Mapula Lodge – a Safari reminiscent of my childhood
What was your overall impression of the camp?
Our handsome and very knowledgeable guide, Kyle, went out of his way to show us the very best of what Mapula has to offer. His passion for the bush and all the creatures and plants there within was contagious. Even after having done hundreds of safaris both Amandine and I learnt a whole pile more! Game was scare on our short visit but he made up for it by proposing to take us swimming in the flood water and sharing his “nature” books with us as we enjoyed tea and time-out in the bush.
The area is generally rich in game, including Leopard, Cheetah, 2 packs of Wild Dog, Hyena, Sable Antelope, herds of Elephant, Giraffe and plains game all congregated in one big garden of safari Eden! Under the management of Uncharted Africa, Mapula has been tastefully transformed from a red-listed product to a much sought-after camp in the delta. With Eric at the helm and a well-trained and solid team I believe it will give similar camps a run for their mone
A particular mention for the swimming pool which is large enough to do a few lengths in but remains discreet at the same time. It’s built in a way that it makes you feel like you are swimming in the lagoon, surrounded by palm trees and lush greenery.
There are plans to offer Hot-Air Ballooning and a fly-camp experience which we look forward to being able to promote to our clients.
How does the camp compare to similar camps in terms of value and experience? Are there any notable special offers applicable?
- I think it offers excellent value for money considering that it’s a small camp on a fantastic private concession, has above average guides and is tastefully decorated in the immediately recognizable Ralph Bousfield Unchartered Africa taste, reminiscent of a bygone era.
- The exception being during the month of August when a peak surcharge is applied. Further reduced long stay rates are available at Mapula when it is combined with Meno A Kwena – speak to your local expert.
How would you combine this camp in an itinerary and why?
I would be confident in recommending 3 nights here in order to get the full experience and to discover what the concession has to offer completely. My suggestion would be to combine it with Savuti, Khwai, Makgadikgadi and of course Chobe, which fits into most itineraries.
What type of clients does this camp suit and why?
- 1 Unit is suitable for families: Consisting of 2 rooms separated only by a curtain. Each room has its own bathroom and outdoor shower.
- As it is an intimate camp, I would suggest it to honeymooners and couples seeking peace and quiet.
- The adventurous because Mapula can offer off the beaten track activities such as swimming in the fast-flowing flood waters that quickly fill the dusty tracks or having an afternoon siesta on mattresses out in the wilderness. The ballooning and fly-camp activity will appeal to this market once operational.
How does the seasonality of the area change through the year and what effect does it have on a visitor’s experience, with specific reference to wildlife and activities?
The camp is set on a permanent lagoon. This makes fishing and boating possible all year long. However, the lagoon is home to a large number of happy hippos so if the water level goes down too much those activities would be suspended.
The camp being near the panhandle receives the first floodwaters of the year so they can start their mokoro activities earlier than those camps further down. The mokoro station is not in front of the camp. It’s a 10-minute drive to the jetty. Although we enjoyed the activity, the water was still pretty low so we were wrapped up in cobwebs to start off with! As the water levels rise it will become more pleasant.
When the flood comes down the area where the camp is situated becomes an island. This means that sometimes there’s good game in the immediate vicinity…. and sometimes not, the result being that guests may have to drive further afield in search of the herds. During high flood levels, it may be advisable to combine it with another game rich area within the delta e.g. Shine, Splash…
Are there any areas that could be improved? Are there any issues that could impact guests experience that should be highlighted to help manage expectations?
The food was imaginative, of good quality and nicely presented however the quantity for the first lunch we had was insufficient. Sundowner snacks were not original and could be improved – biltong / nuts / dried fruit.
Eric, the manager is running a good show. The staff seem genuinely happy to be working together and the service was attentive without being overbearing. They have kept 1 or 2 staff members on from the old camp. They clearly know the area intimately and you can tell that they love the area and are delighted to share information and stories with the clients.
Safari Destinations itineraries showcasing this property: