Xigera Safari Lodge

Xigera Safari Lodge: Our full report

Rooms
12 suites
Traveller's rating
Excellent (98%) From 35 reviews
Children
Best for 14+
Open
All year

Xigera Camp (pronounced 'keejera') is within a private area of Botswana's Moremi Game Reserve, in the heart of the Okavango Delta. When the water levels are high in the Delta, it feels as if water is everywhere around the camp, and the luxuriant vegetation makes this seem one of the Delta's most tropical corners.

STOP PRESS: Xigera Camp closed in September 2019 for decommissioning and reconstruction. After a major rebuild and reinvention, we expect the camp to open as Xigera Safari Lodge in October 2020. The camp is being completely rebuilt and has also changed ownership. Please ask us for the latest details.


Although still under construction we understand that the all new Xigera Safari Lodge will have 12 suites, each of which will have endless views of the floodplains.

11 of the suites will be normal “standard” suites accommodating 2 people. There will also be a family suite which will consist of two en-suite bedrooms linked by an interleading lounge.

Each suite will feature a private deck with daybed, indoor and outdoor shower, full en-suite facilities, tinted glass windows (to keep the room at even temperatures), air-conditioning and unusually for Botswana both wi-fi and satellite TV.

Facilities at the lodge will include a lounge and dining room, bar and wine cellar, an airconditioned library, traditional boma and out-door fire pit, star deck, swimming pool, gym and wellness centre and a spa.

Activities from Xigera Camp will include motorboat and mokoro excursions, morning and afternoon game drives (these are dictated by water levels) catch and release fishing (seasonal), walking safaris and scheduled yoga sessions. At an extra cost guests can also enjoy private yoga sessions, spa treatments and scenic helicopter flights.

We view Xigera as an area to focus on the “more watery” aspects of the Delta; it's a great choice if you want a true water-based Delta experience. While the densities of 'big game', and predators in particular, tend to be lower than in many other areas of the Okavango Delta, there is game around, including red lechwe and the rare sitatunga that favour the waterways of this area.

The birdlife is spectacular, with herons, egrets, cranes and smaller water birds in abundance. In the past we have been treated to the very special sight of African skimmers nesting at Xigera Lagoon; typically, they start arriving around September and depart again in March. This is also a good area for the elusive Pel's fishing owl.

While water activities are the focus at Xigera, early one December the camp advised us that due to unexpectedly low – and swiftly receding – water levels, motorboat trips had become limited. That year, short boat trips were still being offered, but not to Xigera Lagoon where it was too shallow. So be aware that for at least some of the year, probably around September or between October and March, mokoros and game drives may become the key activities. This is an excellent example of how the dynamics of the Delta can change the options for visitors, not only between the seasons but from year to year.

Our view

A visit to Xigera offers visitors the kind of lush, watery experience that many first-time visitors would expect in the Okavango Delta. Don't come here for the best big-game sightings, although you'll sometimes be pleasantly surprised; instead come to spend some time on the water and relax in a particularly beautiful corner of the Okavango.

Geographics

Location: Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

Ideal length of stay: Two nights when water levels are high, although three nights would suit those wanting more time on the water, particularly keen birders.

Directions: Access is by light aircraft to Xigera airstrip. It's then a short drive either directly to the camp or, when water levels are high, to the boat station, followed by a five-minute boat trip to camp.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Red Carnation Hotels

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: As with almost all the luxury camps in Botswana we would expect the food at the all-new Xigera camp to be of a very high standard. We would also expect that most special dietary requirements will be catered for. As soon as one of our team has been to visit the camp this information will be updated.

Dining style: Mixture of group dining and individual tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Drinks included: We understand that bottled water, soft drinks, local beers and spirits and a limited selection of (usually) South African red and white wines are included. Champagne and imported wines and spirits will cost extra and may need to be requested in advance.

Further dining info: There is no room service at Xigera.

Special interests

Birdwatching: Situated in the heart of the Okavango Delta the birding at Xigera is superb all year round. Pel's fishing-owl is regularly seen, with other specials including wattled crane, slaty egret, fan-tailed widowbird and pinkbacked pelican.

See more ideas for Birdwatching in Botswana

Children

Attitude towards children: Children aged 12 and over are welcome at Xigera. A minimum age of 13 years is stipulated for walking and mokoro excursions.

Property’s age restrictions: No children under the age of 12

Special activities & services: None

Equipment: No special equipment is provided for children, but the camp has a family chalet with two rooms joined by a shared deck.

Notes: The camp is on raised walkways but it is not fenced. Xigera receives regular visits by elephants and other potentially dangerous wildlife is known to move through camp. The pool is unfenced. Parents must keep their children under constant, close supervision.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Solar Power

Power supply notes: There is a back-up emergency generator. 220V multi-plug adaptor charging facilities for mobile devices in all rooms. Additional charging facilities (available on request) for the use of guests’ own sleep apnoea machines.

Communications: There is no cellphone reception, direct phone and no email at Xigera. Communication is maintained with the head office in Maun via radio.

TV & radio: There is no TV or radio.

Water supply: Borehole

Water supply notes: This is to be confirmed but we would expect all the chalets to have plumbed hot and cold running water for showers as well as flush loos. Guests are usually given a water bottle on arrival with filtered water, which they are encouraged to top up from the filtered supply in the camp's main area. Each room is also provided with glasses and a flask of filtered water beside the sink for drinking purposes – which is replenished by the staff daily. We don't recommend that travellers drink from the tap.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: The nearest doctor is in Maun. All management and guides will be first-aid trained and medical evacuation by air is available in case of emergency. There is a nurse on call (via radio) 24 hours a day. Please note that it is only possible to fly out of camp during daylight hours as the bush airstrips do not have any lighting at night.

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Security measures: Guests are escorted to their chalets after dark as dangerous wildlife is known to wander through the camp. A thorough safety briefing is given on arrival. There is a latch on the inside and outside of the door to each chalet. 'Fog horns' are provided in the chalets to summon help in case of emergency.

Fire safety: TBC - but we would expect there will fire extinguishers at all the chalets and in the main area.

Extras

Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: Daily laundry services (weather and water supply permitting) will be included. A mesh laundry bag is supplied for underwear which will be machine-washed and returned in same mesh bag. Environmentally friendly detergent for optional handwashing is available in the rooms or can be provided on request.

Money: No exchange facilities are offered at Xigera. There are small safes in all the chalets, as well as a larger one in the office if required.

Accepted payment on location: Cash payments will be accepted for Xigera Boutique purchases or gratuities to guides or staff in Botswana pula, pounds, euros, South African rand and US dollars (but only notes dated later than 2007). MasterCard and Visa credit cards are accepted, but payments by American Express or Diners Club credit cards, or any form of debit card are not accepted.

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