Natural Selection — the nascent outfitter from safari doyen Colin Bell (co-founder of Wilderness Safaris and Great Plains Conservation) — is offering a fresh take on luxury adventure with the debut of its first lodge, Sable Alley. Opened in May in northern Botswana’s Khwai Private Reserve, the new camp is as stunning as it is sustainable, featuring 12 elevated tents overlooking a hippo-filled lagoon in one of the region’s most pristine wildlife hot spots.
Earthily sophisticated in design and ambience, Sable Alley is an oasis amid nearly a half-million-acre reserve composed of floodplains, rivers, lagoons, and savannas. Each of the spacious canvas tents features its own private terrace; a swimming pool and lounge offer further relaxation with a view. For guests with an adventurous streak, a treetop sky bed high above a watering hole offers the opportunity to fall asleep to the sounds of elephants, buffalo, and big cats below.
Of course, Sable Alley’s biggest draw is its game-drive experience, exploring the region’s diverse landscapes — and its equally diverse wildlife, including leopards, lions, cheetahs, wild dogs, and the resident sable antelope (after which the camp is named). Birding is also excellent, especially while on foot, drifting along in a mokoro or on a sunset boat cruise with a sundowner in hand. Guests will soon have the opportunity for even more intimate wildlife interactions upon the completion of the lodge’s series of hides, shrouded cottages located near watering holes that offer ultra-close-up viewings.