(10 chalets) Ker & Downey Safaris
Sandwiched between Xakanaxa and the campsite, Okuti has quite a tight spot in many ways. It was taken over by Ker & Downey in July 1999, which puzzled many as it didn't seem to fit in with the rest of the their more upmarket camps – Shinde, Kanana, Pom Pom (which was then run by them) or Machaba.
Okuti has nine small, thatched A-frame chalets all in a relatively small area by the side of the lagoon. The close spacing between these was typical of safari camps in the 1980s, but it's very unusual in more modern camps.
Each of these chalets has low brick side-walls and steeply angled thatched roofs, which comes down to within a foot or two of the ground. Inside all have twin beds (though one 'family unit' has four beds) and at the back a tiled area with a shower, toilet and washbasin. Hot water comes from wood-fuelled 'Rhodesian' boilers behind the chalets, whilst the lights run from a generator during the day, and a battery at night.
These are set amongst shady trees, and there are a few sun-loungers around and a small bar, but no swimming pool. There's a small rondavel selling curios. Okuti's dining area has brick walls and a tented roof. Activities here concentrate on 4WD game drives and trips by motor boat.
Okuti was a top camp a few decades ago, though when I last visited it looked very sad and outdated. Because it's effectively surrounded on all sides, it seems to have no way to create a more spacious atmosphere – and so even rebuilding it couldn't bring it up the spacious standards of its neighbours.