The new Wilderness Mokete tented camp opens in September 2023 in previously unchartered territory: the famed Mababe wilderness area on the eastern fringe of the Okavango Delta. Vast, remote and teeming with game, Mababe is an exceptional and unique Botswana safari destination. The first and only of its kind, Mokete will be a limited edition; available to book for two years only, promising a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a select few.
“Picture herds of buffalo by the thousand, the largest concentration in Africa, as well as prolific predators and mega-aggregations of elephant (and at times, zebra during their migration), drawn to the Mababe Marsh. Meaning feast, ‘Mokete’ is a banquet of astounding wildlife, diverse habitats, and untouched natural beauty, and we are immensely proud to be working with our like-minded partner and owner of Mokete, Cobus Calitz, to launch the first camp in this extraordinary, remote area. As Wilderness is overseeing the marketing and sales for Mokete, we are looking forward to promoting this remarkable area and driving conservation tourism to the region”, noted Kim Nixon, Okavango Wilderness Safaris MD.
Situated between two national parks, the 50 000-ha Mababe Concession sits in a privileged position, on the eastern fringe of the Okavango Delta and the famed Moremi Game Reserve, to the south of Chobe National Park. Here nutrient-rich grasses are fed with a constant supply of water thanks to the Mababe River, which started flowing again in 2007, with the waters of the Okavango, which drain into the Mababe wetland. This supports an amazing and unique ecosystem with great herds, an abundance of predators and a plethora of birdlife.
Every year the waters of the 2,600-hectare permanent marsh are reinvigorated with the seasonal inflow, welcoming wildlife from all directions of the dry hinterland, in search of this precious life source. “It’s this unique position and rich ecosystem, combined with the privacy of the concession, that will make this experience utterly special”, added Kim.
Wilderness Mokete will consist of nine en-suite canvas tents, with a tented lounge area and swimming pool connected by ground level wooden walkways. Each suite will have a retractable roof that slides away to reveal the stars. Offering an immersive experience, the spacious camp’s various luxurious touches will also be intentionally minimalist to ensure the lightest footprint.
“While we have no doubt that the camp itself will offer a wonderful experience with delicious local food and warm hospitality, our focus is on the out-of-camp experience. Lions often spend the daylight hours on the hunt in Mababe; taking down buffalos in and around the marsh, with hyenas in clans of up to 60 often competing with them. With no other commercial properties in the area, our guests can choose to stay out on drive as long as they wish. Here, time is dictated by nature, not the clock”, Kim said.
Mokete Owner, Cobus Calitz, added that experiencing this truly remarkable landscape, which is unlike anything seen before in Northern Botswana will leave an ever-lasting memory for guests visiting Mokete. “The landscape and the wildlife experience are truly remarkable. Working closely with the Mababe community, we are thrilled to put this beautiful part of the country on the map. Residents will benefit through employment opportunities and many more exciting initiatives that will see many of our community partners benefit from this development”.
“As Mokete is a limited-edition, we will be building a signature camp to take its place in 2026. Meraka will then welcome 24 guests in 10 rooms including two family units. A first, and only, of its kind, Mokete is a taste of things to come, and we look forward to welcoming guests to this wildlife paradise. Through high-value, low-impact photographic tourism, we aim to help conserve one of our planet’s last remaining wild sanctuaries”, concluded Kim.