This Quarter marks the launch of The Lodge at Feline Fields, a new luxurious safari lodge nestled in the heart of the savannah west of the Okavango Delta.
Designed by renowned South African architect Alwyn Petersen, the Lodge embodies authentic luxury. Made up of just six suites, each offers spectacular views over the savannah. The completion of the final phase marks the official launch, with all accommodations available for bookings in 2017.
Constructed from natural materials, 1,000 sq ft suites create a connection with the outside. Three luxury tented suites offer an idyllic hideaway, while three two-storey suites have a raised king-sized bed, spacious bathroom and lounge area with a daybed which can be used for additional family accommodation. Outside, these enjoy a private pool and staircase leading to a breathtaking upper deck. Under the thatch, guests may relax in the shade, indulge in a private dinner or rest surrounded by the sounds of the savannah.
At the main lodge, a spacious open-air lounge and decked area are ideally positioned to watch the sunset over the far horizon. Fresh cuisine is served daily, inspired by the Kalahari and grown by the Lodge.
Game drives are conducted at flexible times through the day and night when possible in open safari vehicles. Walking safaris are possible, with a chance to witness desert adapted species and plains wildlife. Two special ‘fat’ bicycles, adapted for use on sand, are parked outside each suite to cycle to the main lodge or explore the Kalahari accompanied by an experienced guide. At the Lodge, work up a sweat at the Bush gym or with a game of tennis, before cooling off in the 25m lap pool or relaxing with a spa treatment in the open air.
The Lodge is based a short drive to Xai Xai Village. Experience the Bushmen Trance Dance on a fly-camping trip, and in the morning be accompanied by the Bushmen and a guide/translator for a bushwalk to learn how the San have managed to survive thousands of years in the Kalahari Desert. The Lodge at Feline Fields is also situated a short distance from the ancient Gcwihaba Caves, one of the most remote and wild destinations in all of Botswana.
Marjan Blom, Chairperson and Director of Feline Fields, said: “It had long been a dream for my husband Raphael and I to help actively shape the future of conservation. We fell in love with Botswana, its incredible beauty and warm people. It seemed only natural to establish the Feline Fields Trust and resulting Lodge to support our local community and introduce guests to conservation in action.”
Set in an untouched and private part of Africa, the intimate lodge employs low volume, low impact ecotourism to support the Feline Fields Trust. The Feline Fields Trust is a registered non-profit trust which aims to shape the future of conservation in Botswana. Recognising that the natural environment is under increasing pressure, the Trust aims to develop cutting-edge projects incorporating the needs of the local communities, governments, and wildlife and tourism ventures.
Feline Fields recognises the importance of conserving natural resources for future generations, to be achieved through twin pillars of research and education. This includes initiatives in local schools to promote careers in conservation and instil a sense of responsibility for the natural world, as well as securing tracts of land in wildlife management areas to ensure they will continue to be wildlife refuges for years to come.
Community relationships and care are crucial to the work of Feline Fields, with the Trust employing initiatives from providing vital resources, to transport for school children who would otherwise have to start each day with a 10km journey to their classroom.
A stay at The Lodge at Feline Fields starts from $750 (£530) per person, per night. This includes return road transfers, all meals and drinks (excluding champagne and French wines), all game drives, organised fly camps to the Gcwihaba Caves, laundry service, VAT and a €30 donation to the Feline Fields Trust. An additional child sharing starts from $200 per person per night.