The river systems of northern Botswana blend into each other with a seamlessness that makes it quite hard to remember which one you’re actually on at times.
The Kwando crosses Namibia’s Caprivi strip to form the western boundary of the “dip”, and then further east the Chobe flows slowly north-east to merge with the mighty Zambezi near Kazangula.
In between them lies the Linyanti, a beautiful winding serpent that flows so gently that you aren’t absolutely sure that it is even flowing. Technically, the Chobe and the Linyanti are the same river, just on different sides of the Linyanti Swamp, and the Kwando is also simply an upstream section of the two. It is their slow meander that lends the overall feel to the area; an extensive river system on which one finds one of the most beautifully appointed of the Wilderness Safari portfolio; King’s Pool Camp.
King’s Pool lies on the northern edge of the Savuti concession, as do a few other well-known lodges in the Wilderness Safaris portfolio, namely Duma Tau, Savuti Lodge and Linyanti Tented Camp.
King’s Pool itself is situated on a quiet lagoon, where the resident fish eagles call throughout the day and the honking of hippos is a constant background noise from sunset to sunrise.
At no point during your stay here will you feel removed from your natural surroundings. Quite the opposite in fact.
Banded mongooses emerge from their sleeping places under the wooden walkways to forage during the day, and the resident warthog population can often be seen snuffling past. Red Lechwe abound on the flood plains, and if you are very lucky, the retiring sitatunga might be glimpsed moving its way through the reedbeds.
King’s Pool is part of an extensive and unfenced ecosystem. Although the Linyanti river acts as a natural international barrier between Botswana and Namibia, no passports are required for the wildlife that calls this place home, and a constant back and forth of elephants in particular, as well as the big cats, results in a wilderness area that is completely self-regulating. The territorial calls of the resident male lions initiate a response from their counterparts over the river, and if any of them feel the inclination to cross over to continue the argument face-to-face, there is nothing to stop them doing so.
The camp’s eight guest rooms are everything you could ask for in safari accommodation; spacious, comfortable, full amenities, an outside shower looking onto a pristine ecosystem with most likely a hippopotamus or two only a very short stone’s throw from your deck, lounging below in the lagoon. You truly feel as if you are in your own private bush home.
The rooms are positioned along the lagoon, on either side of the main guest area, which is where meals are served, the pool is to be found, and a curio shop is conveniently placed for you to indulge in some chic safari purchases, or simply some locally made trinkets to take back home as gifts.
Maps and stunning wildlife photography adorn the walls, and a library of reference and photographic books complement the overall feel of homeliness.
King’s Pool is completely solar powered, and is a typical example of Wilderness Safaris’ ongoing efforts to maintain as low-impact a presence as possible.
Whether it’s birding you’re after, wildlife action, an afternoon boat cruise on the Linyanti River, or you just want to relax on your deck with your shoes off, your feet up, and a cold glass of gin and tonic in hand, King’s Pool is one of the most idyllic lodges you could choose.