Review: Sanctuary Chief's Camp, Botswana

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If you're going to the Okavango Delta, you have several choices for safari camps. One of the more expensive ones is the Sanctuary Chief's Camp, located in the Moremi Game Reserve.

We recently stayed at the camp, and were quite impressed.

The service, the food, and of course the game viewing is second to none. We were able to see all of the big five animals in the reserve, including the rare white rhino.

Arriving at Sanctuary Chief's Camp

Like most camps in the Okavango Delta, the only way to get to Sanctuary Chief's Camp is via bush plane.

The length of the flight depends on which camp you came from, but it's in a more remote area, so expect the flight to take an hour or more.

Landing at Sanctuary Chief's Camp in Okavango Delta

Once you land at the remote airstrip, it's about a half hour by safari vehicle to the actual camp.

Upon arrival, you are greeted by most of the staff, as is common at safari camps like this one. We experienced the same greeting at every camp we went to.

We chose a luxury pavilion room at the Sanctuary Chief's camp, mostly because we were looking for a very comfortable experience after traveling for several days in the bush.  

The luxury pavilion room is large, and has an outdoor shower, as well as an indoor shower. In the center is a large bed with a beautiful canopy.

In front of that is a small sitting area looking out onto the patio.

The bathroom contains a toilet area, two sinks, and a large bathtub. There is also an entryway area where there is a mini fridge, and a large walk-in closet..

Luxury pavilion bed at Sanctuary Chief's Camp

The outdoor area of the luxury pavilion consists of a large patio with two separate seating areas, a dining area, and a small pool in the middle.

All of the backyard is open to the bush -- in fact, during the time we were staying there, an elephant came straight out of the jungle and started drinking water out of the pool.

That was quite an amazing sight (see the picture at the top of the page).

Luxury pavilion outdoor seating area and dining area at Sanctuary Chief's Camp

The Camp

Sanctuary Chief's Camp is a more luxurious camp than you'll find in most of the Okavango Delta.  It isn't a tent camp, but a permanent camp, so there are real buildings on the property, all with heating and air condiitoning.  

The main lounge area opens out onto a small plain where you can often see elephants and warthogs, and you can occasionally see larger animals like leopards.

Meals are typically served in a dining room overlooking this area, although sometimes meals are set up in other areas.

The dining area at Sanctuary Chief's Camp just before dawn

The service at the camp is impeccable, and the food is excellent.

The breakfast spread is large enough that anyone can find what they want, which is especially impressive here, where most of the supplies have to be flown in by bush plane.

The Game Viewing

The guides at the Sanctuary Chief's Camp are excellent.

Even though we had been to several camps before we arrived at Chief's, we had not seen a white rhino. Our guide, who was with us the entire stay, promised we would see one before leaving.

Sure enough, we were treated to not only one white rhino, but two.  One mother and one baby.  We got very close to the rhino and got some excellent pictures.

White rhinos at Sanctuary Chief's Camp

We were also able to see a full pack of lions up close, a fight between a leopard and hyeenas, and of course the normal giraffes, warthogs, and elephants.  

Lions sleeping in Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta

One especially interesting experience that is available at Sanctuary Chief's Camp is an elephant excursion. On the excursion you meet a couple who live in the bush and have devoted their lives to rehabilitating elephants affected by poachers.

During the excursion, you go for a walk with elephants, and get to be up close with them in their natural -- and free -- habitat.

Closing Thoughts

Sanctuary Chief's Camp is definitely one of the best camps in the Moremi Game Reserve -- probably in all of southern Africa.

Although it's not the most luxurious, it is very close to the top camps in luxury, and it has an excellent location for ideal game viewing.

If you are deciding on which camps to stay at, we recommend you take a look at Sanctuary Chief's Camp. It is pricier than many of the tent camps, and far more expensive than the resorts in South Africa, but we thought it was worth the price.

We found it to be the best of the camps we visited in Botswana, and we would no doubt return.