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.

Explore Excursions

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Jun 21, 2024

New Beds and Restaurants in Boise, Idaho

There’s lots going on in Boise, including an impressive selection of new hotels. Stays at The Sparrow will immediately immerse you in a sense of place, thanks to engaging, infographic- style artwork in each of the 67 guestrooms. You’ll find a local coffeehouse in the lobby, a food truck on the outdoor patio overlooking Grove Street, and an outdoor fireplace inviting guests to linger and mingle. Authentic, local experiences include the Brewery of the Month program.

Hotel Indigo: The World’s Neighborhood Hotel

Part of the IHG Luxury & Lifestyle portfolio, Hotel Indigo is the world’s neighborhood hotel that celebrates how guests can discover, or rediscover, some of the most inspiring and culturally rich neighborhoods around the world. When staying at a Hotel Indigo hotel, it's not just about visiting a place — it's about being fully immersed in the neighborhood and wanting to take a little bit of it home. When traveling for business, Hotel Indigo offers a unique experience tailored to each location, making it the perfect choice to stay while traveling for work. With IHG Business Edge, travel managers have exclusive access to enticing perks, comprehensive travel metrics and carefully curated educational resources. It also includes a guaranteed discount on both business and personal travel for managers and employees, alongside an automatic upgrade to IHG One Rewards Silver Elite status after the initial IHG Business Edge stay.

June 2024
Jun 21, 2024

Saudi Arabia Fosters Sustainable, Regenerative Tourism Along the Red Sea

 My first experience of Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast now seems like ancient history. It was 1995, and I was visiting my ornithologist cousin and is wife. Getting into the kingdom wasn't easy; I needed sponsorship letters. and a pre-trip interview at the Saudi Arabian Embassy. When I arrived in the country, there was no tourist infrastructure. We toured by SUV ad often slept under the stars. Thus, one morning, we woke up on roll-out mattresses on a Red Sea beach 200 miles from Jeddah.

Daily
Jun 21, 2024

2 New Concept Bars Opening This Fall in Texas and New York

Add New York City and Austin to your list of bar-hopping cities with the highly-anticipated debuts of Brass Poppy and Bar Sprezzatura.

Tips to Plan a Destination Event Worth the Trip

It's time to shake things up and inject some serious excitement into your next gathering. Whether  planning a corporate conference, black-tie gala or milestone celebration, choosing the right venue can make all the difference. City Winery shares some tips to make your next gathering a rockin' success.

Daily
Jun 21, 2024

Virgin Hotels to Open First London Hotel in August

On Aug. 1, Virgin Hotels debuts its first London property. Set to open in the heart of Shoreditch, this hotel will mark the brand’s eighth Virgin Hotels location worldwide and the 17th property for the wider Virgin Hotels Collection.

Daily
Jun 19, 2024

Sofitel New York Embarks on Comprehensive Renovation

Sofitel New York recently announced a comprehensive refurbishment project, timed to the Sofitel brand’s 60th anniversary this year. The Manhattan property’s renovation, set to start in late 2024, will reach all facets of the hotel, including the 398 guestrooms and suites, lobby, meeting spaces, elevators, and corridors. Completion of the public areas is anticipated by fall 2025.

Fill Your Heart with Ireland

Whether it's the people, the craic (fun) or the coasts, travelers always find something to love about the island of Ireland. What fills your heart?

eFlyer Reviews
Jun 18, 2024

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City Review

My husband and I recently enjoyed an overnight getaway at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. The resort is a one-stop shop for an entertaining escape. We packed a lot into our one-night stay, and it left us looking forward to a return visit.