Situated in the heart of the Okavango Delta, Botswana’s Ker & Downey-operated Shinde is an old-school camp. Though not as sumptuous as some of the more top-end luxury competition, it’s charming, down-to-earth and very comfortable.
Shinde sits at the edge of an area of lagoons and other waterways, amongst stands of ebony and mangosteen trees. The main camp is a multi-level, treehouse-style affair, with a lovely open-sided dining level at the top and a series of cascading mezzanines that provide numerous semi-private venues for relaxation. There is plentiful decking and stretches of canvas and thatch, also, for in-camp wildlife watching, a plunge pool and a relaxed but amply-stocked bar with local beers, spirits and soft drinks. There is also a small ‘shop’ selling local wares, some produced by Shinde staff and guides.
There are eight classic safari tents, including a family-style room, all of which are raised and afford breathtaking views over the open floodplains and waterways of the Delta. Rooms are spacious and each includes private decking, twin beds that can be combined into a double upon request, flush toilets and large showers, and offer also appealing and quirky touches like a decanter provided for pre-meal drinks and home-baked confectionary in the rooms.
Food and service
The food is delicious, and guests eat with guides, enabling a rich relationship to be built between visitors and the Shinde team. Specific dietary requirements are handled well, while the service is friendly and efficient.
Activities at Shinde include mokoro rides, wildlife drives, guided walks, fishing and night drives.
Shinde participates in ‘Pack for a Purpose’, an initiative that uses available luggage space to provide essential supplies to the communities visited on safari. Five pounds (2.27 kilos) could accommodate 400 pencils, five deflated soccer balls with an inflation device, or a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff and 500 bandaids.