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Botswana is famous for being the largest diamond producer by value; however what most people don’t know is that there are many other minerals mined in the country.

These include: Coal, Gold, Soda Ash, Salt, Copper and nickel.

Nata and Gweta

Nata Lodge | Elephant Sands Lodge | Gweta Lodge | Nata Bird Sanctuary | Back to Botswana Map

Nata Lodge

An oasis set among the Mokolwane palms on the edge of the pans. It is ideally situated close to the entrance to the Nata Sanctuary and is just off the main road, 10 km from Nata village. This is the junction to the Okavango, Chobe and Francistown areas.

Nata Lodge offers 22 Luxury thatched chalets built on stilts and set in rustic African style, with bathroom en-suite including indoor bath and outdoor shower and now boats air-conditioning. 10 custom designed meru tents set on wooden decks with en suite bathroom and outdoor showers.

The campsite surroundings offer peace and tranquillity with backdrop being that of the Botswana night sky. The lodge’s campsite is able to accommodate 150 people and the ablution area’s are stylish with semi open showers offering hot and cold water for that true African feeling. The campsite has central electrical power banks for those requiring electricity. Socket is standard RSA 3 pin round plug 240v. Other amenities are the Restaurant , Swimming Pool, Gift Shop and Bar/lounge area.

The shady tree canopy surrounding the lodge is a hive of activity, with a bird feeding area and active water feature providing the bird watcher with the opportunity of viewing a variety of species from the comfort of either the pool deck, open bar or restaurant. The Helmeted Guineafowl, Crested Francolin, Yellow Hornbill, Pied and Arrowmarked Babblers, Glossy Starling, Meyers Parrot and Paradise Whydah are just some of the species you will encounter during your stay at the lodge. When the sun sets and the birds retire to their nests, it's the turn of the large family of nocturnal bush babies to entertain you at their feeding table. Your evening meals can be enjoyed at the 'à la carte' restaurant.

For keen bird watchers and naturalists, Nata Lodge offers open vehicle, three hour excursions into the Nata Sanctuary. Mammal species in the sanctuary include antelope such as springbok, as well as springhares, jackals and foxes. However the main attraction is the abundance of bird life. Around 165 bird species, including king-fishers, eagles, ostriches, pelicans, spoonbills and both greater and lesser flamingos, have been recorded.

Elephant Sands Lodge

Elephant Sands Lodge is situated 53km north of Nata on the Nata to Kasane road on a 23000ha private conservancy. They have campsites and ensuite Family, Twin or Single chalets. There are now game drives available with a guide on the concession, to a neighboring concession or to the Salt Pans. Overnight excursions can be arranged to the Moremi or to Victoria Falls and Hwange.

Electricity is run on a generator which is turned off at night, and rooms are then lit by candlelight. Mosquito nets are provided. There is a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and in the campsite there are several fireplaces and firewood for sale. There are hot water showers in the Chalets and the campsite ablutions.

Gweta Lodge

Travelling 200 km from Maun and 100 km from Nata, in the village of Gweta, a true oasis in the desert is found in the form of Gweta Lodge. From this location guests have a great passage to experience the wilderness, several camps and locations in the area, and are able to travel to the Makgadikgadi Pans. The vast dry saltpans of Makgadikgadi are turned into a wetland area during the rainy season and it attracts a wide spectrum of animal and bird species.

Accommodation at Gweta Lodge is comfortable and there are a few options to choose from. The luxury rooms have en-suite bathrooms with twin or double beds, balconies, air-conditioning, mosquito nets, TVs and tea and coffee-making facilities. The Family Rooms can accommodate four guests. They have en-suite bathrooms and are equipped with ceiling fans, mosquito nets and separate parking. The single and double rooms are thatched and offer en-suite bathrooms. They are equipped with ceiling fans and mosquito nets. Gweta Lodge also offers Rondavels with authentic African thatch. The central pool area hosts the restaurant and bar area. Excellent quality food is on offer and breakfast, lunch and dinner options are catered for. There is also a wine cellar and coffee store. An outside kitchen is also on site and guests can enjoy meals while watching a galaxy of stars under the African sky.

Trips are arranged to Makgadikgadi National Park and Nxai Pan where guests can experience the remote unspoiled wilderness. A variety of activities can be booked which include quad biking, power kiting and land yachting. Have some competitive fun playing paint ball at nearby dedicated areas to the lodge. Booking for trips to the pans, safari's and activities are essential as experienced guides need to accompany guests.

Nata Bird Sanctuary

The 230-sq-km, community-run, Nata Bird Sanctuary was proposed in 1988 by the Nata Conservation Committee and established four years later with the help of several local and international non-governmental organisations. Local people voluntarily relocated 3500 cattle and established a network of tracks throughout the northeastern end of Sowa Pan.

Although the sanctuary protects antelopes, zebras, jackals, foxes, monkeys and squirrels, the principal draw is the large population of water birds. Over 165 species of birds have been recorded here, including pied kingfishers, carmine and blue-cheeked bee-eaters, martial and black-breasted eagles, and secretary and kori bustards. When the Nata River flows in the rainy season, the sanctuary also becomes a haven for Cape and Hottentot teals, white and pink-backed pelicans, and greater and lesser flamingos. Visitors should pick up a copy of the Comprehensive Bird List & Introductory Guide from the reception office at the entrance.

In the dry season (May to October), it's possible to drive around the sanctuary in a 2WD with high clearance, though it's best to inquire about the condition of the tracks in the sanctuary prior to entering. During the rainy season, however, a 4WD is essential.

Nata Bird Sanctuary offers several serene and isolated camp sites with clean pit toilets, braai (barbecue) pits and cold showers. From the camp sites, it's possible to access the pan on foot (7km), though you should bring a compass with you, even if you're only walking a few hundred metres into the pan. The entrance to the sanctuary is 15km southeast of Nata.

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