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The Sankuyo community-owned, 15,000-acre Santawani Concession is set in the miraculous Okavango Delta’s lush southeast corner (we call the Okavango “miraculous” because—borrowing the apt words of the great photographer/naturalist Frans Lanting— “the Delta’s very existence in the middle of the Kalahari Desert is nothing short of miraculous…like a dream”). And Gomoti Plains Camp, faithfully designed in old safari style, nestled under signature African acacias, is beautifully situated to take advantage of the Santawani’s exceptionally fine game viewing.
Gomoti’s creators are old Africa hands who set out to create an authentic experience of quiet and intimacy, deep respect for the environment, and—unobtrusively—the modernity that makes this the true Golden Age of Safari. Its 10 tented luxury suites are designed to recall the era of African exploration, with teak furniture and writing desks, twin beds, fully contemporary en suite bathrooms, and the wonderful breeziness and connection with unsullied nature that state-of-the-art tents afford. We dine in the camp’s thatched dining room and relax before and after spectacular game drives in Gomoti’s comfortable lounge. This is the kind of camp that brings to mind Elspeth Huxley’s praise for classic camp-firey safari life, how “You leave behind the worries, the strains, the irritations of life…bonds loosen, anxiety fades, the mind closes against the world you left behind like a folding sea anemone.”
The beautifully intricate Okavango pulses with water, which is to say life. And the animals of the little-visited Santawani roam the woodlands, savannahs, and wetlands throughout the year, offering us a wide variety of species to gaze at from our safari vehicles—or on foot during guided bush walks. Our Micato Safari Director is at home here, and will help us identify and add backstory to the lions, leopards, elephants, cheetahs, and rare wild dogs who are the headliners in a vast array of mammalian, avian, and floral stars. We often say—and this is a good place to say it again—that one of the great joys of safari is encountering the magnificent, fascinating animals we’ve been acquainted with vicariously since we were toddlers, seeing, hearing, and smelling them as they suddenly come to very real life before our eyes. We thought we knew them, but we didn’t until then.