Oddballs on the Okavango

Botswana: Hide Away in Eco-Style
By Sharon Safran
  |  Gorp.com
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Enjoying the Bush at Oddballs Lodge
Enjoying the bush at Oddballs Lodge

Fifty feet high, supported by the outstretched arms of a massive riverine tree, sits the nest of a peculiar pair of lovebirds.

The foliage of the canopy reveals a newlywed couple, briefly emerging from their fairytale accommodation to take advantage of the best seats in the (tree) house. So inspiring are the immediate surroundings that even the most plutonic of friends would be tempted to retreat into the privacy of this arboreal inn.

The reflection of the sun's rays off the water, calmly resting beneath the long hippo fronds, reeds and water lilies, creates the image of a field of sparkling stars. The locals will tell you, "If you're looking for the Southern Cross in the night sky, just look for a giraffe eating out of the Milky Way." Gazing from your balcony at wildlife grazing on the vast wetlands is an equally ethereal sight.

If you're planning your honeymoon or simply looking for a place to truly get away from it all, then Oddballs Lodge is the quintessential holiday destination.

Situated in the Okavango Delta, this freshwater system of lakes and river channels extends over 15,000 square kilometers of northern Botswana. One can only be awestruck by the oasis of the Kalahari Desert, providing such a precious source of water to the local people and wildlife. The Delta is so delicate and unpredictable, even those indigenous to the region cannot accurately forecast when the floods will come to replenish the system, in what quantity, and for how long.

In this continuously changing ecosystem, one thing remains constant (for now): the island where Oddballs intermingles with the palms. Arriving by mokoro (dugout canoe), the lodge remains camouflaged until your eyes begin to discern the illusive patterns of the bush.

The chalets at the lodge have been constructed using native materials (where possible) and seem to blend into the surrounding habitat. Inside, the master bed is draped in a sheer mosquito net, allowing only the luminescence of the moon to sneak through. The decor of subtly placed carvings and crafts adds a romantic touch of aboriginal Africa.

The chalets have been brilliantly designed to benefit from the natural features of the local landscape. When the unrelenting heat of midday arrives, you can escape to your temporary residence and the comforts of a permanent breeze. As if that is not enough, a tree extending from the center of your chalet provides all the shade needed for a lazy afternoon in your private hammock.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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