Reviews of Nxabega Safari Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Good - but not prefect
Had this been our first camp we'd probabaly have like it better but coming after Little Vumbura it seemed to us a little formal and over regimented. We'd wanted to try an &Beyond camp having been to a spectacular one in India but this one is probably ready for an upgrade - or perhaps we were just over picky after our first two camps.
The tent was fine, though the bathroom was just behind a canvas flap so you had to know your companion very well. We liked the outdoor deck with a big parasol. We had one extremely noisy night when elephants decided to investigate the fruits on the tree right outside our tent. Elephants, hippos and baboons were regular visitors round camp but we never felt at all worried by them. On our first night we were taken straight from our game drive to a spot near the camp which had been beautifully decorated with lanterns, for dinner preceded by singing and dancing by the staff. For this and other meals we all sat at separate tables which felt a little odd after the communal dining everywhere else. But as nearly all the other guests were families with children perhaps it was easier. The food was fine but again a little formally presented.
Megan had warned us that this wasn't really the camp for great game viewing but I think we were surprised at how little there was - and actually started to feel sorry for the guide and spotter who kept assuring us that there was usually more to see! The guide has to be the slowest driver we've ever had , though he did manage to get us there in time to see a group of wild dog puppies devouring an impala under the watchful eye of their parents. Even the mokoro and boat rides, whilst again very relaxing, were lacking in wildlife sightings. Perhaps not the best time of year for this camp.
High quality tented accommodation
Lovely location, fine main building, great guiding.
Rainy season: slightly damp in the tent generally and a small leak.
Bathroom design, with shower in the middle of the room, not very convenient.
Nxabega third time around
After a short game drive from the airstrip we were soon being greeted by Goffa (manager) and staff and sitting down to brunch.
We didn't get the tent we requested but had a much better one overlooking the lagoon. Nxabega is excellent for birding and we had a brilliant guide (KD) and tracker(Fred). We had KD before when he was at Xaranna and he immediately recognised us. His bird identifaction was excellent and we did find three different leopards in three game drives (not bad considering we were looking for birds)!!
The food was very good and plentiful - including the bush BBQ where the whole camp staff had moved into the bush which was a memorable experience with the trees lit up by hanging lanterns.
Thoroughly recommended for birding especially when you have the game wagon to yourselves (which we were lucky to have for most of the time).
Great guides. Great location.
A marvellous place with excellent guides and excellent personnel. We had a wonderful experience there.
The rooms are great, but the textile-walls need some thorough cleaning.
Nxabega Safari Camp review
Water activities are excellent and we had a fantastic evenings fishing. The game was more scarce than other camps we visited, but we still saw elephant, giraffe, hippo, leopard and lots of birds.
Very attentitive staff who need no excuse to start singing and dancing. Lovely accomodation, although it is starting to show signs of wear.
Nxabega Safari Camp review
We loved this camp because the staff was so much fun--they enjoyed their jobs and their English was very good. This may be due to the manager, Patrick, who seemed like one of the family with staff and guests as well. He was always fun to socialize with whenever the opportunity presented.
At least four people greeted us upon arrival and departure for our treks, with one of the women making us smile with her wonderful ululating. Our tracker, T.T., even ran alongside the airplane waving goodbye when we left the camp. & Beyond still uses trackers which we think enhances the opportunity to find animals. With the tracker and the guide, K.D., we saw lots of animals., particularly lions. In fact, we almost ran over a pride resting in the tall grass, necessitating us to back up so the tracker could get in the vehicle.
The food here was exceptional and inspired me to try imitating some of the salads and egg dishes in particular. We even had a delicious meal served in the bush with romantic lighting of lanterns hanging in the trees overhead.
Nxabega - Unique Facility & Great Staff
Good Contrast to Sandibe. Game and terrain a bit different. Wonderful service and food. ( Leg of lamb the last night a bit "gristly") . Guide Flame was terrific.
Long ride from Pom Pom a bit of a pain but view as an extra "game drive". At the very top of tented safari camps!
Nxabega Safari Camp review
18hr mains power with battery power after 11pm. 24 hr hot water. Hair drier in room.
Much too far from the airstrip (90 minutes). They claim to have plans for a nearer strip to be built but no date for this.
A good start for our trip
We enjoyed our stay at Nxabeja specially for the excellent staff and attention.
They catered to my special dietary needs from the first day. The tents were nice but very cold at night! The game tours were excellent, with very good and specialized rangers.
Nxabega - the best food in Africa !
Accommodation - This was our second camp in the Delta (the others being Lebala, Kwara and Sandibe) and we stayed here for 2 nights. The tents are well appointed, with private verandahs to sit on and relax - and we also sat down by the pool area, which is beautiful.
Nxabega is set in a very picturesque area of the delta - coming from Lebala, the difference in the environment was quite striking as we drove through the concession to the camp, over some lovely rustic bridges!
Our first evening was spent taking a small motor boat cruise through the channels, and enjoying a glass of wine/G&T as the sun went down. Returning to dry land, we returned to the Jeep for a night drive, and had a fantastic surprise when we were taken for a Bush Dinner. I won't spoil the surprise for anyone else who happens to be staying at the right time (unfortunately, these dinners only happen once a week - and even that isn't guaranteed) - but if you are lucky enough to experience one, then it is a truely wonderful evening! I especially enjoyed the Astronomy Lessons that one of the Guides shared with us.
As I mentioned in the title, the food at Nxabega is fantastic - the team in the kitchen create the most wonderful dishes at every meal, and we would rate the food here as the best we've experienced in Africa (this is our 7th Safari trip in Africa, so we have experienced a few different lodges). Here, you dine at tables set up for your group - so if you are travelling alone, or as a couple, you will dine on your own table, rather than the communal tables approach taken by the Kwando group of lodges.
Wildlife - We were very fortunate to have two fantastic wildlife experiences here at Nxabega. On our first morning we headed out and stopped by the Hyena Den (there are currently 7 Hyena in the pack) to find the Alpha Female nursing 2 very small pups just at the mouth of the den. The pups had their eyes open, but were clearly far too young to be allowed out from the safety of the den - and to have the opportunity to glimpse them was a rare treat (you know you're seeing something unusual when your Guide is also taking photographs!)
Then that evening we found a Leopard Mother and Cub (approximately 5 months old) with an Impala kill. We watched them for a short while - but then returned the following morning, and found them still in the same place, and had the opportunity to watch as the mother finished eating, and then both were moving around and interacting. The cub is still quite shy, and for a while took refuge behind a log, before putting his front paws up and settling down to watch us!
Again, you will also find the usual array of Elephant, Giraffe, Hippo, Warthog, and various different Antelope species (including Red Lechwe and Tsessebe) - and we also found 2 different species of Frog whilst out on the Mokoro ride, and enjoyed watching the Kingfishers, Fish Eagles and other birds.
The wildlife sightings are often much closer than in other parts of Africa, as the Drivers/Guides and Trackers take you off road. Note - we had both a Driver and a Tracker on every Game Drive, so you need to consider that when estimating the amount of cash required for tips.