The incredible view from the main deck at Polentswa Lodge.
Featured Lodge - Polentswa, Botswana.
NOTE: This lodge suffered severe fire damage in September 2021, and is currently closed.
Every now and then we're going to look at our choice of best safari lodges in Africa. This month's is: Ta Shebube Polentswa Lodge, Botswana.
The small safari lodge concept is done better in Africa than anywhere else, and we are fortunate to have visited a fair few on our tours and travels. This month’s featured safari lodge is Polentswa, situated deep in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, on the Botswana side of the Nossob River, in one of the remotest parts of Southern Africa.
The accommodation comprises safari tents, set in a row overlooking a vast ephemeral pan and small, artificial waterhole. The tents are situated on raised decks, getting you away from Scorpions and other nasties that roam the sand at night. The camp is unfenced, so predators may move around at night, and we know this first hand from footage recorded on one of our trail cams placed outside the tent on a recent visit.
Dining and communal areas:
The dining and communal areas are also set on raised decks, and in the evenings the views from the lounge are just spectacular. The food is basic but wholesome and tasty, and the chef is a miracle worker indeed, considering how far they have to go to get provisions!
There are game drives on offer, though we usually prefer to book on an accommodation-only basis and do the game drives ourselves. Night drives are not allowed even for the lodge guides (as per the rules of the Transfrontier Park), and one has to be off the main tourist road by the allocated closing time (though that means you still have 20 minutes or more of driving in the growing darkness as you make your way to the lodge itself). The only other accommodation anywhere near the lodge is a small, basic camp site, but other than that, this camp is extremely remote, and that’s all part of the appeal.
The best aspect is the location – not far from Polentswa Waterhole, a Lion magnet during the dry season, and you can be one of the first cars there in the morning. And so remote that you really feel like you are in the wilderness. The starscape at night will floor you…
The Lawson’s rating:
Accommodation: 3.5 (basic but clean and comfortable, the only negative is that the tents are placed quite close together, so you can hear pretty much most of what’s going on next door… On future bookings we’ll ask for our groups to be allocated alternate tents, if at all possible).
Communal areas: 4.5 – the views are to die for.
Food: 4 – basic but tasty and wholesome.
Location: 5 – it's literally in the middle of nowhere.
Game Viewing: 5 – the nearby Polentswa Waterhole is a predator-Mecca in the dry season.
Suitable for: more adventurous travellers.
Recommended length of stay: 3 nights.
Special notes: not recommended in mid-winter, when it can get bitterly cold.
Website: Ta Shebube Polentswa Lodge.
Visit Polentswa on a Lawson’s Custom Safari!