A true water camp, Xigera is idyllically situated on Paradise Island in the heart of the Okavango Delta. This small, luxurious camp is perched on wooden decks raised above the deep channels and lush vegetation of this remote and magnificent part of Moremi Game Reserve. Palm-filled islands, riverine forests, expansive floodplains and crystal-clear water channels mark this wetland haven.
A safari here gives you outstanding opportunities to witness extraordinary wildlife diversity right up close. This is the land of the shy sitatunga antelope and Pel’s fishing-owl, and few game-viewing experiences can beat the thrill of silently gliding up to Africa’s wild creatures in a wooden mokoro (dugout canoe). Look out for lion, leopard, hyena and buffalo as they wade and swim between islands in search of food. Waterbirds seen in large numbers include the rufous-bellied heron and the secretive white-backed night-heron. Other special birds are the greater swamp-warbler, coppery-tailed coucal, Luapula cisticola, brown firefinch, swamp boubou, Hartlaub’s babbler and Western banded snake-eagle.
Xigera Camp gives you an exceptional access to Botswana’s wild creatures. This top-notch camp is low-key, intimate and magnificently wild. The nine raised luxury tents with en-suite facilities, an outdoor shower and superb views of the surrounding Okavango Delta floodplains epitomise African bush luxury. Meals and evening drinks are enjoyed in the extensive open-sided dining/bar/lounge area, all set – as are the boardwalks – on a deck above the ground, surrounded by excellent views of water, trees and bush, as the camp overlooks a permanently flowing channel. The delicious bush cuisine is also served at night outdoors under the night sky in the traditional African boma. A small plunge pool is the perfect place to cool off in the heat of the day, although keep an eye out for the elephant that come right up to the deck as they graze the surrounding riverine forests. A Xigera tradition is to help the staff read the ‘morning newspaper’: this is a sandpit built into the bridge connecting the tiny island to the mainland to capture pawprints left during the night.
While water-based game-viewing activities play a big part at Xigera, guided game drives in open 4×4 game-viewing vehicles allow you to explore further afield. Sightings include lion, leopard, hyena, Cape buffalo, red lechwe, spotted-necked otter, tsessebe and elephant, among hordes of other African species in this unspoilt wildlife mecca. Mokoro excursions led by an Okavango-born guide and poler are an exceptional experience and offer keen birders exceptional viewing – look out for the famous Pel’s fishing-owl as well as waterbirds including the African skimmer, colourful kingfishers, slaty egret, wattled crane and much more, while boat trips also give you an extraordinary opportunity to view hippo, Nile crocodile and sometimes the elusive sitatunga in their own environment. (Mokoro and boat trips are dependent on the seasonal water level.) And if you’re wanting the most extraordinary leisure experience of your life, why don’t you take a boat ride to the lagoon and spend the afternoon swimming among the water lilies while sipping on an ice-cold gin and tonic?
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