Where is Xigera situated?
Xigera lies within the Okavango Delta, built on ‘Paradise Island’, a haven among the wetlands in Botswana’s wider Moremi Game Reserve.
How will we reach you?
The nearest major international airport is in Johannesburg, South Africa. From there, take a two-hour connecting flight to Botswana’s Maun airport, and from there it’s a very short, 25-minute light aircraft connection hop to the Xigera airstrip (if you’re coming from Kasane airport, this journey will take around an hour and 20 minutes). A 10-minute drive will bring you to Xigera itself.
How spacious are the suites?
The Family Suite is 168 sqm inside, with 105 sqm outside decking, whilst the other Suites are 104 sqm inside with 80 sqm outside decking.
Is WI-FI available?
There is Wi-Fi in the Suites and in the library. Please note that the WI-FI is strong enough to send emails and WhatsApp messages but not to stream a movie, for example. There is no phone signal.
Are the suites air conditioned?
Yes, each suite is air conditioned, with tinted glass windows to keep the rooms at even temperatures.
Are children welcome?
Children aged 12 and over are welcome at Xigera Safari Lodge and the full adult rate is charged. Children aged between 12 and 16 must share a Suite with one adult. For safety reasons, children aged under 13 years may not participate in walking or mekoro activities.
Is there a laundry facility?
Daily laundry services (weather and water supply permitting) are included in the Fully Inclusive rate. A mesh laundry bag is supplied for underwear which will be machine-washed and returned in the same mesh bag. Environmentally friendly detergent for optional handwashing is available in the rooms or can be provided on request.
Is there drinking water?
We purify water by using reverse osmosis - passing water through various semi-permeable membranes to remove tannins and unwanted elements in the water. The water is then sent through a mineralising process so that guests can drink the water out of the taps. We also provide bottled water in glass bottles for both still and sparkling water.
Are the safari vehicles equipped with binoculars?
What do the safari vehicles offer?
There are four 4-seater vehicles and three 6-seater vehicles, each designed for the ultimate comfort and fully equipped for wildlife photography. The seat covers are cotton canvas; the armrests move up and down and can be locked in position for photography. There is space for a table, a cold box, a hot box and a picnic basket.
Can all dietary requirements be catered for?
Yes, with the exception of Kosher or Halaal.
What is the best time of year to visit?
There are good reasons to visit all year round. The high season is southern hemisphere winter and the foliage has dropped off in the autumn, so there is better visibility for seeing animals. The southern hemisphere autumn months are wonderful because the temperatures are slightly cooler and there is different animal activity that is of interest (similarly in the spring months). December is good because the first rains have fallen and the young impala lambs are being born. Fishing happens from March to December; the summer months have more Palearctic and intra-African migratory birds.
What kind of temperatures should be expected?
From late September to May, temperatures are in the 30s centigrade, while October and November are hot - in the 40s. From May to August, expect midday temperatures in the 20s, with occasional cold fronts where the midday temperature stays in the teens.
What wildlife might we see?
Situated on one of the Okavango’s key waterways, Xigera Safari Lodge is surrounded by picturesque papyrus swamps and wooded islands, and is renowned for its very high density of sitatunga antelope. The area is known for remarkable mammal sightings including red lechwe, spotted-necked otter, elephant, buffalo, reedbuck and tsessebe. Predators include lions, spotted hyenas and leopards. Guests are sometimes treated to close-up views of lions or leopards using the footbridge connecting Xigera to the next island. 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 should we pack?
In general, when packing for a safari holiday to Botswana, less is more. The maximum luggage allowance on charter aircraft flights is 20kg (44lb) per person, plus one piece of hand luggage or a camera bag. Where space allows, additional seats may be booked for excess luggage. Each additional seat that you book enables you to travel with an additional 70kg (154lb) of luggage.
The shape and format of your luggage is just as important as its weight, as it will need to fit inside the cargo pod under each aircraft. We strongly recommend that you use soft-sided, holdall-type bags rather than rigid or framed suitcases. In the event that your bag does not fit in the cargo pod, it will need to be carried inside in the aircraft and charged for as excess luggage.
Lightweight, neutral-coloured clothing is best. There is no dress code in our camps. Our camp offers a full, complimentary laundry service, meaning that you can reduce how much clothing you bring. We recommend that you don’t bring any camouflage-patterned clothing, as wearing this is discouraged in Botswana.
- Casual clothing and flip-flops to wear around camp
- Long pants and shirts for safari activities
- A hat (preferably with a wide brim)
- Sunglasses with high UV-resistance
- Sunblock with a minimum factor 30 and a quality lip salve
- A warm sweater or fleece for cooler mornings and evenings
- Closed shoes for walking safaris (trail shoes are probably best)
- Light waterproof (although we provide ponchos in our game drive vehicles)
- A beanie, scarf and gloves in winter
- Swimming costume or board shorts
- A kikoi/sarong – incredibly useful
- Small, new USD notes for tipping (optional)
- Personal medication
- Camera, lenses and accessories
- Cables, chargers and adaptors for your devices
- International plug adaptor (so you can plug in your electronics)
- Small torch
What is the currency in Botswana?
The Botswana currency is the Pula, and there are ATM cash points in most major towns. Credit cards and US dollars are widely accepted.
What does the rate include?
The fully inclusive rate includes accommodation, all meals, all activities (including game drives, boating, seasonal catch-and-release fishing, mekoro excursions, walking and scheduled yoga classes), use of the gym, pool and library, park fees, accommodation taxes, applicable tourism levies and all relevant Value Added Tax (VAT), all non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages (with the exception of wines, spirits and champagnes on the Premium List), daily laundry and in-suite WI-FI.
Discretionary gratuities, all purchases from the Xigera Boutique, private yoga classes, all spa treatments and spa products, cigars and Premium List drinks are excluded from this rate and must be settled directly in camp.
How can I pay for extras?
We can accept cash payments for Xigera Boutique purchases, Spa treatments, Spa products, private yoga classes or gratuities to guides or staff in Botswana Pula (BWP), Pounds Sterling (GBP), Euros, South African Rand (ZAR) and US Dollars (but only notes dated later than 2007). We accept MasterCard and Visa credit cards, but we are unable to accept payments by American Express or Diners Club credit cards, or any form of debit card.
What are your guidelines on tipping?
Tipping is of course entirely at the discretion of guests. As a guide, we suggest the following amounts:
Guides and/or Specialist Guides – US$10 per guest per day, paid directly to the guide as a once-off payment at the end of the stay
Mekoro Polers and Trackers – US$5 per poler/tracker per guest, per day
General Camp Staff – US$10 per guest per day, placed in the communal tip box to be distributed equally amongst all the staff
Massage Therapists – US$5 per treatment
What is your smoking policy?
Smoking is permitted in selected areas of the Lodge only and these will be pointed out by the staff. Please note that we have a strict non-smoking policy in our main area, vehicles, boats, mekoro and guest suites (except on the outside decks). On activities, a stop will be made for refreshments, at which time smokers may have a cigarette. We ask smokers to be conscious at all times of the risk of causing a fire, and of the impact of both cigarettes and e-cigarettes on their fellow guests.