Our crush on Shinde began when we felt the sudden afternoon cool as we walked into camp under the rustling mangosteen trees, when we smelt the heat and the waterlilies on an afternoon boat safari, and when the staff made us laugh so hard we couldn’t catch breath to tell them we’d spotted a shooting star.
What’s Shinde really like?
Shinde nominally has seven tents, but three of these belong to the “enclave” a small area of camp, with its own mess, that can be portioned off. Sometimes the enclave tents are used as part of the main camp, at other times it’ll be a more private area- ideal for groups travelling together or a family safari.
Shinde tents look out over either the wide open floodplain or the papyrus beds, but otherwise they’re identical. We’re writing this sitting in one, so looking around, we see: cool, relaxing décor, polished wood floors, canvas walls, and an en suite bathroom to the rear. What matters to us though isn’t the style (we like it), it’s the details. The shower is powerful and warm (there’s an outdoor one as well as an indoor one), the bathroom products are excellent (this may seem trivial, but tell me who wants to rub cheap moisturiser into their sunburn?) and when it comes to bed time, you can rest assured someone’s thought to switch your water for some rather excellent sherry. One of the tents is also a two bedroomed family tent, sharing a bathroom. In case we forget to mention there’s also a pool, mess area and dining area all under canvas roofs. Meals are communal and friendly- you’ll often be joined by your guides at breakfast time to discuss the adventures coming up in the day.
What can I do at Shinde?
What’s brilliant about going on safari at Shinde is the sheer range of activities on their private concession in the heart of the Okavango Delta. As far as we can tell, water in front of the camp is more or less permanent, so motorboat and mokoro safaris are on offer year round. As is fishing in season (most of the year except January and February), walking safaris, game drives and night drives. One thing that serious safari goers will particularly love is that Shinde limits guests to 4 per vehicle, so you can always be sure of having a great spot whilst you are out on game drives. Scenic helicopter flights are an optional extra- not cheap, but wonderful.
Family safaris at Shinde:
Shinde Enclave is idea for families travelling on safari, and Ker and Downey’s excellent Young Explorers programme can include so much more than just game drives- making bows and arrows, learning to identify different animal footprints or how to catch your own fish in the Okavango Delta waterways.
Giving back at Shinde:
Ker and Downey, the owners of Shinde, work with Bana Ba Letsatsi- a charity based in Maun which helps to support vulnerable, orphaned and at risk children. Should you wish to help, Shinde guests can “Pack for a Purpose” and use extra space in their luggage to bring out desperately needed supplies for the charity.
Want to know more? We’ve stayed here, so just