Reserve. It is on the doorstep of the Okavango Delta and offers guests a versatile safari experience that celebrates the combination of habitats in the area, from full-day Khwai excursions to walking with the San Bushman.
Find out about the accommodation, activities and other details below, or contact us with your questions and we’ll gladly give you the information you need.
Located just 85km from Botswana’s safari capital of Maun and on the doorstep of Moremi’s South Gate entrance, Mankwe is the ideal base for a varietal safari experience.
Guests can opt for full-day excursions to the famed Khwai River region of Moremi, embark on a boat cruise through the Okavango Delta channels, or stay closer to home and explore the camp’s private concession on game drive.
Emerging in 2020 as a fully refurbished camp after a fire brought it to the ground in 2016, Mankwe now as 12 tents with the capacity to sleep 20 people. Each tent enjoys bush views from elevated positions and accommodates guests in refined safari luxury.
Each of the 12 elevated tented suites has a private deck, spacious bedroom with two twins or a king-sized bed, and ensuite bathroom with a shower. There are fans and power points in each room for comfort and convenience.
The main lodge is the central hub where guests gather at meal times or to enjoy the exclusive plunge pool, bar and communal lounge, which offers a comfortable and cool place to relax with a book or a pair of binoculars. A dedicated Wi-Fi zone, reception area, dining room, and a second swimming pool and bar are also located at the central hub.
The fire pit is a favourite place to be in the early evenings and after dinner when the stars come out and the fire dances away.
Activities at Mankwe are designed to make the most of the lodge’s unique location, which has access to both the private concession and the Moremi Game Reserve. Guests have the freedom to choose what they would like to do on any given day, so no two days are the same.
Full day safari in Moremi Game Reserve, Khwai region: Depart Mankwe at about 07h00 after an early breakfast and return at about 15h00. Picnic lunch is included. Find out more about our full day safari activities here .
Game drives on the concession: Explore the private concession on morning, afternoon, or night drives conducted by a private guide. Morning coffee stop or afternoon sundowner stop included. Find out more about our game drive activities here .
Birdwatching : Mankwe’s access to varied habitats and the waterways of the Okavango Delta make it a top notch birding destination. Guests can birdwatch at leisure at the lodge, in Moremi itself, along Khwai River, and along the channels of the Okavango Delta. Find out more about our birdwatching activities here .
Okavango Delta boat cruise : A boat cruise departing from Xakanaxa boat station can be included in the full-day Moremi safari. A river guide will take guests on a motorised boat excursion through the Delta. Find out more about our boating activities here .
Bushman tracking experience: Learn how to track and survive in the wild like the indigenous people of the Kalahari Desert on a walk with two Bushman guides. Find out more about our walking activities here .
Mankwe is located on a private concession spanning 365 000 hectares to the east of Moremi Game Reserve. This ideal positioning offers guests the luxury of exploring the private network of pans and game drive routes and the public Moremi reserve.
Mankwe has close proximity to the Khwai River region and the waterways of the eastern Okavango Delta, making it the perfect place for full-day safari activities.
Its location just outside Moremi makes it far more affordable than lodges inside Moremi, but guests have access the same game drive routes, pans, and pools as those accommodated in the reserve.
Mankwe is easily accessible to self-driving guests, being located just 85km from Maun with easy-to-follow directions. Transfers from the airport are also readily arranged and take just under two hours on the road.
Exit Maun in the direction of Mababe on the Seretse Khama road; cross the vet fence and eventually keep right at the fork, continuing towards Savute. Mankwe Bush Lodge is sign-posted on the left. Follow the signs and you will arrive at your destination.
Children over the age of six are welcome at Mankwe, but parents are reminded that the concession is home to a variety of wild animals and the lodge is not fenced off, so child supervision is necessary. The Bushman tracking experience is only permitted for children over the age of 16, but game drives and boat cruises allow children aged six and up to participate.
Botswana receives rainfall in the form of afternoon thundershowers in the hot summer months between November and March.
October is the hottest, driest month before the rains, and things start to cool down come April/May before winter truly sets in in June.
June, July, and August are the winter months and also peak safari season because of the mild daytime temperatures (±25C), dry weather, lack of mosquitos, and good opportunities for game viewing.
Summer on safari can be challenging with unpredictable rainfall, wet roads, and hot temperatures (±40C), but those who are keen birders should know this is the season for birdwatching, as the many migrant species return for the summer.
The wildlife on Mankwe’s private concession includes a great variety of animals that occur in the neighbouring Moremi Game Reserve. There are no fences dividing the reserve from surrounding concessions, so all species have the freedom to roam.
The permanent water in the Okavango Delta river systems attracts wildlife all year round, so Moremi is constantly a hive of activity.
Large predators that can be seen include lion, hyena, leopard, cheetah, and African wild dog; and the mega-herbivores include elephant, hippo, and giraffe.
The Delta is known for special water-adapted antelope, such as red lechwe and waterbuck, among many other well known species. Zebra, baboon, warthog, and others form part of the wildlife experience at Mankwe.
Like many safari regions in Africa, Botswana is in a malaria-risk area. This should not be a deterrent for guests wanting to travel in Botswana and to the Okavango Delta area specifically, but measures should be taken to prevent mosquito bites and lower one’s risk of contracting malaria.
We recommend guests always consult doctors in their home countries for advice on prophylactic medication and follow the medical advice they are given. While on safari at any of our lodges located in malaria-risk areas, we provide insect repellent for guests to use and recommend wearing light-weight, high coverage clothing in the evenings.
All year round, guests should pack the essential safari items, such as cameras, binoculars, sun-block, hats, and sun glasses. The winter sun, while mild, still needs to be considered and guests should be diligent about protecting their skin even during the cooler time of year.
The winter nights and early mornings can be exceptionally chilly in Botswana, so it is essential that one packs a warm, wind-proof jacket, scarf, and warm headgear to wrap up against the cold on morning game drives in an open vehicle.
Closed shoes are essential for walking and are also recommended for nights around camp to protect against animals like scorpions, which are more prevalent on hot, summer nights.
Remember to pack all the necessary camera and device chargers and any personal medication. Things like books on the birds and mammals of the area are available for reading and reference at the lodge.