Eagle Island Lodge

Eagle Island Lodge: Our full report

12 luxury tents
Best for 12+
All year

One the of the Okavango Delta's first photographic camps was built on Xaxaba Island, very close to where Eagle Island Lodge, formerly known as Eagle Island Camp, is situated today. It was called Xaxaba Camp. Chris, from Expert Africa, first visited over 20 years ago, and although the lodge has changed immeasurably, the surrounding landscape – which is 'classic' Okavango – is still just as beautiful.

The lodge was re-built in 2015 and is now similar in style to its sister camps, Savute Elephant Camp and Khwai River Lodge, Eagle Island lodge, marketed as Belmond Eagle Island Lodge, strives to meet almost hotel-like standards of luxury despite its remote wilderness setting, including air conditioning and an internal phone system,

Eagle Island's 11 luxury tents are raised on wooden platforms under thatched roofs. Each is equipped with a comfortable kingsize bed, mosquito net, minibar with cocktail shaker and mixing kit, hairdryer, safe, WiFi and air conditioning. To the back of the tent is a large en-suite bathroom complete with dressing room, bath, separate toilet cubicle and both indoor and outdoor showers. The décor is modern throughout with cream canvas contrasting shades of grey and black enlivened with copper features.

To the front of the tents is a large deck, also under thatch. On this deck overlooking the lagoon there are chairs, a coffee table, sun loungers and a box containing towels for use in the private infinity plunge pool.

The size, grandeur and style of these vast tents can be a little overwhelming on a first look. This room wouldn’t be out of place as a suite in an expensive London, New York or Paris hotel and might feel a little out of place in the bush, perhaps this stems from the fact that the owners have properties all over the world.

The main area is a large thatched structure with a dining area at one end, a bar in the middle and a lounge area down a few steps at the other. The whole building is open fronted looking out over the floodplains towards Chief’s Island. Behind the main building are a small curio shop and an even smaller TV/Internet lounge. A raised sandy causeway leads out from the front of the main area past the lodge’s fire pit to the Fish Eagle Bar and beyond to a jetty. In the evenings guests will often enjoy post-sundowner drinks at the Fish Eagle Bar or around the fire before dinner.

During the flood (in the dry season around April-September) the area around the lodge is dominated by water and activities are all water-based, focusing on the scenery, birdlife and fishing rather than game viewing.
When the flood recedes game drives are offered (generally October – March) although game viewing can be patchy. Most of the time the choice is trips by mokoro (dug-out canoe), motorboat and walking safaris (see our note in Health & Safety about walking with armed guides). Fishing, and village visits are possible, and the lodge is well located for bird watching, with classic delta species such as the Pel’s fishing owl seen periodically, we were lucky enough to have one fly into a tree above us whilst eating dinner, on our most recent visit. The lodge also has its own helicopter that guests can use for an aerial view of the delta at an additional cost.

On our last visit in September 2017 we were a little disappointed by the quality of the activities on offer here. The evening cruise felt more like a booze cruise than a game viewing opportunity and our guide on the game drive (the first of the season) didn’t impress us with this knowledge or communication skills. This said we did have some interesting sightings including a unsuccessful wild dog hunt and the talk on how the delta formed was reasonably informative and interesting.

Our view

Eagle Island lodge feels more like a hotel in the bush than a camp; and it's much more substantial and imposing on the environment than many of the Delta's other options – so it's not a natural choice for those who are seeking a place to stay in sympathy with its environment. That said, it is a very solid, well-built and luxurious option – and so if you're concerned about being in the 'wilds', and want the reassurance of a very solid camp with air-conditioning, perhaps this is the right one for you.


Location: Okavango Delta Safari Reserves, Botswana

Ideal length of stay: We recommend a 2–3 night stay here. Consider it as part of a safari in combination with Savute Elephant Camp and Khwai River Lodge.

Directions: Eagle Island Lodge is reached by air transfer which takes about 20 minutes from Maun and roughly 90 minutes from Kasane.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Belmond Safaris

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: During our stay in September 2017 we were impressed by the range and quality of the food on offer here.

Breakfast consist of a classic combination of buffet cereals, cold meats, muffins, fresh bread and fruit. Hot cooked breakfast is then cooked to order.

The lunch menu changes daily. On top of the daily offering of freshly made wood-fired pizza, on our visit we had the choice of Thai fish curry with egg noodles or a spinach and artichoke fritter served with a poached egg and tomato salsa. There was then a choice of apple crumble, a selection of ice-creams or fruit salad for desert.

On our visit we happened to be at Eagle Island on the anniversary of Botswana’s independence. As such dinner was a traditional braai (BBQ) dinner with signing and dancing put on by the lodge staff. Our starter was a Butternut soup. This was followed by chicken curry, oxtail stew and pounded beef served with a variety of salads, pumpkin, pap, green beans and creamed spinach. Desert was a malva pudding with custard.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Drinks included: All drinks are included other than imported champagne.


Attitude towards children: Children over 8 are welcome.

Property’s age restrictions: Eagle Island Lodge has a minimum age limit of 8 years.

Special activities & services: Child-minding is also available on request, though note that children are looked after by staff members who are not professionally qualified or trained in childcare.

Equipment: None

Notes: This is an unfenced camp in a wilderness area where wild animals can and do pass through so children should be under their parents supervision at all times.


Power supply notes: The lodge runs on both solar and generator power.

Communications: Eagle Island Lodge has an inter-camp phone system linking rooms and reception. A satellite phone is available in an emergency. WiFi is available throughout.

TV & radio: A satellite TV is located in the main area.

Water supply: Other

Water supply notes: The water is drawn from the delta and filtered so it is fine for washing but not drinking.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: 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. The nearest doctor is in Maun.

Walking with an armed guide: Walking safaris from Eagle Island Lodge can take place in two areas. The first is in the Moremi National Park, usually on Chief’s Island and the second is on an island within a private concession behind the lodge. Due to anti-poaching laws guides are not allowed to walk in the Moremi with a rifle. At Expert Africa we believe that when on foot in an area with dangerous wildlife it is essential that you walk with a trained and armed guide to protect you should the worst happen. The chances of this are slim but the consequences can be dire. As such we can only recommend walking in the private concession where your guide can be armed. You must ensure that your guide is carrying a rifle on any walks.

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Fire safety: There are Fire extinguishers outside each rooms and around the lodge.


Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Included

Money: Each room has a small safe for valuables.

Accepted payment on location: Visa, AmEx and MasterCard are all accepted here. Cash payments can be made in Us dollars, GB pounds, rand, euro and pula but please not that all change will be given in pula.

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