A maze 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. Known as the river that never finds the sea, the Delta’s 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 honeybadgers can be seen in broad daylight. Tall termite mounds are homes for families of dwarf and banded mongoose.

Traditional mokoro (dugout canoe) rides explore the delicate details of the glistening waterways, where iridescent dragonflies, frogs of every colour and jewel-like kingfishers live in the papyrus-lined banks.

Surrounded by a mosaic of papyrus and reed beds, andBeyond Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge lies deep within an exclusive 272 000 hectare (672 125 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 includes a lofty rooftop hideout with magnificent Delta views, as well as a private plunge pool. Innovative design details featuring the 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 panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness, yet remain discretely within the tree line. These spaces are designed to make the experience more intimate, with inviting plump sofas ideal for total relaxation. The overall atmosphere is one of earthy glamour. Botswana basketware appears throughout the lodge and playful accents celebrate Delta icons. An interactive kitchen completes the overall experience. The well-stocked Safari Shop showcases chic outdoor gear, African art and jewellery.