Skybeds

A Million Star Review

Looking for a truly unique way to spend time in the bush? Then look no further than our fabulous Skybeds, located deep within the Khwai Private Reserve. As the name suggests, this is no ordinary safari camp. Each “room” is actually a three-story raised platform, overlooking the wildlife-spotted plains of Khwai. Charmingly rustic yet perfectly stylish, you’ll find a bathroom with flushing loo on the first floor, a dressing area, and the ultimate cherry on the top floor, an enormous double bed, draped in white linens and a feather duvet and completely open to the stars.

With such spectacular skies overhead, you could be forgiven for forgetting about what’s happening down below. But keep one eye on the ground, for the Skybeds overlook a busy waterhole. In one night we’ve seen wild dog, lion, elephant and hyena – and that’s just the beginning. So, whilst we can’t guarantee you’ll get much sleep, we can guarantee one of the wildest and most wonderful safari experiences you’ll ever have.

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From $ 395 PER PERSON

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Details, Details

Why Book this Camp?

  • The Skybeds offers a totally unique safari experience; there’s not many places in the world that you can sleep atop a five-metre high, wooden platform, with only a mozzie net between you and the stars.
  • The platforms overlook a waterhole (the only permanent water source for 50,000 acres), frequented by 400 bull elephants, along with lion, leopard, eland, zebra, and more, making for some pretty outstanding game viewing, straight from your platform.
  • With only three Skybeds, the camp accommodates just six guests making it one of the most intimate camps in Botswana.
  • Each platform comes complete with a flush toilet, shower and basin under each sleeping area.
  • The Skybeds are completely safe and offer excellent value for money.

At-a-Glance

Accommodation & Amenities

  • 3 x 5-metre high sleeping platforms
  • Private bathrooms with indoor showers
  • Wifi available: No
  • Hairdryers: No
  • Battery charging facilities: In the vehicle
  • Child policy: We welcome children aged 12 years and older
  • Disabled access: Sadly, disabled access is not possible

What’s included?

  • All meals and local drinks; activities

What’s not included?

  • Flights; premium brand beverages; tips & gratuities; insurance; transfers to Sable Alley charged at a per person rate.

Camp dates

The Skybed are open from the 1st April to the 30th November.

Shoulder season: 1st April to 14th June; 1st November to 30th November.

High season: 15th June to 31st July; 1st September to 31st October

Peak season: 1st – 31st August

NB Please note Skybeds is only available when booked in combination with Sable Alley or Hyena Pan.

Activities

  • Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives, both in the private concession and along the Khwai River.
  • Set up your camera in our ground level hide, just 10 metres away from the bustling waterhole.
  • Embark on guided bush walks and view the landscape (and the wildlife) from a different perspective.
  • Enjoy an icy G&T on evening game drives and watch the sun plummet below the horizon.

Location

As our portfolio of camps develops, we will be forming partnerships with different conservation programmes and projects in the areas that we operate. Each project will be supported by revenue from our 1.5 percent of turnover initiative. In the Khwai Private Reserve, we have partnered with the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust to investigate the leopard population in this vast area, using camera traps to determine the population size and territories.  Additionally, our partners at Round River Conservation Studies have been collecting important baseline data on large herbivores for the reserve’s game monitoring programme.

When To Go

April to October is the dry season, but don’t be fooled by the warm daytime temperatures – it can get chilly in the evening. That’s exactly why each Skybed is equipped with cosy blankets and duvets as fat as a stack of pancakes. At this time of year, the wildlife congregates at the Skybeds waterhole. Herds cluster together, predators lurk in the wings, and you can almost feel the heightened tension over the last drops of H20

As the end of the season approaches and November begins, rain becomes more of a likelihood but it certainly doesn’t rain all night and is more a spectacular event than a hindrance! The giants of the wildlife world start to take the limelight now and large numbers of hippo, elephant and buffalo explore the surroundings.

Logistics

The safari town of Maun is the gateway to the Okavango Delta and the surrounding camps. There are direct flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg and we suggest you fly to Johannesburg on an international carrier of your choice and then on to Maun. From there, you will take a smaller, light aircraft to Skybeds in Khwai Private Reserve.

**Please note that there is a per person transfer rate between the Skybeds and Sable Alley.

Camp Story

Skybeds are a childhood dream come true for many of us at Natural Selection. We wanted a camp that stood high above the ground, where nothing would disturb our views, but where plenty of gruntings and snortings would disturb our sleep! We came up with the idea of multi-storey sleeping platforms – something that had never been done before – and set about building them around a plentiful waterhole in the heart of Khwai Private Reserve. We decided that too many platforms would detract from the intimacy of the experience, so we stuck to just three. And there you have it: Skybeds – a place to be at one with the wild; count a billion stars above your head as you drift off to sleep; and watch as elephant emerge through the pastel haze of the sunset to drink from the water mere metres below your bed…

Why Book this Camp?

  • The Skybeds offers a totally unique safari experience; there’s not many places in the world that you can sleep atop a five-metre high, wooden platform, with only a mozzie net between you and the stars.
  • The platforms overlook a waterhole (the only permanent water source for 50,000 acres), frequented by 400 bull elephants, along with lion, leopard, eland, zebra, and more, making for some pretty outstanding game viewing, straight from your platform.
  • With only three Skybeds, the camp accommodates just six guests making it one of the most intimate camps in Botswana.
  • Each platform comes complete with a flush toilet, shower and basin under each sleeping area.
  • The Skybeds are completely safe and offer excellent value for money.

At-a-Glance

Accommodation & Amenities

  • 3 x 5-metre high sleeping platforms
  • Private bathrooms with indoor showers
  • Wifi available: No
  • Hairdryers: No
  • Battery charging facilities: In the vehicle
  • Child policy: We welcome children aged 12 years and older
  • Disabled access: Sadly, disabled access is not possible

What’s included?

  • All meals and local drinks; activities

What’s not included?

  • Flights; premium brand beverages; tips & gratuities; insurance; transfers to Sable Alley charged at a per person rate.

Camp dates

The Skybed are open from the 1st April to the 30th November.

Shoulder season: 1st April to 14th June; 1st November to 30th November.

High season: 15th June to 31st July; 1st September to 31st October

Peak season: 1st – 31st August

NB Please note Skybeds is only available when booked in combination with Sable Alley or Hyena Pan.

Activities

  • Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives, both in the private concession and along the Khwai River.
  • Set up your camera in our ground level hide, just 10 metres away from the bustling waterhole.
  • Embark on guided bush walks and view the landscape (and the wildlife) from a different perspective.
  • Enjoy an icy G&T on evening game drives and watch the sun plummet below the horizon.

Conservation

As our portfolio of camps develops, we will be forming partnerships with different conservation programmes and projects in the areas that we operate. Each project will be supported by revenue from our 1.5 percent of turnover initiative. In the Khwai Private Reserve, we have partnered with the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust to investigate the leopard population in this vast area, using camera traps to determine the population size and territories.  Additionally, our partners at Round River Conservation Studies have been collecting important baseline data on large herbivores for the reserve’s game monitoring programme.

When To Go

April to October is the dry season, but don’t be fooled by the warm daytime temperatures – it can get chilly in the evening. That’s exactly why each Skybed is equipped with cosy blankets and duvets as fat as a stack of pancakes. At this time of year, the wildlife congregates at the Skybeds waterhole. Herds cluster together, predators lurk in the wings, and you can almost feel the heightened tension over the last drops of H20

As the end of the season approaches and November begins, rain becomes more of a likelihood but it certainly doesn’t rain all night and is more a spectacular event than a hindrance! The giants of the wildlife world start to take the limelight now and large numbers of hippo, elephant and buffalo explore the surroundings.

Logistics

The safari town of Maun is the gateway to the Okavango Delta and the surrounding camps. There are direct flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg and we suggest you fly to Johannesburg on an international carrier of your choice and then on to Maun. From there, you will take a smaller, light aircraft to Skybeds in Khwai Private Reserve.

**Please note that there is a per person transfer rate between the Skybeds and Sable Alley.

Camp Story

Skybeds are a childhood dream come true for many of us at Natural Selection. We wanted a camp that stood high above the ground, where nothing would disturb our views, but where plenty of gruntings and snortings would disturb our sleep! We came up with the idea of multi-storey sleeping platforms – something that had never been done before – and set about building them around a plentiful waterhole in the heart of Khwai Private Reserve. We decided that too many platforms would detract from the intimacy of the experience, so we stuck to just three. And there you have it: Skybeds – a place to be at one with the wild; count a billion stars above your head as you drift off to sleep; and watch as elephant emerge through the pastel haze of the sunset to drink from the water mere metres below your bed…

Accommodations

Sleeping under the stars in the heart of the bush isn’t something you do every day, and we wanted to keep the experience as exclusive as possible. After all, it’s not quite the same with 100 people snoring next to you. As a result, there are only three Skybeds sleeping a total of six people, and, just as importantly, each one is perfectly private from the next.

The Skybeds are no ordinary camp bedrooms. In fact, they’re no ordinary tree houses either. You’ll be sleeping high above the plains, raised two stories off the ground, and quite literally metres from a mammal-dominated waterhole. The upper platform is your alfresco bedroom, complete with bed and mosquito net. The snuggest of duvets will keep you warm when the desert temperature tumbles, and we’ve even got hot water bottles to keep you extra toasty. The bathroom is on the second-floor level, with an enclosed shower, flushing loo, and private changing area.

While the tree-house is your unique, private sanctuary, the rest of the camp is more traditional in design. The Skybeds aren’t a white-gloved, linen-tableclothed sort of place. Good, wholesome food is served around the campfire, accompanied by the wandering wildlife, the sounds of the night, and a crisp G&T.

We may have injected a good dose of romance into the Skybeds, but that doesn’t mean they’re only for couples. Small groups can book the camp on an exclusive basis (that’s what we call a party!), and we welcome families with older children, but regret that we cannot accept children under 12. If you’re embarking on a multi-day Natural Selection safari, add in a night at the Skybeds for a change of pace and scene.

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Explore Skybeds

Wildlife

We’ve turned the idea of a traditional camp on its head at Skybeds, so we thought we might as well flip the notion of a traditional safari too. Usually, the camp is for resting, but at Skybeds, your bedroom takes centre stage in the wildlife-viewing department. Keep your eyes peeled for kudu and roan antelope roaming beneath your tree-house, predators patrolling the water’s edge and long-lashed giraffe peeping into the bedroom.

Game drives mostly focus on the resident predators, and our team of fabulous guides understand exactly where the furry icons claim their territory. Lion prides prowl with precision, leopard hide in the boughs of the trees, and packs of wild dog and scatterings of hyena are a regular part of the program. And in Khwai, it’s not just predator versus prey, but predators fighting amongst themselves too. Exciting stuff.

We also recommend that you pop out on an evening drive. The beauty of being in a private reserve is the ability to do what we want (within reason!), and one of those things is game viewing under the cover of darkness. These drives increase your chances of seeing big cats on the move, and reveal some of the more elusive nocturnal species too. And next on the list is a walking safari. You’ll follow herds of red lechwe and waterbuck, and come eye-to-eye with kudu and eland – the perfect complement to your view from the treehouse.

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The Landscape

Skybeds is situated alongside a busy waterhole within the 495,000 acre Khwai Private Reserve concession. This is our precious reserve in the Khwai area of the Okavango Delta, and as the name suggests, it͛s private, giving our guests that most indulgent of African luxuries – space.

The reserve is at the north east corner of the Delta, and boasts a glorious diversity of land and waterscape, with a variety of ecosystems playing host to an array of wildlife. From seasonal waterholes and permanent channels to mopane woodland and riverine forests –it’s all here.

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