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Thursday, October 16, 2014

&Beyond Sanibe Okavango Safari Lodge reopens

Completely rebuilt to combine spectacular design with exceptional wildlife adventures, &Beyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge re-opened its doors on 1 September 2014. Situated on a private concession in the magnificent Okavango Delta, Sandibe boasts exclusive traversing rights over a vast stretch of land adjacent to the wildlife-rich Moremi Game Reserve. The most architecturally magnificent lodge in the Delta, Sandibe combines outstanding design, exceptional wildlife viewing and warm local hospitality. The Okavango Delta has recently been named the 1 000th UNESCO World Heritage Site and the design for this incredible new lodge draws its inspiration from this unique natural setting.

In spite of the lodge having been closed for the extensive rebuild during much of the year, &Beyond Sandibe retained its title of Botswana's Leading Safari Lodge for the fourth year running at the recent 2014 World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean gala ceremony. This prestigious achievement is even more notable in view of the fact that it was bestowed on the lodge by fellow travel and tourism professionals worldwide, who cast their votes in the World Travel Awards in order to reward commitment to excellence.

Latest in sustainable technology
In keeping with &Beyond's core ethos of Care of the Land, Care of the Wildlife, Care of the People, Sandibe has been designed with a light footprint and a heavy focus on sustainability and efficiency. Situated in a remote area without easily available electricity, instead of relying on a generator to supply the lodge's extensive energy needs, Sandibe's combined solar electricity and hot water systems will produce in excess of 200 000 Kwh of energy per year. This will save the lodge 67 000 litres of diesel per year, which translates into a carbon footprint saving of 180 tons of CO², an amount that the lodge would have had to plant 4 615 tree saplings to offset.

The Okavango Delta experience
Botswana's Okavango Delta is an environment like no other, where the wonder of big game sightings combines with spectacular scenery and a special brand of peace and tranquillity. A journey through the heart of the Delta offers an unmatched combination of land and water experiences.
Thanks to the continual cycle of water that reaches this lush wetland, the Okavango remains an exceptional destination throughout the year. Beginning in the highlands of Angola, the floodwaters of the Okavango River travel through Botswana, reaching the narrowest part of the Delta at the end of the wet season. From here, the waters gradually fan out through innumerable channels over a period of four months or so and then recede again.  Thus, the amount of dry land may depend on the time of year, although the waters at the heart of the Delta are deep enough to be permanent. Excursions in traditional canoes known as mekoro or conventional speedboats explore the intricacies of this glorious ecosystem.

Game viewing in the Delta
Game viewing in the Delta is an experience completely unlike any other. In this secluded world, wildlife sightings may not be as frequent but they are more exclusive, most often only shared with those on your safari vehicle. Animals are tracked with the help of expert guides and guests are welcome to spend as long as they want at each sighting, often without another vehicle in sight. Game drives in the Delta traverse vast spaces, with immense private concessions accessible to only a handful of guests. While &Beyond Sandibe is situated near the border of Moremi Game Reserve, it is not within the national park, which means that exceptional number of wildlife are combined with a range of activities, from  day and night game drives to bush walks.

A different perspective on the Delta
With its network of endlessly winding channels, the Delta inevitably has a number of inaccessible areas that are hard to explore. Thus, the best way to admire the full perspective of this landscape is from above and &Beyond Sandibe offers scenic helicopter flights that provide an exceptional perspective on the Delta.

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The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places