Fancy a round of golf? Do so in very close proximity to the vast elephant population surrounding the course at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa. It’s magical.
On the banks of the mighty Chobe River, in north-eastern Botswana; on the outskirts of the town of Kasane, there’s no rush – unless it’s to bring your camera or binoculars to your eye in this fabulous game viewing destination.
Chill and catch a cocktail as you enjoy views from the beautiful grounds across the river and the floodplains into Namibia on the far side.
Enjoy the friendly service, the extensive facilities and activities – on and off site – not forgetting about the nine holes of golf. Enjoy, too, the old world yet fresh style of this grande dame, the recent recipient of a major overhaul.
The brief was to freshen up the whole property, taking inspiration from the river and the surrounding vegetation, and to make it contemporary. The overall tone of “luxury meets nature” was achieved.
Appreciate the new decks, the clean, contemporary surfaces with minimalistic organic elements like chandeliers and iconic pieces of furniture and wall sculptures.
The fresh blues and greens with greys and white create a cool, calm, refreshing feel which complements the warmth of the thatch and terracotta flooring.
The tech upgrades are much appreciated, with a superb Wi-Fi experience and many more plug points – although the large television set in my room was never switched on. Too much to do.
Mowana, more elevated than other lodges on the Botswana river bank, has arguably the best views, with all 112 bedrooms and four suites having sliding glass doors opening onto a private patio with views of the Chobe River, though you may have to share the patio with vervet monkeys or a warthog or two, especially if you have fruit.
The upstairs bar is the place to be if you want to see the most beautiful African sunsets.
Within the resort complex the mowana (baobab) tree is a central focus point. The high thatched roof of the lobby pretty much points at the tree, and lodge buildings circle it – at a respectful distance.
The hotel amenities are superb. It has a tennis court, several swimming pools, golf course, gym and spa where the masseurs really know their stuff!
Mowana is a 10-minute drive from the northern part of the 11,700km² Chobe National Park.
Arguments rage as to whether the elephant population is 60,000 or 120,000. It doesn’t matter which is correct as the sight of herds numbering in the hundreds is something you will never forget.
In this park, where predators like lion, leopard and wild dog abound, it is no wonder it has been called the Galapagos of Africa.
Another argument (mine) is that the best way to view game is from a boat. Mowana’s game viewing boats are designed to go where the larger game viewing boats are not, creating an opportunity to get up close and personal with what the Chobe has to offer.
Other options on the Chobe – and neighbouring Zambezi – include an outing on Flame of Africa’s luxurious double decker Chobe Style or a day aboard the triple decker Chobe Explorer, or fishing.
These particular waters are home to the voracious, most powerful power to weight ratio fresh water fish in the world – the tiger – a true delight to every angler.
Or outings to Victoria Falls (full day) which, if you’ve not been, is a must-do.
Impalila Island, which straddles the intersection of where four countries – Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia – meet, is another interesting visit.
You can experience this by taking advantage of the 2019 Mowana Christmas special of P7,425 (approximately R10,042) for a three-night stay.