Thamo Telele

Thamo Telele

Tshanakona, Maun, Ngamiland East 2745 Botswana
Traveller (102)
Room & Suite (30)
Dining area
Dining (7)

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About

4.0
#1 of 1 villa in Maun
4.2 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.5 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.4 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Value
Thamo Telele is a safari lodge in Maun located within a 250 hectare private game reserve on the outskirts of the iconic safari town, the gateway to the Okavango Delta. This intimate and comfortable lodge was recently refurbished and opened its tent flaps again in March 2022. With an enviable location bordering the Thamalakane River, Thamo Telele can accommodate 22 guests and offers space for relaxation and tranquility, making it the ideal stop-over either side of any safari. The abundant bird life will set any twitcher twitching and anyone with a soft spot for giraffe will be in a state of pure bliss as they get up close and learn more about our resident herd from our team of naturalists. In fact, the lodge was named after our littlest giraffe resident, born during our refurb in 2021. A night or two at Thamo Telele is all you need to discover why this little lodge has some cool safari style and soul!
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free internet
Pool
Free breakfast
Hiking
Horseback riding
Airport transportation
Mosquito net
Internet
Hot bath
Outdoor pool
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Special diet menus
Non-smoking hotel
Outdoor fireplace
Outdoor furniture
Shared lounge / TV area
Sun terrace
Laundry service
Ironing service
Shoeshine
Room features
Housekeeping
Safe
Room types
Bridal suite
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
4.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Quaint
Great View
122Reviews3Q+A18Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
Marc S wrote a review Mar 2020
Brussels, Belgium
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Somewhat old facilities but tents are in good shape and very comfortable. Beds are superb. Breakfast is OK. The location is a good 15 min drive via sandy paths which is a bit of a challenge if not in a 4X4. The best part of the lodge is the staff who make this place special. Wifi is ok and only in the main lodge (not in the tents). Stayed one night and will return in the future.
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Date of stay: March 2020
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Natural Selection, Marketing at Thamo Telele
Responded 29 Jan 2024
Thank you so much for leaving us this review. We're so pleased that you enjoyed your stay. I see that you stayed with us before we reopened after our refurb - we're confident that should you visit us again you'll find the experience even better. Best wishes, Thamo Telele Team
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Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Gayle M wrote a review Sept 2021
Santa Fe, New Mexico
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Julius, the General Manager of the Royal Tree Lodge and his team are absolutely unparalleled. The location of the lodge is lovely, it reminded me of a tropical location in Thailand with wildlife. There are great walks to take allowing one to see Giraffes, Zebras, Impalas. Very safe and a nice way to wind down after Safari Rides in the National Parks. The team made every effort to make us feel welcome - including making a lovely cake for our 30th anniversary. We stayed in one of the casitas which was well appointed. I understand that they will be renovating the lodge in the near future, but I found it entirely satisfactory. The food was also quite good and reasonably priced. All in all, a lovely visit
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Date of stay: September 2021
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Room Tip: There are two casitas which are well worth the money
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Natural Selection, Marketing at Thamo Telele
Responded 29 Jan 2024
Thank you so much for leaving us this review. We're so pleased that you enjoyed your stay. I see that you stayed with us before we reopened after our refurb - we're confident that should you visit us again you'll find the experience even better. Best wishes, Thamo Telele Team
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Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Jurgen B wrote a review Jul 2021
Brussels, Belgium
3.0 of 5 bubbles
It is more expensive than many luxury lodges in the parks around Maun that include all food and game drives, so really not worth its price. Moreover, food was simply not good. On the other hand the bungalow room is very nice and comfortabel, and you can do nice walks on their big property.
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Date of stay: July 2021
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Natural Selection, Marketing at Thamo Telele
Responded 29 Jan 2024
Thanks so much for your review Joan. I see that you stayed before the lodge was refurbished and came under new management. We're confident that should you choose to stay with us again, you'd find the experience much improved. Best wishes, Thamo Telele Team
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Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
John H wrote a review May 2021
Tucson, Arizona
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I spent three wonderful nights here on a recent business trip. We were on a full board package and found the food to be incredible. From a made to order breakfast, followed by a diverse luncheon menu at 13:00, to the high tea at 16:00 to a family style three course meal at 19:00 you will not be disappointed with cuisine that is prepared with some of the freshest ingredients. The staff are attendant and generous almost to a fault. Warm days and cool evenings add to your enjoyment. Be sure to schedule a horseback game ride and seek Vlad as your guide. An amazing experience!
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Date of stay: May 2021Trip type: Travelled on business
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Natural Selection, Marketing at Thamo Telele
Responded 29 Jan 2024
Thank you so much for leaving us this review. We're so pleased that you enjoyed your stay. I see that you stayed with us before we reopened after our refurb - we're confident that should you visit us again you'll find the experience even better. Best wishes, Thamo Telele Team
Read more
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Joan K wrote a review Aug 2021
Wyncote, Pennsylvania
2.0 of 5 bubbles
I had planned a couple nights in Maun to unwind from two very long flights. The description and photos of the lodge were lovely but I was disappointed in the extreme. I heard they were shutting the lodge for a complete refurbishment. I wish they had closed it much earlier so they would not diminish their reputation in the process.
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Date of stay: June 2021
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
1.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Natural Selection, Marketing at Thamo Telele
Responded 29 Jan 2024
Thanks so much for your review Joan. I see that you stayed before the lodge was refurbished and came under new management. We're confident that should you choose to stay with us again, you'd find the experience much improved. Best wishes, Thamo Telele Team
Read more
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Emm J wrote a review Jan 2013
Gauteng
1.0 of 5 bubbles
It has everything going for it but unfortunately the Royal Tree Lodge just 20 minutes outside Maun was a very disappointing overnight on our recent travels through Botswana.

Firstly, just finding it proved difficult. Even when we resorted to the trusted Garmin it simply would not list this venue?

Finally we tracked down a local pilot at the airport who gave us a number of someone connected to the lodge who, when we called kept telling us to look for the BIG sign on the road into Maun that we had just travelled on. So retracing our path we rumbled back out towards the east and still could not see the turn off (Lodge managers and owners would be well advised to remember often travellers see things differently, more so when they might have just travelled 9 hours on the road). It turned out the BIG sign was a dead ordinary small and faded sign. Adding to its inadequacy was the fact that more recently erected loud and clear signs, promoting everything from tyres, printing and more were drowning out the "Royal” presence!

Finally we arrived and in fairness to the lodge manager, Julius, we did arrive earlier than anticipated. By a full two days! So he was efficient in assisting and accommodating us.

But when a lodge manager has to plead and cajole his staff to assist the wary traveller to get luggage into the tented chalet, then already that’s a signal that management is not the venues strong point.

The very charming and very African safari tent was well positioned (It’s not the lodges fault that a local gathering over the river decided that they should wind up their amplifier and drown out any night sounds that we might have enjoyed), but it is their responsibility to rapidly try negotiate with this aspiring DJ to be considerate to all the surrounding accommodation, otherwise travellers will soon skip the lodge with its unwelcome local over volume and distorted music.

Inside the tent however were also some disappointments - If you are going to have a torch next to the beds then at very least ensure daily that they work.

Dinner was plain! A lodge that charges upwards of USD160 should make the effort to have options on their courses - Starter, Main and dessert were all single options. A case of eat it or go to bed!

The second day we were blessed with a very welcomed thundershower. The lodge however were totally ill equipped to deal with this. The laundry we requested be taken from the room was left and we were told it’s not possible it’s raining. As the pool area (Small and awkward as it is) was now not available for lazing around as was the outdoor deck off the lounge also not available there was not ambience created for the guests to congregate and enjoy the indoor lounge. Adding to this the Wi-Fi that was available was so badly placed that any attempt to access it from this lounge was not possible and since it was located in the office the only place to browse and plan the onward travel was on the tiniest corner of the dining table closest to the kitchen/office entrance with other guest all huddled in a desperate attempt to locate signal.

While the lodges attempt to on the second day change linen - I never understand why this must happen, especially in light of water scarcities. A hotel/lodge can easily allow for two nights to pass before they change out linen. It was an irritation after returning from the second evenings dinner (Still with only the one option for each course) to find that the linen on the beds were still damp.

And for a last gripe the coffee at the lodge is boiled in a pot in the kitchen and then poured into a thermo and at the early AM breakfast as we left it was simply reheated! That’s a No-No!

Needless to say Maun has so many accommodation options it may be wise to avoid this lodge who seems to suffer an identity crisis in not knowing whether its Royal Tree Lodge, Tree Lodge or Motsentsela Tree Lodge
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Date of stay: December 2012
2.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
CAMoraga_Family wrote a review Nov 2018
Moraga, California
1.0 of 5 bubbles
I have never given a terrible rating and quite honestly have waited over a month to write this review because I know the owners will respond negatively based on their responses to previous critical reviews. Because we depend on honest reviews on Trip Advisor to help us make travel arrangements, I feel an obligation to provide an honest review on the Royal Tree Lodge to spare any other travelers the disappointment of a stay at the Royal Tree Lodge.

Thankfully we only stayed here one night because we were literally counting down the hours until we could leave. We actually left for the airport 4 hours early because we couldn't wait to leave. This lodge was probably great back in it's heyday but it feels like it has been ignored and abandoned and the operating budget has been slashed. There was only one other couple staying here when we arrived and they had left before dinner. All of the employees looked sad and I could imagine how difficult it would be to spend your days at such a depressing lodge. The only ray of sunshine was the airport driver, who we loved.

In every other property we stayed in Botswana, we were greeted with cold towels when we first arrived. At the Royal Tree Lodge we were greeted with a disposable wet wipe. We immediately realized the standards here were a lot different from anywhere else we had stayed.

We were greeted by the manager who quickly informed us that our only activity option was to walk ourselves around the property looking for animals. We were handed a dirty laminated map. None of the animals we might encounter were listed on the map, which would have been a very easy addition to the map to provide guests with information on the animals on the property. While the website states Birding, Games Drives, Scenic Flights and Horseback Safaris apparently you have to stay more than one night for these options (which should be clearly stated on the website). Also the photo on the website with Game Walks shows a guide walking guests around the property to spot animals. We were not offered a "guided" walk. If someone had walked us around the property, it would have made a world of difference in educating us about the animals especially because there was no list provided of the animals we could encounter.

We were taken to our room which I imagine 15-20 years ago was very nice. Upon entering we were overwhelmed with a chemical fragrance that I have only ever smelled in a public restroom. It immediately made us both feel a little sick. We were relieved to find the source of the smell attached to the wall, it was one of those fragrance blowing machines you see in an airport bathroom. Fortunately we were able to easily take it off the wall and because there was no "off" button we put it outside. We opened all of the windows to try to get rid of the smell and left for a walk. When we returned the smell was still in the room and we discovered there was another toilet fragrance machine hidden in the closet intermittently sending puffs of fragrance into the room. While the smell was truly sickening, it made us wonder what smell the property was trying so hard to cover with this toilet fragrance machine.

Needless to say, when you are paying $788/night for a room you expect a certain standard. Honestly, I would not pay more than $200/night to stay here and the only reason I would pay that much is to see the animals on the property. We spent a couple of nights in town when we first arrived in Maun and paid $150/night for a beautiful clean room with friendly staff. We seriously contemplated leaving to go back to town for the night, but it was a long drive back to town and we thought we would see if dinner was amazing and the reason the Royal Tree Lodge justified their $788/night rate.

Unfortunately dinner was as disappointing as everyone else here has mentioned. I won't go into details but it was painful to share a dinner table on our last night in Africa with the grumpy manager. At other lodges we have stayed we have been offered the option of eating with the manager which we have always done because it gives you an opportunity to learn more about the area. Unfortunately we were not given the option and spent the entire dinner trying to make small talk. It was the icing on the cake.

I hope someone buys this property and invests some loving care into the property or else the owners should close the lodge. The owners have obviously lost interest in the hospitality business and should call it quits and stick with animal conservation.
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Date of stay: September 2018
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
2.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
traveladdicted4ever wrote a review Jan 2012
Mainz, Germany
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Good option if you want to stay in Maun; lodge is in a private game reserve, 30min from center, at the Thamalakane river. Every tent is very spacious, with luxurious interior, and privacy. Huge beds, outside shower, etc. Main building has shady terrace and pool (water was good, but ground would need some cleaning). You can walk on several trails (no dangerous animals) and see giraffes, zebras, kudus, ostriches.. Breakfast is nice (cereals, milk, yoghurt, fruits, toasts, cooked breakfast (eggs)), you get 4 o'clock tea with cake, and dinner is also good (not 4-star, but good).
Name of the lodge is "Royal Tree lodge", no idea why the old name is still here..
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Date of stay: December 2011
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
vikitorisedona wrote a review May 2014
Prescott, Arizona
4.0 of 5 bubbles
We were supposed to stay at the beginning point and end point of our safari, however, the lodge was unable to accommodate our large group at the end so we only stayed one night. It was a good place to rest after a very long trip from the states, stop over in Europe, another stop in Joburg before arriving in Botswana. Julius, the manager was kind and attempted to answer all questions and get his staff moving in the direction of getting luggage moved to the correct cabins. My husband and I stayed in the Hornbill Chalet. Lovely and romantic at night with the rain hitting the thatched roof. The spiders in the closet were kind of scary, but you know what? If I wanted homogenized perfection I would have opted for the 4 Seasons or Ritz somewhere. We jus quietly shut the closet and left the spiders in peace hoping they would do the same with us. It was quiet nice bathing in the the long and deep tub with wildlife roaming outside the window.
I read the post about the couple who seemed pretty unhappy about everything that wasn't highly catered to their needs. Gosh, I wonder if they have never traveled before to a country that is a little bit off the grid. Maun was without power for several days before we arrived, so we were pleased that we had hot water. This person was upset that they didn't get their laundry done every day because it was raining. Really? We came back through Maun on Easter Day and I heard lots of people complaining that the WiFi was down and they couldn't check email, etc. I go on vaca to get away from that, so I really thought it was just fine to be without internet one more day. I have to wonder why some people travel if they want everything to be just like it is at home. Part of the fun of traveling is the adventure.
Anyway, the staff at the Royal Tree Lodge were a mix of helpful and not so much. My husband and the other men were able to get just about anything they wanted for breakfast, but neither I or another lady could get the female staff members to bring us a clean placemat. We finally just put our plates, etc down on the table and got up and found our own set ups. The guys got juice, we had to pour our own coffee and no one asked up if we wanted anything not on the buffet. My husband ordered eggs and when they were brought to him I asked if I could get toast and the staff member went to the other end of the table and brought me a basket with one piece of toast in it that another guest hadn't eaten. I just looked at her and said, "No, that isn't going to work." So I finally got a piece of hot toast, but I couldn't figure out why I sensed such hostility from the women toward us women. I sensed it the evening before when we were ordering wine and asking some questions about grounds. They responded well to the men, but if a woman asked a question we got a one or two word answer.
The laundry complainer also complained about the food. We had some type of beef dish that was tasty. We had some special diet needs in our group that we had disclosed during the planning stage so they had prepared something special for our friends who needed glutton free and vegetarian meals. Our food was very good and I actually like the family style way it was served. Of course there is only one entree. It's a lodge, not a restaurant. We sat beside a couple who were on a self driving trip visiting from Switzerland and we had a nice conversation with them.
Probably the funniest thing that occurred was the big deal they made out of writing up receipts for our beverages. We had to stand in line waiting for the receipts to be handwritten out of a receipt booklet with carbon paper. All that for $10 worth of beverages. It's part of the charm of being in a totally different culture. There was a computer in the corner, but who knows if it even worked. It was a hoot and I saved the receipt as a cherished souvenir.
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Date of stay: April 2014
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: All the rooms are nice, but the chalets are very romantic.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
icca5 wrote a review Sept 2011
Stockholm
5.0 of 5 bubbles
A twenty minute drive from Maun airport, and after passing a gate, you will reach Royal tree lodge. We stayed one night before starting our safari in Okawango.

There is a big main building with community table and then a couple of bungalows with tent walls. They consist of one big room with a private bathroom and a bathtub, the shower is outside your bungalow, all in beautiful African interior with lots of dark wood. There is a also a small pool.

We had a nice meal and when going back to our room after dinner we needed a flashlight or two.

We followed two different marked walking trails seeing zebras, giraffe, springbok and other wild animals but beside that there is just relaxing. The staff where friendly and pleasant. Looking back, the darkness, the solitude and the walking safari are great memories.
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Date of stay: October 2010
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Answer from Diane W
Maun, Botswana
First of all the pointer on the map is not in the correct position. If you look at the map and follow the river to your left from the centre of town it is probably 10 km down stream. However although we are on the river, the lodge is based back in the natural forest that borders the Thalamakane River, and yes we used to be called Motsentsela Tree Lodge. Our accommodation is the best in the Maun Area although we are 14 km from the airport. We do hope that you will consider us for your stay here.
Answer from tuefi55
Bern, Switzerland6 contributions14 helpful votes
Vieln Dank für die Antwort. Das stimmt, zum Glück ist der Manager bald pensioniert. Auch die anderen Gäste vor Ort fühlten sich nicht wohl, bzw ständig beobachtet. Wir sind froh, dass wir Heil nach Hause gekommen sind und hoffen, dass die Lodge ganz bald in bessere Hände kommt.
Gayle M wrote a tip Sept 2021
Santa Fe, New Mexico193 contributions158 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"There are two casitas which are well worth the money"
Read full review
JeanAustria wrote a tip Dec 2019
Austria111 contributions121 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The cottages are all spaced out in the reserve that you have no idea you have any neighbours!"
Read full review
SuzyM wrote a tip Sept 2019
Austin, Texas60 contributions30 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The 'rooms' are a tent."
Read full review
Catherine S wrote a tip Sept 2019
5 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"They are all good"
Read full review
Maria K wrote a tip Jul 2017
Oberiberg, Switzerland70 contributions13 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The tents are very luxurious, but me personally, I prefer the villa. It is more spacious, even more luxurious and grand."
Read full review
Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Maun area.
FORMERLY KNOWN AS
Royal Tree Lodge
LOCATION
BotswanaNorth-West DistrictNgamiland EastMaun
NUMBER OF ROOMS
11
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Please see our partners for more details.
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THAMO TELELE - Villa Reviews (Maun, Botswana)

Frequently Asked Questions about Thamo Telele
Which popular attractions are close to Thamo Telele?
Nearby attractions include Okavango Delta (5.7 km), Your Botswana Experience (6.7 km), and African Guide Academy (5.7 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Thamo Telele?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at Thamo Telele?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Thamo Telele?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Thamo Telele?
Conveniently located restaurants include Dusty Donkey Café, Tandurei Indian Restaurant, and Hilary's.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Thamo Telele?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Thamo Telele have airport transportation?
Yes, Thamo Telele offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
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