Reviews of Xakanaxa
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
This lodge was more upmarket than the other lodges I visited. Although the manager was very friendly and helpful I did not think the other staff were. It was a larger lodge than the others and my overall impression that it was not as friendly.
A criticism I have about all the game drives is that you are always with different people in the land cruiser - this occurs because some guests leave in the morning for their next camp and new people arrive in time for the afternoon drive. If in the morning you may have seen a pride of lions and there are new guests in the afternoon the the likelihood is that you will be taken back to see the lions again rather than being taken to see a different part of the reserve. It would be better if guests with exactly the same length of stay be kept together so that their experiences are the same and best use of time is made in seeing the maximum amount of the reserve.
Our third and final camp. Initial impressions were of a slightly more luxurious camp, with perhaps not the most varied animal experience on offer. The fact that the camp is in a reservation rather than a concession may influence this.
The food in Xakanaxa was the best we had experienced though. Fantastic.
Not so much big game on offer, but fantastic bird life, amphibians and some small mammals - and we saw the infamous pangolin. Very special.
Xakanaxa experience was a mixed bag. First of all, just getting us there was very disorganized. Then getting to the camp, it was further disorganized. They say they were never informed of my diet restrictions, but they did do a good job of making sure they I was able to have food that was not only appropiate, but also quite good. This is an independent camp, but seems to be putting programs together with Kwando Camps.
The manager is new, but is trying very hard to create a nice environment and friendly environment.
Expert Africa comments
We forwarded these clients' comments to Kwando Safaris who organised the Xakanaxa portion of this trip. Kwando apologised that the dietary requirements passed on to them by Expert Africa were on this occasion not forwarded to Xakanaxa. The Kwando consultant concerned has apologised to the camp and the clients. Expert Africa are pleased that Xakanaxa handled this error professionally, and even though it was no fault of their own, were able to accomodate the clients' requests satisfactorily.
Not quite what we expected
First time at a camp inside the Moremi rather than in an adjacent private concession. Larger than most camps we've stayed at and had more of a hotel feel. Tents on decks very nice albeit pretty hot during the day in summer despite the water spray onto the roof. The pool area was nice to cool off in.
The whole camp looks stunning at night when illuminated by lots of gas lanterns - kicking back with a beer ar dusk on the terrace by the water was lovely. Buffet meals were all pretty good. As regular visitors to Africa over the years we found our guide's standard of knowledge to be relatively poor and whilst there was not much game about during our stay (which obviously can't be helped) I'd expect a bit more interaction with guests or focus on the smaller things.
For the money I think the private concession camps are a better fly-in option.
This camp had the best food buy a long shot. The location on the river was beautiful and I loved the boat transfer. The sunsets were amazing here. Our tent was very comfortable and the "turbo" room fan was awesome.
The staff at this camp was our least favorite. EVERYONE seemed very tired and bored. We prefer upbeat and outgoing personalities and the staff here was the exact opposite. We did not care for our safari guide at all. My recommendation would obviously be for staff changes.
The camp was full, so we didn't get the opportunity to speak to the staff.
With being located in a National Park the game drives were restricted, so we were thankful that we had experienced camps located in the private concessions.
They were more organised than the other camps, which meant that we didn't really feel part of the camp. But it was a very good camp.
A high quslity camp in Moremi reserve
Overall we enjoyed our stay in Xaxanaka where the facilies were to a high standard.We had an unfortunate start as our guide was not there to meet us at the airstrip. However, the Mackair pilot waited with us to ensure we were safe. The Manager Lettie was very apologetic, and went out of her way to make sure that everything was smooth from then on.
The rooms were excallant and the staff made us very comfortable. The food and the overall experience was good. There is a downside to being on a reserve as there are restrictions on viewing and we often saw a number of other vehicles. However all of the guides in the Moremi reserve shared their sightings, for the benefit of all. In Xaxanaka, the vehicles just have a guide and no tracker, so you are dependant on their skills and ability to do several things at once!
Our main guide was Olly, who was competant and did enable us to see a leopard. However we felt he relied on other guides' sightings a bit too much. One afternoon we went out with Water, which was a better experience with his obvious tracking skills.
We loved the setting and atmosphere of Xakanaxa ,almost completely nestled among trees .The tents were very comfortable with wonderful new linen and soft duvets that kept out the cold and ample storage space and very nice veranda.
The communal areas and facilties were delightful and i think the best of all the camps we visited
Ollie our guide was knowledgeable once coaxed and certainly knew his birds.
Lettie the manager was welcoming and gracious and we enjoyed conversations with her round the fire about Botswana culture and tradition
-having the guide to ourselves the first day-we could really spend time on birds
-wild dog sightings on our first drive
-splashing through deep water in the amazing vehicles
-lions finishing off a kill
-the delta scenery is magical
-the incredibly amazing abundance of game and birds on one particular one morning drive
-sitting round the camp fire and hearing an elephant crash through the bush and pass quietly by as we held our breath
-the boat transfer to Kwara our next destination
-fleece lined ponchos to keep us warm
The range of activities is fewer in the reserve (no night drives /walks) but what we did see was great
We really enjoyes our experience at Xakanaxa.
Tour guide, Baams went out of his way to provide us with a good game experience.
The food and service was very good.
For me this camp was too big and felt more like a hotel than a safari camp so the atmosphere was different somehow. My guide was not so good as at the other camps at pointing things out, and my second night I was late being collected for dinner because I had been forgotten. But staff were friendly and it was easy to make individual arrangements for example on my last morning I was able to fix up a boat trip, which was usually an afternoon activity.
The boat trip from Kwara Camp was a great way to arrive and the cabin was lovely - lit by candle light at night. There are two swimming pools here - one relativley big. There is also a very good shop! There was less game here but again I saw new varieties and cheetah for the first time.