Sneak peek: inside Sitatunga Private Island Suite

The latest Réserve-Collection safari camp to join the Great Plains portfolio – a cluster of luxury water-based accommodations in the heart of Botswana – is due to open in July 2023. Before then, we have managed to get a sneak peek inside…

render showing private suite and swimming pool with thatched cabin overlooking the water of okovango delta at sitatunga Private Island

Great Plains is an authentic and unique tourism conservation organisation, founded by and positioned around Dereck and Beverly Joubert since 2006. The company consists of a portfolio of fourteen prestigious owned and partner safari properties in Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe. Slated to open on 15th July, the two-bedroom Sitatunga Private Island Suite will open within the new Sitatunga Private Island Camp, part of  Botswana’s latest Okavango Delta water-based Réserve-Collection Safari Camp.

Sitatunga Private Island Camp will provide guests with both an authentic safari experience and a refuge for the soul in the Okavango Delta. The owners have been pivotal in the interior design process, imbibing a sense of place and authenticity into the camp, with the giant bamboo fisherman basket structures of the suites paying homage to the Bayei people who historically occupied the area.

wooden walkway over the water for viewing animals and thatched roof cottages in Sitatunga

Image credit: Great Plains Conservation

“Sitatunga Private Island Camp is an extraordinary place,” elaborated Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains Conservation “It is a private island and is one of the few locations where one can still see sitatunga, the rare aquatic antelope, from camp and by boat, which is the main activity here in addition to walking. It is deep Okavango Delta and, as such, is rich in birding. Head out on a boat to view elephants, crocodiles, and hippos all day, every day. I know you will enjoy every moment of it, as I do.”

A true labour of love, all materials within the camp have been personally sourced over the years and will be re-used to create Sitatunga Private Island Suite, breathing new life into old treasures. The suites, which will be able to house eight people in total, wull blend seamlessly into the natural landscape of the Okavango Delta, conjuring a strong imagining of its ancestral origins.

“Sitatunga Private Island Camp is very ‘Robinson Crusoe’, desert island-ish,” continued Joubert. “It is designed with a ‘salvage’ inspired reference, complete with giant basket shapes as a nod to the Bayei and other local Okavango fishing ancestries. Thick shaggy thatch cover canvas roofs and walls. There is thick pole woodwork, feeling like masts salvaged from a shipwreck, but the very spacious inner floorspace is actually some of the largest we have ever built. Each suite is set up very high in the ebony trees, a traditional way to seek and find safety, take advantage of the views, and rest in the cool shade. And to spot sitatunga.”

two deckchairs and sunset at Sitatunga Gret Plains okovango delta

Image credit: Great Plains Conservation

The camp will become a new destination of barefoot luxury for slow safari guests, with the opportunity to explore the Okavango Delta’s permanent channels by mekoro (canoe), stretch their legs on guided morning walks, take part in fishing or photographic safaris. For those guests keen to unwind within their new home-away-from-home in Botswana, Sitatunga Private Island Suite offers yoga mats and light weights with in-room massages available upon request. A wine cellar and boutique are also available to guests within the camp. All suites offer complimentary use of a professional camera and lens set.

Main image credit: Great Plains Conservation