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“Excellent” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Xugana Island Lodge

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Xugana Island Lodge
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3.5 of 5 Lodge   |   Xugana Lagoon, Botswana   |  
Hotel amenities
Valencia, Spain
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

Last year during our trip to Botswana, we stayed 2 nights at Xugana Island. What can I say? Throughout the whole stay, we enjoyed every minute. Xugana Lodge and all the experiences definetly were one of the highlights of our trip. We were greeted with a warm welcome by the manager, and then taken to our lodge. The lodge was just wonderfull, one night we even had a visit from a hippo that just came out of the lake in front of our door. All the staff made us feel like we were among friends. The safaris and trips to Hippo Pool were just great experiences, our guide was very knowledgeable and we enjoyed our time with him a lot. Thanks to all the staff for these three great days with you! We will definetly come back.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walbots, Director of Sales at Xugana Island Lodge, responded to this review, July 17, 2013
Dear Sonia S

Many thanks for your review of Xugana Island Lodge. We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us, enjoyed the beauty of our environment, the activities and of course the lodge.

We look forward to welcoming you back one day, your room is waiting!

With kindest regards - Your friends at Xugana Island Lodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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82 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

This lodge was the last on our safari, and a great finale to our trip! Our room was large and comfortable, with a lovely private deck, and large bathroom and shower. The guides and staff were wonderful, as was the ambiance during meals (the food was very good) and bonfire with the other guests. We were initially concerned that we would be disappointed because this lodge offers boat safaris and walking safaris, but no game drives. We were so wrong! We really enjoyed the mokoro experience at sunset and the beauty of the delta itself. But we also had very close up experiences with elephants, hippos and crocodiles. We also saw wild dogs as well as lots of birds and various antelope. Our guide was very knowledable and worked hard to provide a truly great experience for us. The walking safari was an educational experience as well as a welcome change from the 4x4 drives. We stayed three nights, while most guests stay only two, so we were given a choice of activities by our guide for our third day. We chose fishing for the afternoon which was lots of fun, and a second walking safari on a different island. As we were boating to the island, our guide got a tip that the wild dogs were on the runway, did we want to go there to see them instead of the walking safari? We did and off we went. Tracking the dogs with our guide was one of the highlights of our stay, and the spontaneity of our guide made it happen. We were very glad we chose this lodge and had a completely different experience from those of our other two lodges.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walbots, Director of Sales at Xugana Island Lodge, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
Wow!! What a great review of your experience with us. Many thanks for your kind words about your Xugana Island Lodge stay with us. We are very happy that you enjoyed your time with us. Indeed, to see wild-dog in the middle of the Okavango Delta is no common occurrence, but such luck could not have happened to better guests. Certainly we hope that your experience of the Okavango Delta from Xugana Island Lodge will deliver fond memories for you for a very long time. We look forward to hopefully welcoming you back one day? With warm safari greetings, Fred, Julia and the Xugana Island Lodge team.
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

Thank you to Walter at Safari online for booking this lodge.
This lodge offers you a relaxing stay, you are right on the water of Okavango delta.
This lodge offers a Morning and Night safari. you do both water and land safaris.
make sure you do the walking tour you will be so surprised to what you see.
Johnston our rangers was outstanding and Fun. He took us on a boat ride of our life. He soon become 007 James Bond. The food was yummy and the staff could not be more helpful.

Room Tip: All rooms are the same.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walbots, Director of Sales at Xugana Island Lodge, responded to this review, June 13, 2013
Many thanks as well for your kind review of Xugana Island Lodge. It is hugely important to us that feedback reflects the positive aspects of the service and experience we try to deliver and your review is accepted with gratitude. With warm safari greetings - Fred, Julia, Johnson and the Xugana Island Lodge team.
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Lossiemouth, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

We stayed at Xugana for our honeymoon trip and thoroughly loved it. The lodge lends itself to meeting people and a very sociable environment both due to the staff friendliness and that of the fellow guests. The activities on offer are perfect for seeing the Delta and the versatility of the guide to cater for your individual need is great! Very relaxing and the perfect place to relax! Thank you to all the staff and Lasty, our guide.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walbots, Director of Sales at Xugana Island Lodge, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
We are glad to see that you have returned home safely and thank you for your kind review of Xugana Island Lodge. We hope that your Honeymoon was indeed a journey of a lifetime? It was wonderful having you come and stay with us here at Xugana Island Lodge. With kind regards Fred, Julia, Lasty and the Xugana team.
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Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
65 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

Xugana was our second Desert and Delta lodge after Chobe Game Lodge which we were exceptionally impressed by so this one had something to live up to. We had been warned by our travel agent that this lodge disappointed some people due to having no game drives but we loved the change of pace and game walks (stalking prey in silence on Palm and Sausage islands) was a brilliant alternative to noisy hectic drives chasing game. We loved it. The lodge is perfectly placed on a lagoon that is mirror still in the mornings and evenings and there are colorful birds galore. It's great for a relax especially as you get the middle of the day to yourself. There is a pool with drinks esky and umbrellas which is lovely to relax by (if not to swim in in June's chill)!! The mokoro trip was ok. I should have been very peaceful but an annoying Spaniard on our trip in a nearby boat was too insensitive to keep his voice down and prevented silent cruising. Also, by guiding us through the reeds to find frogs, the person in the front seat gets covered in insects and seeds all coming in at eye level. Not great. The daily boat rides were terrific though. Rug up for sunrise and sunset as it gets cold but there is a blanket each on board. Running through the narrow papyrus channels over crystal clear water full of fish and crocs is incredible and is just as delightful each day. The hippo pool is a long trip and yes, like others have said, possibly a bit rushed it still, very enjoyable. We enjoyed the island walks more. The rush to a lagoon for sunset drinks after the hippo pool seems to be a Desert and Delta 'thing' and really unecessary if it means freezing your guests to death whilst racing at high speed simply to reach a predetermined point at sunset time when the day length is short anyway. I think this idea needs to be rethought. While I will still rate this place as five star for what they achieve in a remote location with limited power while trying to be green and terrifically friendly staff (especially the divine and welcoming Julie and great guide Timmy) there are some serious issues. The first is with the rooms. They are amazingly decorated and comfortable with a beautiful shower but its pot luck as to whether you get a good one. Rooms 1 and 2 are over the water which must be nice but we had room 6 set back a little in the bush. Nothing to complain about per se except that it's right beside the water pumping/heating station which will annoy you constantly and wake you up 30 minutes before your 'wake up call' at 5:30am. The rooms are also not enclosed. There is no glass and while one window has blinds another doesn't meaning you sleep almost at the same temperature as outside. In May that means its very cold at night. There is sufficient bedding to keep your body warm but not your head so you end up sleeping completely under heavy blankets. Not ideal. And don't think about getting up to go to the loo, it's freezing. Surely a curtain over the window by the desk could be installed to help with this a little? More importantly though, we stayed three nights and it would seem that this is atypical as most guests stayed only two nights. As a result we were not offered different activities on day two afternoon or day three morning instead being expected to go to the hippo pool again and palm island again. I think this shows a lack of appreciation of the guests as it suggests that by day three, you have already been catered for and since you're still here, just tack on with the newbies and do the same trips. Not great. If you go, stay two nights, it will be enough anyway. But as I said, still a five star review because it's a special place and we loved the bird watching.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms 1 or 2 if you want water views but if you want silence and like to be removed from the...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walbots, Director of Sales at Xugana Island Lodge, responded to this review, June 3, 2013
Many thanks for your review of Xugana Island Lodge. We are very pleased that you enjoyed your visit to the Okavango Delta and of course your stay with us. Your comments and suggestions have clear bearing on the manner in which we manage our activities and the lodge and we sincerely appreciate the detail into which you have recorded your opinions. Please be informed that we take these very seriously and have already shared these with Julia, Fred and Timmy as they will be very keen to improve on the manner in which they deliver service and welcome future travelers to Xugana Island Lodge. We certainly hope that your memories of the pristine landscapes, papyrus lined channels and safari walks on the islands will remain positively with you for a long time. With our warm safari greetings, Xugana Island Lodge Management and staff.
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Chatsworth
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

I only wish I could only describe the incredible beauty of the Okavango Delta you will see as a small boat drives you from the air strip to the lodge through tall golden grasses and papyrus. You travel on water so blue and clear, dotted with hundreds of blooming water lilies opened to the warming sun. The air is clean and delicious and you just know you are entering paradise.
Xugana Island Resort will not disappoint. Our accommodation was both charming and comfortable. We stayed in #2 which was over the water, an added bonus. We found it to be an ideal place to relax, listen to the colorful birds which are in abundance and submerge ourselves in its natural lushness.
Our knowledgeable and most personable guides Johnson, Lasty and Timmy provided us many fun-filled activities such as boating excursions and walking safaris on other islands. The mokoro ride through the peaceful lagoon ( free from crocs and hippos) was the highlight of our stay . Rennie , Hannah and John made sure our our every wish was granted. The meals were both plentiful and delicious and catered to our special requirements. We stayed three nights and loved every moment. We highly recommend this wonderful property with its outstanding staff! Desert/ Delta... you have done it again!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walbots, Director of Sales at Xugana Island Lodge, responded to this review, April 29, 2013
Your review of Xugana Island Lodge is also greatly appreciated. Many thanks for your kind words, especially those directed towards our staff, upon whom we are so dependent on to ensure that the expectations and success of any travelers visit with us is exceeded. Room 2 is waiting for your return. Many thanks and kind regards, Xugana Island Lodge Management and staff!
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Knysna, South Africa
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Xugana Island Lodge must be the perfect place to relax, unwind and enjoy nature at its best. The lodge itself is beautifully designed and has the atmosphere of a bygone era with its photographs of legendary settlers, its authentic light switches, brass fittings and specially crafted furniture. One feels in another world. The boat activities, fishing and game walks on nearby islands are most enjoyable. The staff is excellent catering to one's every need. This must be a perfect place for a honeymoon - remote, peaceful, beautiful.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walbots, Director of Sales at Xugana Island Lodge, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Many thanks for your kind review of Xugana Island Lodge. We are delighted that you enjoyed our facilities and your stay with us was an enjoyable one. We look forward to welcoming you back hopefully soon. Kindest regards Fred and the Xugana Island Lodge team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Xugana Island Lodge

Address: Xugana Lagoon, Botswana
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Okavango Delta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 66 Specialty Lodging in Okavango Delta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Xugana Island Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Xugana Island Lodge, situated on the shaded fringe of the island, accommodates just 16 guests in reed and thatch lagoon-facing en-suite chalets with private viewing decks. Xugana Island has one of the most spectacular views of the Okavango Delta as its location on the edge of the Xugana Lagoon adds value to this setting. Accommodation at Xugana Island Lodge is on a fully inclusive basis. All meals, beverages and guided activities are included in the cost of your stay. Experience the heart of the Okavango Delta on guided boat, mokoro and walking activities. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Xugana Island Hotel Okavango Delta
Xugana Island Lodge Botswana/Okavango Delta

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