Royal Tree Lodge

At the doorstep of the Okavango Delta


Maun is not really a destination in Botswana but more a hub, it is the gate to the Okavango Delta and the Maun airport is probably the busiest regional airport in the whole of the African continent. From Maun most safari guests continue to a luxury lodge or camp in the Okavango Delta but not in every itinerary this is possible. At Atlier Africa Safaris we’ve created itineraries for many clients who do a self drive safari combining Namibia with Botswana and the Victoria Falls in Zamibia. On tours like this there is no other choice but to spend a night in Maun, and we have now found a reason to spend some more nights! Royal Tree Lodge, at 5 minutes from Maun.

A small private reserve just outside the city.

After long research and eventually going to Maun ourselves, we discovered that most accommodation in the city is really not up to standard of what you would expect in Botswana. Most camps and lodges in Botswana are fairly high priced but they are then also very good, in Maun you find very basic guesthouses and hotels that really should make an effort to get with the program. And then we discovered Royal Tree Lodge, which is just outside of Maun.

When making a reservation at Royal Tree Lodge you will be giving clear instructions on how to get there, since the lodge is located just outside of Maun, on a 200ha reserve bordering the river. Once you arrive at the gate of the reserve you open the lock and continue to the lodge. Since the reserve is not that big and really abundant with wildlife we really enjoyed those last few kilometres and we practically took more photos then on the previous 400km we just did through Chobe National Park.

Royal Tree Lodge has two cottages and twelve tents, since we love the feeling of being closer to nature when sleeping in a tent, we opted for the tents but these really are not your average tents. These are very spacious rooms made from canvas with wooden floors, an inside and outside shower and a very stylish classic bathtub. These tents are furnished to the detail and there is nothing we would change on them. Since it is our job we also took a look at the cottages, they are as great but if you like the African feel, go for the tents.

Horseback Safari

The food we were served for dinner was absolutely stunning and afterwards we still sat around the campfire where we were convinced to stay an extra day and do some of the activities on offer the next day.

First activity on the program was horseback riding on the reserve, now since I have not been on a hors on the last fifteen years, I must say it was not something I was looking forward to, but man, was it fun! The horse I got was the best listener of the group and it was easier to ride then any other way of transportation I had ever used. Pul the rope left and you go left, right is right and pull it towards you and it stops, give it a little tick with your feet and of you go again. I loved it. And what I loved even more is how close you can get to the animals on a horse.

Like I said the reserve is only 200ha and it is full with antelopes. We got up close to giraffes, zebra, springbok, kudu, eland, oryx, impala and even a few black springbok which I had never seen before. Really amazing! In the afternoon we picked one of three walking routes that are indicated with little licks of paint in red, green and blue all over the reserve a nice walk of about an hour was the perfect end to a last day in Maun and made us real thirsty for an ice-cold Gin-Tonic which we enjoyed during sundown on the deck of our tent.