Reviews of Xaranna
Wildlife sightings and reviews
8 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Xaranna and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Not our favorite"
Then, due to the drought, there were no boat services (no makoro), which is why we chose this camp. However, also due to the drought, we were able to see a very large pack of wild dogs! We also saw lions mating! Sadly, while our guides (Fred and someone else) did an excellent job of getting us to see the wild dogs and hyenas and mating lions, they were not as warm and friendly as our other guides. This took away from our overall experience.
The food at Xaranna was THE BEST on the entire trip. The chef could open a restaurant in New York and be successful. The room was beautiful. We laughed each day as the elephants came to play in our private swimming pool.
So, in summary, we enjoyed our time at Xaranna, but we would not go back." See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana; 4n in South Africa
"Xaranna Okavango Delta Lodge review"
Also we had requested a quiet room and were given one far from the lodge, but unfortunately were placed between a near constantly running fan and a generator. Though we raised this, no action was taken to resolve it.
It is also worth noting that the Mokoro trips only take place in the slot reserved for the afternoon game drive -- rather than during the day / late morning when on previous occasions we have been on a short walking safari. This means that you have to miss a game drive to go on the mokoro, and no walking safaris were are offered." See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana
"Xaranna Okavango Delta Lodge review"
A couple of things made this less of a perfect experience than it could be.
1 - nobody less than 16 in the plastic (model of a dugout) canoe. We had no idea of this till we got there and since we had a 13 year old with us who was anticipating the activity it was a bit disappointing. As it turned out she didnt miss much - i went on it and wouldn't bother to repeat.
2 - the staff were well over the top in their desire to ingratiate themselves with us. Every single person we came in contact with asked us how we were every single time we saw them. This when we were involved in our own discussions. I know the intent was good but the effect was quite annoying to us and i am sure to every other north american or European. This is a expensive and well done world class camp. One exp[ects the staff to be attentive and instantly available with a nod but not imposing as they were. My guess is it is a combination of the culture and a extreme desire to please (and be tipped) so they don't get it that it is negative for most. I hope i have explained this well as everybody we talked to had a similar thought though most would be too polite to say anything." See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana
"Xaranna second visit."
Xaranna is another good camp for birding with many different species around the tents. We had MD (guide) and Elicious (tracker) who were both excellent in bird identification. On one of the days we mentioned a Pel's Fishing Owl was on our wish list and despite looking around some known spots MD failed to locate one so after they dropped us off for breakfast they went out again to see if they could find one. That evening we went out on a game drive and although they said they hadn't found an Owl they went straight to the tree it was roosting in - now that's what we call dedication.
On another drive we were looking at a small bird in a bush when Elicious suddenly spotted a Black Mamba along one of the branches - we took one or two photos and quickly moved on!! Another day we were out birding (again) when we heard a lion roaring - Elicious tracked it down to a spot where it was hiding in the long grass. Again a few photos before it wondered off into the bushes.
The accommodation and food were excellent along with the private dinner in our tent the staff had arranged on our last night. Many thanks Kenneth (Waiter) for looking after us so well." See all these reviews: 11n in Botswana
Our tent was probably the best we have stayed in in Botswana in a great position, spotlessly clean and with it's own plunge pool - heaven.
The food was magnificent although I don't know why we had breakfast after the mornings game drive followed 2 hours later by lunch!!
KD took us to see 6 Cheetahs on the first day and after a fair bit of tracking located them where we managed to get some good views.
On the next day we were having a snack before going out on another game drive when KD heard a lion roar - with Elicious doing the tracking it wasn't too long before we were on to a beautifully conditioned male lion who was very obliging by posing for us to take photos. On the same drive we stopped for a bush breakfast where Elicious became the cook - the food was wonderful.
Later that day we went in search of a Pels Fishing Owl and after a bit of searching on one of the islands we found not one but two - again great photo opportunities." See all these reviews: 12n in Botswana
"Xaranna Okavongo Delta Lodge feedback"
We had two very small criticisms of Xaranna, one that we saw very little of the manager Johan at this camp (but possibly influenced by seeing the management at Sandibe regularly) and the second was that Xaranna felt to us a bit too much like a Boutique hotel in the bush. Although most people would find this wonderful (and don't get us wrong, it was), but it somehow lost the 'soul' of what we understand Africa to be about.
Overall, we had a wonderful stay here and all the staff were very professional and friendly. We thoroughly enjoyed our last evening when all the staff came out and sang and danced. We hope they did well at the &Beyond Choir Contest." See all these reviews: 10n in Botswana
"It warms my heart to hear that you had such a delightful & interactive stay at Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp. From the feedback you provided for Sandibe Safari Lodge and Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp I can see that our colleagues in Botswana have managed to touch your soul and hopefully have captured your imagination.
I also wanted to thank you for your constructive feedback with regards to the "feel" of Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp. We value all feedback, as it is only through sharing your thoughts and experiences that we can hope to achieve perfection. We look forward to welcoming you back to Africa in the not too distance future.
I wanted to pass your support onto the choir at Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp and I was advised that the Sing for Life competition has been postponed till approx. July 2010.'
"The Delights of the Delta"
The accommodation at Xaranna is extremely comfortable and we were very well looked after by Carl, Melody and the team. Some of the facilities on offer are not of particular interest to us – eg air conditioning and resident masseuse – but no doubt are to other guests; but we took advantage of – and really liked – touches such as the cold box of drinks and “gym in a box” in each chalet. The cuisine was, in our view, above average – especially afternoon tea which we thought was nicely balanced and very well presented; excellent coffee too.
The main aim of our stay was birds and in Rams we were guided by a man who clearly knows his avians . He was ably assisted by a first-rate tracker, Master. The bird life alone was well worth the trip, highlights including Pel's Fishing Owl, Verreaux's Eagle Owl, a Bataleur at very close range, Wattled Cranes, Green Pigeons and various Kingfishers. Add to that lions, a leopard, a wonderful serval with her cub in broad daylight and it is clear that this was a very rewarding three days.
In conclusion, we would have no hesitation recommending Xaranna and we are certainly minded to look to other &Beyond camps on future visits to Africa." See all these reviews: 10n in Botswana; 2n in Zambia
"Xaranna Okavango Delta Lodge review"
Only put average above because the form would not let us continue any further." See all these reviews: 13n in Botswana
Holiday styles & special interests in Botswana
From birdwatching breaks to walking holidays, find great ideas for your trip in Botswana.
Other lodges in Okavango Delta Safari Reserves
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Kwara Camp's private reserve boasts land and water activities year round, with excellent game-viewing opportunities and access to permanent channels of the north-east Okavango Delta.
On a secluded island within a private reserve, Little Vumbura combines superb game viewing with a broad diversity of habitats in a truly picturesque setting.
With experienced staff and a wealth of activities, Shinde offers a traditional safari in an exceptionally varied and wildlife-rich environment.
Chitabe Lediba, in Botswana's southern Okavango Delta, is a small family friendly safari camp; it offers great dry-land safaris and in our experience consistently delivers good game sightings.
Sandibe Safari Lodge
The luxurious Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge lies in a private concession in the heart of the Okavango Delta, beside Moremi Game Reserve, with superb big-game viewing.
In a beautiful part of the Delta, Kanana focuses on fantastic water activities and birding – including exclusive access to an impressive heronry.
In the southern Okavango Delta, the excellent Chitabe Camp concentrates on dry-land safaris in an area that we've found particularly good for wild dog sightings.
Set in the Kwara Reserve, offering superb wildlife viewing year-round, Splash offers both land and water activities led by guides with a particular knack for tracking big game.
Footsteps across the Delta
Small and very rustic, Footsteps across the Delta focuses on walking safaris; it also runs a special children’s programme so is particularly suitable for families.
Tubu Tree Camp
A traditional tented camp with a distinctive tree-house feel, Tubu Tree offers some of the best game viewing in the Jao Reserve.
Nxabega Tented Camp
Nxabega offers a selection of both land- and water-based activities, plus very good guiding, food and service, but game viewing can be somewhat erratic.
Indulgently stylish and luxurious, Vumbura Plains offers superb game viewing and birding on an exceptionally varied private reserve.
Gomoti Plains Camp
Overlooking a tributary of the Gomoti River, Gomoti Plains Camp is a classically designed camp with very comfortable tents in a good game-viewing area.
Jacana Camp is a small safari camp with an informal island feel; it is ideal for water-based activities in the Delta and offers excellent birdwatching.
Deep in the Delta, overlooking a floodplain, Kwetsani Camp is a small, high-end camp with good access to areas for land and water-based activities.
For an affordable yet varied safari encompassing a range of eco-systems, the traditional Mapula Lodge takes a lot of beating.
Duba Plains Camp
Duba Plains Camp is a traditional safari camp, best known for the thrilling lion and buffalo interaction that is often found here in broad daylight.
Baines' Camp is a well-run, intimate camp in a pretty part of the Okavango, offering a range of activities and the option to spend a morning walking with elephants.
In a private concession south of Moremi Game Reserve, Stanley's Camp offers 4WD game drives, seasonal water activities and a superb elephant interaction.
Little Tubu is a new, traditional camp with just three tented chalets and a distinctive tree-house feel. The areas around it can be explored by water and land-based activities year round.
Pom Pom Camp
Pom Pom Camp lies amidst stunning Okavango Delta scenery. Come for idyllic mokoro trips and great birdwatching, and accept that big-game sightings here are a bonus.
Duba Explorers Camp
Intimate and elegant, Duba Explorers Camp promises a firm safari focus in a remote corner of the Okavango, led by a team who value the highest guiding and hosting standards.
In a pristine wilderness environment deep in the Okavango Delta, the seasonal Pelo Camp is tented yet comfortable, with activities focusing on excursions by mokoro.
Seba Camp is a luxury camp in a lovely location that offers the full range of water and land safari activities, depending on the time of year. This camp is particularly suitable for families.
In a beautiful area with fantastic water activities, Jao combines an idyllic location with high levels of luxury and service, and a top-end spa.
Beautifully located in a private concession overlooking the Gomoti River, the traditional Mma Dinare is very well-priced for the Okavango.
Abu Camp is an exclusive safari camp on the western side of the Botswana's Okavango Delta - offering superb elephant-back safaris and opportunities to walk with them too.
Setari Camp stands on an island dotted with palm trees, close to the base of the Okavango’s ‘Panhandle"
Okavango Walking Safari
The Okavango Delta Walking Safari camps in a secluded Okavango Delta Reserve where there are few roads; the ideal location for a walking trail led by an expert guide.
Xudum Delta Lodge
Xudum is a beautifully crafted lodge well situated to explore the Delta waterways. Each air-conditioned suite has a private plunge pool and a lofty viewing deck with a sala that doubles as a 'star bed'.
Kiri Camp is the latest Okavango offering from the excellent team behind Machaba. In an exciting new location in the heart of the Delta we cannot wait to visit this new camp.
On a remote island within a vast private concession, the eclectic Duke’s Camp is nestled among mature trees overlooking wildlife-rich plains of the Okavango.
Sitatunga Island Camp
Sitatunga Private Island: in this pristine corner of the Okavango Delta, even the name is evocative.
Deep in quintessentially 'Okavango' territory, between deep-water and dry-land habitats, promises to be a great combination from a team who know all about the best in the Okavango.
4 Rivers is a new camp in a previously in accessible area of the excellent Kwara concession.
Eagle Island Lodge
Eagle Island Lodge is a luxurious camp with international-style facilities including air conditioning and intercom in each room; offering water based activities in the Okavango Delta.
Luxurious and contemporary, the relatively new Qorokwe Camp is a gem in the Okavango Delta, offering land- and occasionally water-based activities in a prime wildlife area.