If you are you a traveller who likes to get off the beaten track, or a person who likes to seek out the unusual, take a look at some of the amazing listings in Concorde Travel's "Asia's Most Interesting Hotels" website.
This collection of Asia's most interesting and atmospheric places to stay has been the private collection of Concorde Travel's founder, Graham Elsom, for many years. It has been a hobby associated with his work to collect these hotels.
Graham has now decided to throw them out into the open for Concorde Travel clients.
Even if you are only an armchair traveller, you will find lots of interest in this ongoing collection.
Botswana - Okavango Safari Lodge.
The Okavango Delta is the world’s largest inland delta and a miracle of nature. This magical oasis of islands and waterways flowers in the middle of the arid Kalahari Desert. Guided mokoro (dugout canoe) excursions take you into the heart of the Delta and up close to excellent game viewing and birdwatching. In terms of pristine beauty, remote location and rich diversity of animal and birdlife, the Okavango Delta is unparalleled.
The Okavanga River is often called the river that goes nowhere.... it never reaches the sea. The monsoon rains bring huge amounts of water to the region, which then floods the area for a while and then slowly dries out into open grasslands, so this is a constantly changing environment that attracts a huge variety of flora and fauna. A great Safari destination!
A miriad of sparkling lagoons, meandering channels and overgrown islands teeming with wildlife, Botswana's Okavango Delta lies like a sparkling jewel at the heart of the Kalahari Desert. The crystal clear channels spread over the thirstlands of the Kalahari with their papyrus-fringed banks and fertile floating islands.
Adapted for a life in and out of water, the elegant red lechwe and shy sitatunga are found in this watery wilderness. Lion, cheetah, leopard and African wild dog, share the floodplains with large herds of elephant and buffalo. Hippo inhabit the deeper channels and lagoons, while honey badgers can be seen in broad daylight. Tall termite mounds are homes for families of dwarf and banded mongoose. Experience the delicate details of the glistening waterways on a mokoro (dugout canoe) ride, where iridescent dragonflies, frogs of every colour and jewel-like kingfishers live in the papyrus-lined banks.
It is this wetland that makes this safari unlike others in Africa. It is mostly water-based.
Surrounded by a mosaic of papyrus and reed beds, Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge lies deep within an exclusive 25 000 hectare (62 000 acre) wildlife concession. The nine playfully crafted split-level safari suites, boasting handsome tones of chocolate and ebony, feature large bathtubs and romantic al fresco showers. Each suite also boasts a lofty hideout with magnificent Delta views and a private plunge pool. Innovative design details, featuring artful recycling of everyday objects, have been used throughout, and all timber work is rough-hewn and chunky. The multi-layered guest areas boast dramatic decks with 180 degree views of the surrounding wilderness, yet they remain discreetly within the tree line. These spaces are designed in such a way as to make the guest experience more intimate, with inviting plump sofas, ideal for total relaxation. The overall atmosphere is one of earthy glamour. Botswana basket ware is used throughout and playful accents celebrate Delta icons. A signature interactive kitchen completes the overall experience. The well-stocked Safari Shop showcases chic safari gear, African art and jewellery.
Day 1 Depart Hong Kong with chosen Airline
Day 2 Arrive Johannesburg
Depart Johannesburg by Air Botswana
Guests are met by their guide and private vehicle at the local airport and transferred by road into the Game Reserve. There are many to choose from, but for this arrangement we have chosen the Xudum Okavanga Delta Lodge.
Once at the lodge there is time to settle in and familiarise yourselves with the area and the camp. Plenty of time to shower and unpack before sundowners and dinner.
The lodge is of timber and local meterials and has been created to blend in with the natural surroundings. The feel is more of a country house casual, that is sited in open parkland. The views are as far as possible unrestricted in all directions and the feeling and natural noises of the wildlife, are an incredible part of the safari experience. Dining is (as for almost all safaris) all inclusive, and often with drinks as well, both wine and beers. The cuisine is a local fusion of western and local.
Day 3 Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge
There are private plunge pools where you can keep cool and enjoy the day.
After lunch and if you need it, a short siesta, there is another game drive with wonderful photo-opportunies to capture the wildlife in film. Drinks and light refreshments are taken with you on the game drives, which really are the highlight of the trip. The wardens are very knowledgable and will assist you to learn more about the animals that you have come to see in their natural habitat.
After your game drive, another sumptuous dinner and then to bed in the air conditioned luxury of your Lodge bedroom.
Day 4 Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge
The day starts with another game drive, in the hope that today you will see the creatures that you have not yet been lucky enough to capture on film. With such a vast area of reserve, there is a great chance that you will see all of the "Big Five" and a lot more on this safari.
Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge has received an award from "Conde Naste" magazine for the "World's best New Hotel" (Africa and Middle East) and from "Travel + Leisure" magazine as one of the "10 Best New Hotels".
Day 5 Depart Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge
After the early morning game drive and breakfast, it is time to pack and either move on to another destination in Botswana or perhaps to another Game Lodge in a different region of Africa. What about the Ngorogoro Crater or the Serengeti in Tanzania? Maybe a few leisurely days on a beach in exotic Mozambique or the white sands of historic Zanzibar?
"Xudum was the absolute highlight of our safari. We loved the lodge design and our suite, but the best aspect was the enthusiastic staff who work so hard to make Xudum such a great place. Our ranger was the best guide we ever had. He worked in tune with his tracker, and the two of them made a great team. The chef cooked absolutely outstanding food, always with great vegetarian options. There is a lot of attention to the little details and it shows everywhere. We were very sad to leave. It was a magical experience!"
This is a suggested Itinerary; it can be adjusted to suit your vacation time and can include other destinations in Botswana or elsewhere in Africa