Xugana Island Lodge is owned and run by Desert & Delta Safaris. This company operates some superb camps and lodges across Botswana, from the Okavango Delta and the Moremi Game Reserve to Chobe National Park and the Makgadikgadi Pan. Xugana has received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence! The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, all scheduled safari activities, and a laundry service. The lodge is open all year round. Children aged 6 years and older are welcome to stay.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The lodge is accessed via approximately 20 minutes’ boat transfer from Xugana’s private airstrip. It has a breathtakingly beautiful location within the North Delta’s Shinde Concession, with lovely views across the Xugana Lagoon.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT XUGANA ISLAND LODGE:
Guest accommodation consists of eight chalets, positioned in the shade of trees on the banks of the lagoon. Each occupies one half of a reed-and-thatch structure, raised on teak decking. A few steps lead up to a private entrance. Inside, you’ll find a double bed or twin beds, bedside tables and lighting, a couple of storage trunks at the foot of the bed/s, and a wardrobe. Snug rugs adorn the floor, while the walls display some interesting artwork. En-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, twin washbasins, and shower. Additional amenities include fans, a tea-and-coffee station, a safe, a hairdryer, and useful items such as a flashlight, an umbrella, toiletries, and an air horn for emergency use. Sliding doors lead from the bedroom onto the private veranda, which offers a couple of chairs, a small table, and amazing vistas over Xugana Lagoon!
The communal areas at Xugana Island Lodge also boast fabulous views across the water. They include a sumptuous lounge featuring plush seating around explorer’s chests cum coffee tables, a library with internet access, and a dining area containing one long table where everyone eats together. There’s a well-stocked bar too, its padded leather stools and tub chairs providing a sophisticated setting in which to enjoy drinks with your fellow travellers. The lodge’s shop sells a great variety of curios, while the viewing deck is fantastic for spotting some of the local wildlife! The deck incorporates the fire-pit, a semi-circle of deckchairs surrounding a burner. Xugana even has mature gardens, which are situated at the centre of the site and include the property’s highly inviting swimming pool, sunloungers and parasols alongside.
ACTIVITIES AT XUGANA ISLAND LODGE:
Xugana offers an exciting assortment of activities! Please note, for walks and mokoro excursions there’s a minimum age requirement of 12 years.
Expertly guided game drives- As the lodge is located within a private concession, drives are available during the day and the night. The islands and surrounding waters of Shinde contain a variety of ecosystems, supporting a real wealth of wildlife. You can look out for four of the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, and buffalo! Among the smaller mammals in residence here are cheetah, hyena, wild dog, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, and lots of antelope species.
Bush walks- This activity is also enjoyed in the presence of a knowledgeable guide. Walks present opportunities for close scrutiny of Shinde’s plants and insect life. You can track big game too!
Motorboat safaris- Guides also lead boat trips through the concession’s maze of lagoons and channels, providing sightings of huge hippos, crocodiles, and waterbirds.
Mokoro excursions- Boarding a mokoro, a dug-out canoe, is highly recommended for safarists hoping to get really close to Shinde’s large and small water-dwellers. As the mokoro doesn’t have a motor, you can focus your attention on the sounds as well as the sights of the waterways.
Birding- If you’re a fan of feathery friends, you’ll love scanning the skies, woods, plains, and waters of the concession for birds, from little malachite kingfishers to the majestic fish eagle! The summer months are exceptionally good for this activity, as this is when migrant species visit Shinde to breed.
Fishing (season dependent)- Catch-and-release fishing for tigerfish and bream is available during most months of the year – please contact a member of the YZ team for further details.
Helicopter flights- This activity incurs an additional charge, but it’s well worth it for the outstanding views over the Okavango Delta