Xigera Safari Lodge is operated by Red Carnation Hotels. This luxury boutique hotel group runs award-winning properties in five countries. The lodge is an excellent option for travellers interested in both wet and dry activities in the Okavango Delta. Accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, although some activities incur an extra cost (see below), and the property is open throughout the year.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Xigera is situated in a private concession south-west of Chief’s Island, within the Moremi Game Reserve. Accessed via a five-minute speed boat ride during the high floods, or via 20 minutes’ road transfer from its own airstrip, the lodge lies beneath a canopy of leadwood, mangosteen, and jackalberry trees. Guests enjoy lovely views over papyrus swamps, rich in wildlife.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT XIGERA SAFARI LODGE:
There are 12 tents, including one for a family, and each is uniquely decorated. Approached along raised wooden walkways, each has a stretched canvas roof and cedar walls with windows made out of tinted glass. The interiors celebrate African art, with a collection of handcrafted pieces. The art tour on offer gives guests a great insight into the art visible around the camp, all created by local craftsmen. Of the 11 standard tents, nine have a king-size bed and two have twin beds that can be joined together if need be. Other furnishings comprise bedside stands and lighting, a writing desk and chair, an easy chair, and a useful luggage rack. Among the amenities are an air conditioning unit, a television, a tea-and-coffee station, a mini-bar, a yoga mat, weights and resistance bands, complimentary Wi-Fi, and charging facilities. Every tent has an en-suite washroom with separate toilet, double washbasin, indoor bath, and indoor/outdoor showers. There’s a dressing area too, as well as a private wooden deck complete with gazebo. The tents’ tinted windows ensure comfortable internal temperatures, and guests appreciate fresh breezes during time spent marvelling at vistas from the private deck. The family tent has one double bedroom and one twin bedroom, and it benefits from all the features of the standard unit. Its twin beds can be converted into a double, making the tent suitable for two couples travelling together.
Communal spaces at Xigera include lavish lounge and dining spaces, a bar area, a wine cellar, and an air-conditioned library. The lounge features an enormous copper-clad fireplace in the shape of an Okavango lily, while the bar boasts a world-class wine list. The dining room is open plan with the kitchen, providing opportunities to interact with the chef. In the library, you’ll find a great range of books, as well as wildlife documentaries – it’s also the venue for specialist talks. The wellness centre offers two treatment rooms and the gym is very well equipped. Yoga fans will love taking classes on the lodge’s yoga deck. You can also have fun browsing the boutique for souvenirs, sampling traditional cuisine in the boma, gathering around the fire-pit with fellow guests to share safari stories, and taking a refreshing dip in the swimming pool - it is even heated in winter! And come nightfall, you can relax on the star deck and take part in an astronomy session before heading off to bed.
ACTIVITIES AT XIGERA SAFARI LODGE:
An exciting assortment of activities is available here, as follows:
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 and elephant, and there are plenty of smaller species such as giraffe, zebra, impala, and sitatunga. The lodge owns a fleet of custom-made 4 by 4s 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.
Guided nature walks- Walking safaris, also in the company of an expert guide, are ideal for guests who’d like to get a bit closer to the wildlife. The walks start off from the lodge during early morning, before the heat sets in, and they’re often combined with boating activities.
Motorboat trips- The lodge owns an impressive collection of boats. Two have a glass bottom, enabling amazing views below the surface of the water, while others have an elevated deck with roof seating – fabulous for long vistas across the concession. Sights to enjoy include crocodile moving through the channels and elephant drinking on the banks.
Mokoro excursions- A mokoro is a dug-out canoe. As it has no motor, all aboard can have very close encounters with wildlife. And each of Xigera’s two mokoros has a glass bottom too.
Birding- The Delta is famous for its birdlife, and there are plentiful feathery friends within this private concession. In fact, Xigera is an internationally recognised IBA, Important Bird Area. Among the 500 species to spot here are western-banded snake eagle, slaty egret, wattled crane, lesser jacana, malachite kingfisher, and YZ favourite Pel’s fishing owl. Do not forget your binos!
Fishing- Fishing from the lodge is offered on a catch-and-release basis only, and it’s illegal during January and February as these are breeding months. Basic rods and reels are available, but guests must head outside Moremi to fish. Why not combine this activity with a boat trip?
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. For more information on wildlife photography, do take a look at our blog here.
Sleep-outs- This activity is offered at additional cost. One kilometre from the lodge stands The Baobab Treehouse, a steel structure almost 10 metres high. A winding staircase leads 4 metres up to a spacious bathroom and then to a beautiful bedroom with carved timber furnishings. Here you can drift off to sleep, with the fascinating sounds of nature all around you.
Helicopter flight- Also offered at cost, helicopter flights leave from the lodge, with each guest given a headset for communicating with the pilot during the trip. A flight lasts for approximately half an hour, and you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of Xigera’s concession, Moremi, and other parts of the Delta. Have your camera to hand for some superb photo opportunities! For more details about this or any other activity from Xigera Safari Lodge, please contact a member of YZ.
*This property is unfenced and located in a wildlife area, so large and potentially dangerous animals do pass through. If you opt to stay here, always be alert while walking around the camp, and request for a member of staff to escort you if you have any concerns. Any guest is escorted after dark as a matter of course.