The passion, care, and thought that has gone into the lodge and continues to drive the lodge on a day to day is evident as soon as you arrive. Combine this with its fantastic location and access to Chobe, and it is a wonderful choice for anyone visiting the area.
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The owners, Adam and Jenny Young, first purchased the land where Chobe Bakwena now sits in 2000, since then, they have been passionate about building a socially and ecologically conscience retreat perfect for exploring Chobe National Park.
The lodge is located on the banks of the Chobe River, near to the town of Kazungula, and is around 1.5km upstream of the meeting place of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana, and only a short drive into Chobe.
The lodge runs twice daily activities, including game drives and boat cruises into the National Park. Boat cruises are a stunning and serene way to explore the waterways and channels.
The park is home to the world’s largest elephant population. It is thought to number up to 120,000, and everyday herd of elephants moves from their feeding grounds in the dense forest and scrub to the riverfront to quench their thirst. Watching these mighty pachyderms, drink, play, and sometimes swim from the viewpoint of a boat is one of many moments of potential magic on offer in this area.
However, it is not just activities that focus on the wildlife populations that are available from Bakwena. Due to its close links with the local community, guests have the chance to meet the people of Botswana on a village tour or even take one of the 20 cruiser bicycles out for a spin around the local area with a guide or on your own. During longer stays at the lodge, you might like to include an unguided trip to Victoria Falls instead, which is around 90 km away.
Bakwena’s main area, and all 15 rooms, are built on raised decks to make the most of its riverfront location. It is a secluded oasis hidden away among the riverine forest. The lodge has been crafted in an ecologically responsible way, and this was of the utmost importance to the owners. The chalets were built utilizing the ecobeam method, which uses a pole structure and sandbag infill, which not only is a good thermo regulator but was one of the most eco-friendly methods available when constructing. No harmful chemicals were used to treat the wood, materials were sourced as locally as possible, some furniture has been made on site, and the lodge used solar energy and has implemented recycling projects.
The 15 chalets are made up of ten “River View Chalets”, which, as the name suggests, all face the Chobe River and five “Treetop Chalets”, which are raised on stilts 3m off the ground to give the feeling of being in the tree canopy. Within these rooms, there is one family room and a honeymoon chalet. Much care and thought has been taken over the details in decorating the rooms, and they have a light, modern feel with authentic African touches.
Rim flow eco-pool, viewing decks, a comfortable lounge, and communal fire pit. Rooms have private decks and outdoor showers.
Guests can quench their thirst at the Rain-Tree Bar, and delicious home-made food is served either alfresco or in the dining room.
Chobe Bakwena’s motto is “Treading lightly upon the earth”, and this is something that we echo and champion at Wayfairer. We consider this to be one of the most eco-friendly options from which to access Chobe National Park. Not only was the lodge built in a sustainable fashion, limiting its carbon footprint, using green energy sources, recycling and upcycling, but all the lodge’s staff, including the owners, are from nearby villages.