FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Sanctuary Chief’s Camp Botswana

by Kristy Alpert

Dec 1, 2017
December 2017

“JUST ONE MORE PHOTO of the leopard, and then I really have to go,” I remember saying to the driver of the 4X4 Land Cruiser as I snapped a shot of a female leopardess lounging just feet above my head on the branch of a strong acacia tree. “I have a massage and a facial in an hour back at the camp.”

As those last words lingered in the air, I became aware of the rarity of what I had just said. I was in a corner of Botswana called the “predator capital of the world,” where not only do all the animals of the Big Five roam freely throughout the rugged terrain of the Okavango Delta, but also packs of wild dogs and hyenas are regular sightings on morning and evening game drives.

My safari guide didn’t flinch at my strange sentence, as if he’d heard a similar request before, and instead he simply started the engine and began to drive at the final sound of my camera’s shutter. Soon we passed by herds of elephants, tours of giraffes, pods of hippos and more impalas and warthogs than I could count on the way back to the Sanctuary Chief ’s Camp so I could make it in time for my spa treatments.

We arrived at the camp entrance with minutes to spare, only to be welcomed by the spa’s sole director and therapist, a Botswana woman named Tumi who greeted me with a beautiful smile and a chilled, lavender-scented towel. Tumi escorted me to the far end of the camp, shooing baboons away as we walked along a sandy pathway to the spa pavilion.

Aside from acting as a beautiful paradox to the wild and, at times, dangerous setting in the game reserve, the main charm of the spa at Sanctuary Chief ’s Camp rests in its petite size. Run by one woman with one treatment room, the spa feels all at once intimate and inviting with white wooden flooring contrasting with dark wooden beams overhead. The spa pavilion consists of a welcoming lounge with Thalgo and Africology products on display for purchase, a treatment room with a massage table, a pedicure and manicure station, a private bathroom with indoor and outdoor shower facilities, and a gorgeous outdoor viewing deck offering a perfect post-treatment retreat.

Every guest receives a certificate for a complimentary 10-minute foot massage upon arrival, where Tumi uses a traditional African copper pot as the basin for the treatment. Copper has been mined for centuries in Botswana, and these traditional pots are highly acclaimed for healing and antimicrobial properties. The one in use at the Sanctuary Chief ’s Camp spa is roughly the diameter of a beach ball and stands in the changing area like something straight out of an Anthropologie catalog.

Spa treatment room © SANCTUARY RETREATS

In fact, most of the spa’s décor looked like something from a catalog, only everything here is the real deal, made mostly by local craftspeople from local materials. I admired the beautiful space as I made my way to the treatment table, a plush bed in the center of the room. A light breeze blew on my face as Tumi began her signature massage (an aromatherapy massage using Swedish techniques and Africology herb-infused massage oils). She offers a number of massages and body treatments, ranging from an Ikom Sloughing Process that uses walnut and marula shells to exfoliate the skin to an African potato anti-aging body experience that restores hydration and removes free radicals from the body.

Tumi also offers manicures, pedicures and a number of beauty treatments that include waxing, eyebrow tinting and more, but her true passion resides with her facials. The spa uses exclusively Thalgo and Africology products in all the treatments, and guests can select from a range of facials that include either one or the other. The Africology brand is quickly rising to become one of the world’s top leading names in skin care. The brand, made in South Africa, uses only indigenous plants, including rooibos, aloe ferox, marula, African potato and more. The brand takes a holistic approach to all its products, creating not only organic and all-natural (no chemicals or synthetic ingredients) products but also committing to fair trade and socially responsible practices.

The Africology products used in the spa’s facials have been chosen and combined to allow the ingredients to reach their full potential, and a few of the top facials include the Africology African Goddess Anti-Aging Facial, which includes a marula oil back and neck massage, and the Balancing Rose Facial, which harnesses the essence of rosehip oil to rebalance the skin while nourishing it with a powerful vitamin C boost.

Guests can schedule treatments through the camp manager, the treatment room reception or with the therapist herself.

Sanctuary Chief’s Camp Botswana

Okavango Delta
Botswana
tel 27 11 438 46 50
sanctuaryretreats.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Nov 25, 2022

Bottega il Buco and Max Rivera Papic Make Waves in Ibiza

One of Ibiza’s hottest restaurant destinations since its opening five years ago, Bottega il Buco, draws legions of fans with the addition of new head chef Max Rivera Papic, whose kitchen credits include skills honed under the tutelage of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, London.

Lose Track of Time in Savannah, Georgia

Sweet tea. Soul food. Y'all. Sound familiar? Though these words and phrases are commonly associated with the South, it's understood in any language. If you're seeking a city abroad that will enchant you, capture your attention from start to finish and welcome everyone as family, we cordially invite you to visit Savannah.

Daily
Nov 25, 2022

Ski Season and Winter Getaways at Colorado Resorts

Ski season is around the corner. Now is the perfect time to plan your winter ski getaway. These Colorado resorts offer deals designed for skiers.

Daily
Nov 25, 2022

Give a Gift from Around the World this Holiday Season

This holiday season, give your loved ones a gift from around the world to create memories that last a lifetime.

6,000 Reasons and More to Celebrate!

IHG® Hotels & Resorts certainly has a lot to celebrate, starting with an incredible growth story. Over the past five years, IHG has acquired or launched six new brands: Six Senses® Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent® Hotels & Resorts, Vignette™ Collection, voco™ hotels, avid® hotels and Atwell Suites™. Most recently, IHG reached an important milestone with its 6,000th open hotel. The company looks to further expand its portfolio by 30 percent with 1,800 hotels in the development pipeline, with significant focus on growth in the luxury segment where IHG is positioned as one of the top two hotel chains.

Daily
Nov 24, 2022

Angama To Open Deluxe Lodge Near Kilimanjaro

Lodging and hospitality company Angama announced the November 2023 opening of Angama Amboseli, an intimate, 10-suite lodge set in Kenya’s private, 5,700-acre Kimana Sanctuary, against the iconic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, located just across the border in Tanzania.

eFlyer News
Nov 23, 2022

Hilton to Bring First Waldorf Astoria Property to Costa Rica

Costa Rica prepares to welcome its first Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts property, slated to open in 2025. Waldorf Astoria Guanacaste will boast 190 guestrooms, as well as 25 Waldorf Astoria-branded residences, all offering sweeping views overlooking the ocean. A presidential suite will also grace the property.

Why the Future of Business Travel Might Look Different

Global business travel is making its way back, even as the pandemic and other world events continue to challenge its return. In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association, more than four in five respondents (86 percent) from across the industry said they feel more optimistic than they did at the beginning of the year. Business travel bookings, the need to travel to do business and employee willingness to travel are all on the rise.

eFlyer News
Nov 23, 2022

Cayman Airways Connects West Coast Travelers with Grand Cayman

West Coast travelers can now enjoy easier, more efficient access to the Cayman Islands thanks to a new airlift option via Cayman Airways Ltd. As of Nov. 6, Cayman Airways operates nonstop service from Los Angeles International Airport to Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman at an introductory fare of $399.