Reviews of Nxabega Safari Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
February stay at Nxabega
Nxabega is a luxury camp set in the delta but it is not as game-rich as other lodges. The guide and tracker had to work really hard to find much game at all on some of the drives although we did have a great time with a lone lioness.
The service at the camp was very good although I did not really appreciate the 20 minute "orientation talk" which was fundamentally a commecial for &Beyond.
There was a good mixture of activities both land and water-based. Many people would really love it here but somehow it was not my kind of camp.
Expert Africa comments
Nxabega Safari Camp sent the following message to this traveller:
Thank you for your constructive feedback on your recent visit to &Beyond Nxabega Safari Camp. I am pleased to read that you enjoyed the overall experience. We apologize that you felt that the staff were pushy in informing you of our other Lodges. We do train our staff in sharing our company information with guests, but I appreciate that it could be done in a more subtle manner. We look forward to welcoming you on safari again in the not too distant future.
Thunderstorms at Nxabega.
Our wagon was waiting by the airstrip for us and we were soon at the camp site where we were given a welcome drink and taken to our room, a good location which was ideal for birdwatching in between game drives and meals.
Our guide and tracker at this location was KB and Kenneth who were excellent and again as we had the wagon more or less to ourselves we were able to do much birdwatching without upsetting anyone else and made a welcome change for them both. We managed to see and photograph many birds and animals.
The food was excellent and all the staff just great who couldn't do enough for you. I must admit though that this camp is wonderful for thunderstorms!! It was half expected as we knew we were heading into the rainy season.
The stops for sundowners were always in good locations so we could watch the amazing sunsets and also admire the scenery before starting our night game drive.
Nxabega Safari Camp review
A good variety of activities including mokoro and boat rides. A very relaxing location even though elephants, giraffes and baboons wander through the camp.
The food was beautifully prepared and presented and the staff were superb. Our guide and tracker (Dux and Stanley) were knowledgeable and actively tracked the game. We saw cheetah at night even though large game is not always present here.
We felt that we didn't have much opportunity to get to know everyone in camp as you were put in a fixed group for the activities and also put on a small table at dinner with the same people. It would have been better if you could choose the activity which then determined the group.
Great finale at Nxabega Safari Camp
A very special camp, even if it is difficult to pronounce! Lovely tents and some of the best food we had in Botswana, especially the brunches .
Wonderful mokoro and boat trips as well as lots of varied game viewing, with Dux and Joe doing all they could to find leopards for us - and finally succeeding. Dux was a mine of information about almost everything and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Nxabega.
This is the lodge we will go back to if we return to Botswana.
Expert Africa comments
We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your recent visit to CC Africa's Nxabega Safari Camp in Botswana. Thank you for your kind words and compliments regarding the Lodge and staff. Feedback like this drives us to deliver even higher levels of service. Warm Regards, Debra Fox - CC Africa Group Operations Director
Nxabega Safari Camp review
Demarie and Grant were excellent hands-on managers - very active.
Our guide Dux was excellent and he handled a problem with a very difficult client superbly.
Demarie and Grant were also involved in this - they also radioed ahead to ensure that we (or others) would not get involved in the same situation at the next camp - the family in question was subsequently given a vehicle to themselves to confine the problem.
An informative and comfortable safari.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit here. Our guide Dux and tracker Stanley were extremely knowledgeable and gave us a lot of interesting information about the area, animals, birds, trees and flowers. There were fewer predators around but we were most fortunate to spend time with a leopard, and we saw hyena as well as lots of herbivores.
The concession seemed rather small, so that most drives seemed to take us around the same areas which we came to recognise. We enjoyed a long mokoro ride, but unfortunately the motor boat was out of commission and that was a disappointment.
There was a new management team in place and Grant could not have been more helpful. The food and service at this camp were really top rate, and our "butler" Diana was charming and efficient. A highlight was having a sundowner standing in the waters of the delta - magical !
Nxabega Safari Camp review
In March we thought that this camp was absolutely fantastic. Laurens Kritzinger and Helga Otto had just taken over as the new managers. Their management style is superb. Everything runs extremely smoothly without any obvious day to day intervention. Many improvements have been made and are planned. I will not list them in any particular order.
We like the flexibility of sitting down to meals when you wish. Within certain time scales of course. They used to rotate the menus 3 times a week this has been increased to 7. Great food, service and staff. The only complaint in this area is the manager Eileen who fed me so much brandy one night I missed most of the following morning. Apart from that she was always on hand and a great manager.
Very well stocked bar. Available whenever a guest was around. I ran out of cigars and Laurens managed to restock my supply from Maun in two hours!
New sitting area furniture was delivered whilst we were there. It is fantastic. The cushions on the old furniture were getting a little tired not helped by the animals trying to eat it. The old swimming pool was just a hole lined in plastic sheeting. A brand new fiberglass one was installed just after we left in March. It is fantastic.
The logistics of getting it there makes interesting reading but is indicative of the standard of CC Africa. There are new loungers by the pool which are proving very popular. There are very nice new rugs in the tents. The old BBQ area was a little bit scruffy. There is now a new one set in a Koral. There are new high standard umbrellas in the sitting and dining areas.
The managers have set up a library next to the lounge. It has very comfortable seating. It is actually the best of the old lounge furniture. And, it has a computer with free Internet access. It was only installed the day before we left but many guests were asking for access in the office so it should prove very popular.
There are brilliant new showers in the tents. It is like standing under one of their tropical storms. Hot water is always available. The wiring in the tents has been improved for safety and improved reliability. The boardings outside the tents are been rubbed down and re-varnished. The tents and furniture are very high standard.
On environmental issues. They have new engines for their boats. These are quicker 4 stoke engines. These give out less emissions and do not pollute the water like the old ones. The managers are changing all the light bulbs to low wattage ones. This keeps costs down of course as the generator requires less fuel. The knock on effect to this is less fuel deliveries thus less damage to the commission with trucks driving across it.
In March we had brilliant guides, Solly and Ace. They have sadly left to pursue other aims. Our guide this time, Basha, was the best guide we have ever had on any safari. He is training up his tracker Jo to be a guide. Jo was absolutely great and could spot a tree frog at a 1,000 mtrs. I haven't commented on the game because we were there, as always, to enjoy the delta, its nature, the scenery and the people. We did however see a lot. And, it is of course seasonal.
So many superlatives but we can't fault Nxabega. Extremely highly recommended to your clients from very critical people in the travel business. We said it before and we say it again, we will be back.
Game scarce at Nxabega
The variety and quantity of game indicated in the literature was vastly overstated. This is very much a transitional camp. We were lucky enough to see lions but they hadnt been previously sighted for 7 months.
Our guide and tracker, Dux and KB, worked very hard to make our experience enjoyable but are clearly embarrassed by the claims made in the literature.
The manager was notable by his absense until we were leaving!
Expert Africa comments
We are glad that these travellers were impressed by the guides at Nxabega. As we noted in our first letter in response to this enquiry, ‘Nxabega is based in an area which is predominantly wetlands, on the western side of the Delta and so activities tend to be water-based, although you can still do game-drives here.’
We must agree with these travellers - Nxabega is in a very scenic part of the Okavango, and although there is a variety of game in the area, activities here tend to focus on the watery aspects of the Delta and birding. We do tend to recommend that this camp is combined with camps in areas of the Delta and further north which have greater concentrations of wildlife – and we’ve changed our latest brochure’s wording to make this even clearer.
We have asked Nxabeaga to comment on the manager's absence during these travellers' stay – and have not yet had a response.
Now the negative! Luckily it was the single element of the holiday that we insisted upon so you are totally in the clear.
We returned to Nexabega because we enjoyed it so much last time. The camp was largely unchanged from 5 years ago and the food and accommodation is superior to Kwando in small details such as style and the quality of the cuisine. However with water levels in the Delta very high this year the game viewing at Nexabega was very poor. The staff admitted that some 5 weeks back they considered closing the camp because of water levels and the lack of game. The range of area available for game viewing was limited due to the water depth. There were loads of Elephants, Giraffe and great bird sightings. No big cats at all (no Lion for the last 4 months), though there is a Leopard in the area which we did not see..
It is a bit like going skiing when the hotel has failed to mention there is virtually no snow! I would be very careful of sending other customers to this location. It is still pretty scenic with all the water