Hippo Lagoon Cabin is Carving a Niche in Maun’s Hospitality 


A new joint that is in sync with the environment and local craftspeople is the latest addition to the vast array of where to stay in the principal town of world-famous Okavango Delta


Amidst the stunning Maun landscape, a new haven for travellers has emerged styled Hippo Lagoon Cabin. Founded by Maun natives Gwen Isaacs and her partner, this charming retreat offers an intimate and eco-friendly experience for tourists eager to explore Maun.

Before building the cabin, the couple hosted guests from booking platforms in four tents on deck similar in design to most starter mainstream safari lodges.


At some point during COVID when there wasn’t much activity, they decided to build a farmhouse for the family that would later serve as guest accommodation.

“I studied Hospitality Management and my first job was in the Okavango Delta where I worked for a safari company,” said Isaacs in an interview.

“During that time, I got to host guests from all over the world and realised that some of these guests wanted to see Botswana from a more local experience.

Racial abuse

“After experiencing racial abuse from within the company, I was determined that I would play my role in influencing and enacting change in this space one day.

“I was also very disheartened that I had not hosted a single Motswana guest, though I understood that there was also an affordability aspect to it as most of my guests were in the top one percent of the world.”

Immersive experience

Hippo Lagoon Cabin is not just a place to stay; it’s an immersive experience where guests can choose from a range of activities such as horse riding, bush walks, bush picnics, mokoro rides when the river is flowing and hippo feeding, which is an initiative set to sustain the hippos of Nxaraga through the drought.

Constructed using sustainable materials and designed to minimise its environmental footprint, the cabin features solar power and the use of borehole water. The cabin is made of canvas and wood to keep in theme with the previous four tents but is differentiated by a thatched roof.


Craft makers

For interior design, the couple used natural elements such as fallen tree logs for functional purposes like light fixtures and a staircase.

“We frequented local craft makers and worked with some of the craftsmen to design things like the lampshades, floor mats, woven baskets and mats, which are placed throughout the cabin,” Isaacs added.

As Isaacs and her partner continue to nurture their dream while carving a niche in the hospitality industry, Hippo Lagoon Cabin is ready to host travellers from all walks of life.

Affirmative feedback  

“The feedback we have received from guests has been affirming and positive,” said Isaacs. “Our first guests were a 10-day stay of a family from Europe hosting friends from another part of Botswana.

“The feedback was both positive and constructive. We find it invaluable to learn what consumers’ needs are and how we can better elevate their experience.

“The process of a hospitality business is an ever–evolving one, so we must always be working to improve the business accordingly.”