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Xigera Safari Lodge Botswana

In a country renowned for its considered attitude to wildlife protection, this reinvented camp is moving things to the next level with a minimal carbon footprint and a spotlight on local craft. The Okavango Delta smells of wild sage and damp earth. Cotton-wool clouds hang low in the sky and thunder rumbles softly, like elephants communicating.

From the air, the blue-green tapestry of water channels and islands fans out like a giant hand. Three years in the making, the Tollman family’s love letter to Botswana is located on the western edge of the Moremi Game Reserve. The completely rebuilt Xigera (“kee-jera”) is a bold new safari lodge set in the heart of the Okavango Delta on the aptly named Paradise Island.

Opened in 2020, it is surrounded by deep channels and lush vegetation within a remote area of the productive Moremi Game Reserve. For much of the year this magnificent area epitomises the permanently flooded areas of the Okavango Delta, with palm-filled islands, riverine forests, interwoven channels, and expansive floodplains.

With just 12 suites showcasing the finest southern African artisans, Xigera has been innovatively designed to protect its pristine environment; it is 100% solar powered, with a dedicated focus on sustainability and eliminating single use plastics. Every spacious suite is fully air conditioned.

Xigera is a true water camp: This is the land of the sitatunga antelope and Pel's fishing-owl. Waterbirds are seen in large numbers including rufous-bellied heron and the secretive white-backed night-heron. You may be surprised by the presence of lion, leopard, hyaena and buffalo as they wade and swim between islands in search of food.

Why do we love Xigera Safari Lodge?

  • Fully absorb the sights and sounds of the Okavango Delta
  • Dine at leisure under the stars by candlelight to sounds of gently rippling water
  • Relax in the spa or simply contemplate life from the sanctuary of the yoga pavilion
  • Sleep out in the Baobab Treehouse, yours exclusively for the night
  • Breakfast, lunch, or an intimate picnic in the bush
  • ‘Feet-in-the-water’ sundowners cocktails
  • Private yoga sessions; Spa treatments; a 1-night Baobab Treehouse Sleepout for 2 adult guests, subject to availability and weather permitting and scenic helicopter flights

Where is Xigera Safari Lodge located?

Xigera Safari Lodge is situated on one of the Okavango’s key waterways in the western Moremi Game Reserve of Botswana’s Okavango Delta with private access to a 4,500-hectare (11,120-acre) wetland paradise in the heart of the Delta.

Xigera Safari Lodge is surrounded by picturesque papyrus swamps and open floodplains studded with llala palms. Impressive jackalberry, mangosteen, and leadwood trees form an ancient canopy under which the lodge is nestled.

This pristine wetland paradise is home to a great variety of wildlife. The area is known for remarkable mammal sightings including elephant, buffalo and hippo, giraffe, tsessebe, reedbuck, and high densities of sitatunga antelope, red lechwe, and spotted-necked otter. Predators include lions, spotted hyenas, and leopards.

This concession lies in an International Birding Area (IBA) with many ‘Okavango specials’ being present, including Pel’s Fishing-Owl, African Skimmer, Brown Firefinch, Greater Swamp Warbler, Wattled Crane, African Pygmy Goose, and Lesser Jacana.

What sort of accommodation is available at Xigera Safari Lodge?

Xigera Safari Lodge offers just 12 beautiful suites and an exceptional Baobab Treehouse, each resting effortlessly in this wild landscape. Amid this remarkable setting, Xigera’s design aesthetic is wholeheartedly dedicated to celebrating African art, design, and creativity. Each piece has been handcrafted and inspired by the incredible natural surroundings; every experience can be tailor-made to guests’ wishes… an entirely new imagining of the African bush.

The 11 standard suites feature a bedroom with en-suite bathroom and outdoor shower, separate lounge, and dressing area, as well as Wi-Fi and air-conditioning. Each suite also boasts a private deck with a gazebo offering uninterrupted floodplain views.

The Xigera Family Suite features two en-suite bedrooms each with their own dressing area and outdoor shower and all the offerings found in a normal suite, joined by an interleading lounge area that opens up onto a deck with a gazebo.

The Okavango Delta provides the palette of inspiration for the interiors of Xigera Safari Lodge, with even the smallest details showing a deep connection to the natural world beyond the lodge. Meticulously created and crafted, in every sense the décor pays homage to both the human and natural heritage of this remarkable corner of Africa. Conceptualised by Toni Tollman, Philip Fourie and Anton de Kock – in collaboration with award-winning South African gallery Southern Guild – the Xigera Design Collection is breath-taking in both its scope and bold vision.

Are children welcome at Xigera Safari Lodge?

As the camp is not particularly suited to very young children there is a minimum age of 12 years with a full adult rate charged. Children aged between 12 and 16 must share a suite with one adult, with no children under the age of 13 permitted to go on walking safaris and mokoro activities.

What activities are available at Xigera Safari Lodge?

  • Morning and afternoon game drives - The private concession in which the lodge is located is home to a wealth of wildlife. Big game is not particularly prolific here, but you can look out for a few lion, rhino, and elephant, and there are plenty of smaller species such as giraffe, zebra, impala, and sitatunga. The lodge owns a fleet of custom-made 4X4’s that traverse the challenging Delta landscape with ease, while your expert guide will be on hand to ensure you have some memorable sightings. When necessary, blankets, lined ponchos, and even hot water bottles are provided. Drives are offered all year round.
  • Birdwatching - The birdlife is spectacular, with herons, egrets, cranes, and smaller water birds in abundance. In the past guests 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.
  • Boat safari in the Okavango Delta - Travel through the waterways of the Okavango Delta on a boat safari, exploring the papyrus reeds and hippo habitats with your guide. The smooth ride offers a soothing alternative to time spent in a vehicle. Always subject to water levels.
  • Fishing in the Okavango - Fishing trips offer visitors to Botswana an opportunity to enjoy a different safari experience. In many areas the fishing is fantastic, you'll also enjoy fantastic wildlife and birdlife over your time on the water. Not available within national parks.
  • Helicopter ride over the Delta - The Okavango Delta is a vast patchwork of deep-water channels, shallow lagoons, and date palm islands, fringed with the ubiquitous papyrus reeds. A doors-off scenic helicopter flight is an exhilarating way to take in these sights and a real treat, too!
  • Guided walking safari - Walking in the African bush with a professional safari guide is a fantastic experience. Enjoy a completely different perspective on foot than from a vehicle.
  • Mokoro excursions - Botswana's northern safari areas are full of water channels just waiting to be explored. Larger boats can be used to explore the wider channels but for the aficionado, mokoro trips into the smaller channels are a real treat. Always subject to water levels
  • Photographic safaris and workshops - Xigera’s safari vehicles boast armrests that can be moved and locked into position to stabilise cameras with long lenses. And the guides are great at creating opportunities for perfect pics

When is the best time to visit Xigera Safari Lodge?

Botswana’s winter is May to August when the weather is dry and cold at night, warm during the day. September through December produces hot days and warm nights, October and November are particularly hot but offer great wildlife viewing. Botswana's summer months (November to April) can be hot and sometimes humid and there is a chance of rain. Botswana has one rainy season which runs between mid-December and runs through to mid-March, and this is also bird nesting season and when baby antelope are being born amidst wild flowers and taller grasses. This time of the year has wonderful sunsets.

Environmental and social responsibility

Xigera Safari Lodge occupies a remarkable location in the heart of the Okavango Delta. On the surface, this UNESCO World Heritage Site may appear abundant with life, resilient to the impact of humankind, but this delicate ecosystem requires constant protection to safeguard it for future generations.

It’s why they take conservation and sustainability so seriously at Xigera Safari Lodge. From energy production to eliminating single-use plastics, caring for the environment, and empowering our local community is a priority in every aspect of lodge operations.

For further information, please do feel free to contact Nicola directly or at The Explorations Company for further inspiration and unforgettable safaris and holidays to Africa, Asia, and Latin America

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