Xigera Safari Lodge sits in a prime location in the heart of the Okavango Delta on private concession within the Moremi Game Reserve. The camp is currently being rebuilt and will re-open in June 2020 as one of the most exclusive and luxurious camps in Africa offering the ultimate flexibility for guests to shape the experience exactly as they desire. The philosophy at this stylish lodge says it all “anything, any time”.
The new Xigera Safari Lodge will be operated and managed by luxury boutique hotel group Red Carnation Hotels. The Red Carnation collection has 18 hotels worldwide, including the impeccable Oyster Box in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Xigera (pronounced “kee-jera”, meaning pied kingfisher) has been an important feature in Wilderness Safaris’ history since 1985 and in its new incarnation will remain part of Wilderness Safaris’ portfolio, although upgraded to a Wilderness Safaris Premier Camp. The rebuild is a no-expenses spared project and the finished camp will be unlike any other in the Delta.
Guests will not be shoe-horned into the standard safari timetable. Instead, the watchword is total flexibility and a completely bespoke approach to activities with no set times. Morning, afternoon and evening game drives are offered, as are private walking safaris, photographic workshops, private yoga, mekoro and glass-bottomed mekoro and motorboat trips, fishing in season and bush picnics, lunches or breakfasts. The team of guides is handpicked and led by Mike Myers who has 40 years’ experience as a wildlife and conservation specialist.
Xigera is situated in an area which has permanent water all year round, which makes it the perfect water and land activity camp and all the activities will be in total privacy because NG28 is a private concession, but one which benefits from the astonishingly rich and productive wildlife of the Moremi Game Reserve.
The lodge sits on stilts under a canopy of large trees and benefits from superb views of the floodplains. Elevated walkways connect the different areas of camp. The lodge will be constructed with undulating rooflines and scorched timber cladding. The suites will have views onto the lily-covered lagoons: the lily is the camp’s emblem and a lily-inspired pavilion will provide shade overlooking the water’s edge. The sunken lounge has a huge copper lily-design centrally suspended fireplace.
The lodge’s interiors are the spectacular result of a collaboration with the award-winning Southern Guild Gallery. Every piece in the lodge’s collection of furniture, sculpture and ceramics is a work of art in itself and has been specially commissioned and made for the lodge over a period of 18 months. The pieces will include works by more than 30 leading African artists and craftspeople.
The twelve suites are fully air-conditioned and there is one family suite suitable for two couples or a family. The suites all have separate lounge, bedroom and dressing room and private deck, daybed with gazebo and each can accommodate indoor and outdoor private dining for up to four people. The large bathrooms also feature outdoor showers. The suites are extraordinarily spacious: 104 sq metres internally with 80 sq metres outside decking and 168 sq metres family suite with 105 sq metres decking. Wifi, TV and safes are provided in all suites, room service is fully available.
Red Carnation properties are known for their attention to detail and personal touches- and service. With an impressive ratio of 105 staff to 24 guests you can expect incredibly attentive and personalised service . The African inspired menus are served by an interactive kitchen and the cellar serves wine from the owner’award winning vineyard, Bouchard Finlayson, as well as other top wines. Post dinner, the boma has a totemic firepit sculpture by Conrad Hicks around which to sit, enjoy a digestif and stargaze.
To work up an appetite for all the fabulous meals there is a state of the art gym as well as a stunning pool. This swimming pool’s dark water is rest for the eyes by comparison with the usual stark brilliant blue; the views from the pool over the river give the sense that you are immersed in the Delta’s natural waterways.
For something more cerebral the library, an air conditioned haven of peace, will feature talks from specialists. Wellness is a real feature of the camp. Two spa rooms will provide a wide range of treatments and treatments can also be given in the suites. Guest practitioners will create a programme based on wellness, mindfulness and holistic healing with the perfect backdrop of the pristine natural Delta environment.
Birding in Xigera is excellent and guests can see the Pel’s Fishing Owl, African Skimmer, Slaty Egret, Wattled Crane, Lesser Jacana and plenty of eagles, vultures, raptors and kingfishers. An abundance of game includes red lechwe, lion, spotted hyena and leopard and the highest density of the rare sitatunga antelope found in the Delta. Although Xigera is considered to be a permanent water camp, there is a large presence of lion, leopard, hyena and buffalo on the islands. These animals wade and swim between the islands in search of food.
The environmental credentials are impressive and central to the philosophy of the lodge which will be diesel free and entirely solar powered and will use a 400kW Tesla plant incorporating lithium iron batteries and Tesla invertors. The solar farm will be the largest in the Delta.
Xigera is reached by a 25 minute light aircraft connection from Maun airport to the Xigera airstrip, or around an hour and 20 minutes from Kasane airport. A 10-minute drive in a game drive vehicle will bring you to Xigera itself.
Children aged twelve and over are welcome and charged at a full adult rate.
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