Opened in 2017 on a particularly lush, lily-covered lagoon in the Khwai Private Reserve, Sable Alley is a bright addition to Micato’s roster of thoughtfully luxurious Okavango camps. Wildlife viewing here is excellent, with more than 50 species viewable on a single game drive, including lion, leopard, cheetah, rare wild dogs, Cape buffalo, ever-fascinating baboons, and a healthy population of monarchical elephants. We’re impressed with Sable Alley’s “seriously Afro-chic decor,” by its location and service, but even more so by its commitment to sustainability and to Khwai’s local communities.
The camp’s 10 extraordinarily large (600-square feet) and well-designed tents feature double beds, a quiet seating area, indoor and outdoor showers, and a private lagoon-side veranda from which, sipping early morning tea or an afternoon cocktail, we watch elephants bathing, antelopes warily drinking, and the lagoon’s big pod of hippos going about its splashy, goliath business.
Sable Alley’s communal areas take full advantage of the lagoon’s ongoing floral and faunal extravaganza, from the welcoming fire pit, a plush sofa in the lounge, or on the deck, where dinner is served, “accompanied by twinkling stars and the rumblings and grumblings of the wildlife.” A swimming pool and sun deck round out the camp’s opportunities for relaxation before and after exhilarating game drives.
The massive Khwai Private Reserve—34 times the size of Manhattan—encompasses wonderfully varied landscapes, from the watery byways of the Okavango Delta to the woodlands and savannah of the adjacent Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park. In all, a classically varietal African experience—which means enriching game drives—as always, in the company of our Micato Safari Director. On an early morning game drive we watch proud apex predators as they limber up for their workday; it’s amazing to be so close to such supremely strong beasts, and to watch them search for game, gazing, eyes afire, right through our vehicles, as if we were a harmless cloud. Antelopes gambol, Cape buffalo graze, leopards stalk, baboons scamper, and wild dogs nuzzle and socialize before heading out on a chase. And then there are those huge hippos back at the lagoon, creatures almost extraplanetarily marvellous.