Thamo Telele






US$ 450 — US$ 635 per night


Year Round






US$ 450 — US$ 635 per night


Year Round

Safari Style in Maun

Thamo Telele is a safari lodge in Maun located within a 250-hectare private game reserve on the outskirts of the iconic safari town, the gateway to the Okavango Delta.

This intimate and comfortable lodge was recently refurbished and opened its tent-flaps again in March 2022. With an enviable location bordering the Thamalakane River, Thamo Telele can accommodate 22 guests and offers space for relaxation and tranquillity, making it the ideal stop-over either side of any safari.

Set amongst a lush forest of old growth leadwood and acacia trees, each luxury safari-style tent and thatched chalet is a little bush haven. Surrounded by habitats of river, riverine, woodland and dry savanna this wildlife sanctuary is full of life and brimming with plains game and birdlife.

The abundant bird life will set any twitcher twitching and anyone with a soft spot for giraffe will be in a state of pure bliss as they get up close and learn more about our resident herd from our team of naturalists. In fact, the lodge was named after our littlest resident giraffe, born during our refurb in 2021. Surprisingly tall from birth, she was soon called Thamo Telele, meaning ‘long neck’ in Setswana. As we observed her growing day-by-day, she captured our hearts in such a profound way, that we decided to rename our ‘new’ lodge after her.

A night or two at Thamo Telele is all you need to discover why this little lodge has some cool safari style and soul!

Why You’ll Love Thamo Telele:

  • The reserve is Maun’s best wildlife and birdwatching sanctuary offering a range of guided and self-guided activities.
  • Get up close and learn more about our giraffe herd. Come and meet them all, they’ve all got names and can be identified by their spots! (there are 20 in total).
  • This is one of the best bird-watching locations in Northern Botswana. Over 300 species of birds have been sighted in and around Thamo Telele, keen birders should be able to see at least 50 to 70 species in a day.
  • A small and intimate 11 room lodge, with a choice of luxury safari-style tents or thatched chalets to relax in.
  • An ideal way to spend your first or last night on safari, in or out of the Okavango Delta.
  • Only a 20-minute drive or 5-minute helicopter flight from Maun Airport with transfers to and from the lodge daily.
  • Family friendly and the perfect way experience giraffe, zebra & other plains-game on foot or horseback.

We recommend booking Thamo Telele as part of a complete Natural Selection safari, but if you want to book it separately or just check availability, click here to select dates and book.

Interested in learning more about the prices? View Rates

Thamo Telele Accommodations

Our tented suites and chalets are all set amongst a lush forest of leadwood and acacia trees, offering peace and comfort in total privacy. Thamo Telele accommodates just twenty-two guests, with nine private luxury tent guest suites and two intimate thatched honeymoon chalets. Recently refurbed they are bright and breezy, with comfy beds and beautiful bathrooms.

The honeymoon chalets are private and romantic, with superior king size canopy beds covered in soft white linen, wrapped in flowing netting and topped with plump fluffy pillows. Each air-conditioned chalet is stylishly furnished with pops of bright colour. Each en-suite comes with a large bath, his and hers basins and panoramic views of the forest beyond. You’ll also find plentiful candles and an outdoor shower to make your stay an extra special and memorable experience.

Each of our 9 luxury guest tent suites are on raised wooden platforms with hardwood floors and en-suite bathrooms, all with outdoor showers and nature as the back drop. The stylish canvas tents all have twin beds, which can be converted into doubles, and air conditioning above the bed. The colours are light and bright with a canopy of trees for privacy, you’ll feel at one with nature here, enjoying total freedom and relaxation.

There is an awesome, and we mean awesome, lap pool for you to swim in, train in, or laze in. No judgment here! Here you can simply enjoy a little sundeck and solitude.

Grab a sundowner from the main lounge and bar area, where you’ll find comfy couches and locally designed wall art. Saunter outside to sip and sit on the wooden deck, enjoying total tranquillity under the trees, as you wait for the hot African sun to set, the smells of the reserve wafting in.

A candle lit dinner will be served underneath a canopy of stars, on this expansive deck. Relax and unwind, the Okavango Delta right on your door step, excitement and adventure filling the air

Accommodation & Amenities

  • 2 thatched honeymoon chalets; 9 luxury tent guest suites
  • King size canopy beds in chalets, twin beds (can be converted to doubles) in tents
  • Ensuite bathrooms with sunken bath & outdoor shower (chalets)
  • Ensuite bathrooms with stand-alone bath & outdoor shower (tent)
  • Outside deck
  • Air-conditioning (in chalets & tents)
  • Laundry service
  • Hairdryers: Yes
  • Wifi available: Yes (there is a hotspot near the main area)
  • Swimming pool (main area)
  • Child policy: we welcome children of all ages
  • Disabled access: please enquire with reservation

When to Visit Thamo Telele

Thamo Telele is open all year round, and with our resident giraffe, plains game and abundance of birdlife there is something to see throughout the year. Best of all, you don’t even have to leave the lodge!


  • Green season: 10 January – 31 March
  • Shoulder season: 01 April – 31 May | 01 November – 19 December
  • High season: 01 June – 30 June | 01 September – 31 October | 20 December – 09 January
  • Peak season: 01 July – 31 August

Thamo Telele Activities

This 250-hectare private nature reserve is where your Botswana adventure begins (or ends). Thamo Telele offers so many exciting activities, from giraffe encounters, nature walks, culture tours, bike rides and horse rides to mokoro trips… there is so much here to see and do.

Meet our Giraffe…

Let’s start with the giraffe experience at Thamo Telele to get you giraffing! One of the most fascinating things about the lodge is its resident herd of 20 giraffe, which you can observe while on activities in the reserve and most enthralling get up close and personal to in the morning and evening while they feed at the waterhole. There are naturalists on hand, who will be able to tell you all about these fascinating animals.

Learn each giraffes Setswana name, and how to identify them by their unique spots. There are identification books in the main lodge and at the waterhole so that you can work out who’s who. Put on your walking shoes or jump on a horse and come and hang with the giraffe. This is a very special experience and one that we at Thamo Telele are particularly excited about!


Over 300 species of birds have been sighted in and around Thamo Telele, at peak season. Our summer from October to March is the best time with both Palaearctic and Intra-African migrants. Keen birders should be able to see at least 50 – 70 species in a day and have the opportunity to add new species to the lodge’s bird sighting list. The record thus far is 130 species in a 24 hour period!

Nature Walks

Our well-marked nature trails allow our guests the opportunity to safely explore our private reserve while stretching your legs after or before a long flight while taking in the wonder of our wooded forest and diverse grasslands. The reserve is free of predators but abundant in bird life and plains game.

Nature Trail Bike Ride

Choose an early morning or afternoon bike ride on our nature trails. Offering off-road fat tire safari bikes & biking helmets for individuals, couples, or families with children. Choose guided or self-guided rides but please note that bike excursions must be booked in advance.

Horseback Safari

Professionally guided horse rides on our private reserve are exhilarating. These beautiful well-behaved horses will enable you to ride amongst the plains game and get very close to view giraffe and zebra.

Culture Tour

Experience Botswana beyond wildlife and go on a cultural tour of the safari town of Maun. You’ll get great insight into the rich history and culture here, as well as see, touch, smell, taste and enjoy the richness of life in this vibrant little place.

Volunteer during your time in Botswana

Thamo Telele has a full-time partnership with the non-profit work of the locally based NGO, Love Botswana. This local trust operates more than 20 community-based programs for children, youth and adults. For many people, visiting or volunteering at Love Botswana’s many community-based programs in Maun has created some of the most memorable moments of their trip to Africa.

Thamo Telele Landscape & Wildlife

Located at the Southern-eastern edge of the Okavango Delta, the meandering waters of the Thamalakane River maneuver their way through the frontier town of Maun, the gateway to northern Botswana and the last stop before the Okavango Delta. A life source to this buzzing little safari town, as the river ebbs and flows throughout the year to the beat of its own drum, its banks overflow with an abundance of bird, plant life and wildlife to bring a renewed energy to the area and water relief to the Maun locals.

There have been over 300 species of birds spotted here. This is a great place for bush birds like warblers, owls (pearl spotted and white faced) and is the only place in Maun where you’ll see oxpeckers.

Set amongst a lush forest of leadwood and acacia trees, Thamo Telele, is the perfect hideaway for guests needing to spend a few nights close to Maun. Set in a 250-hectare private reserve on the banks of the Thamalakane river, an area packed with plains game, ideal habitats of river, riverine and dry savannah. A hot spot for bird lovers and wildlife enthusiasts – you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to all you can see and do here.

Thamo Telele Story

Thamo Telele, previously known as Royal Tree Lodge, is now managed by Natural Selection and recently underwent a refurbishment. During the period of refurbishment in late 2021 a female giraffe was born on the reserve. She was very tall at birth and was soon called Thamo Telele which means ‘long neck’ in Setswana. As we observed her grow day-by-day, Thamo Telele captured our hearts in such a profound way, that we decided to rename our ‘new’ lodge after her.

Jerry and Jana Lackey are the stewards of Thamo Telele Private Reserve. They came to Botswana in 1986 to pursue their calling and founded the Love Botswana Outreach Mission. This organisation has grown tremendously in scope and reach, launching over 30 life-changing programs, creating jobs and sustainable programs designed to better lives in the community and the Ngamiland and Okavango districts of Botswana, becoming one of the largest non-profits in the country.

Thamo Telele Private Reserve is a sustainability partner for the work of Love Botswana.

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