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“Island Oasis”

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Xugana Island Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Houston, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
205 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
“Island Oasis”
Reviewed June 28, 2012

This lovely island oasis is all that other recent reviewers have said and more. A full renovation in 2011 led to a new deck, new rooms and furniture, and general revamping. The property is in a garden on the edge of a lagoon - what a perfect site. Everything is comfortable, roomy, upgraded, in excellent condition. Can't say enough good things about the property, staff or food. The staff sang here at dinner, as they do at other properties, but this group did it with conviction. That tells me they either like to sing or they love their jobs. Our guide Steve was knowledgeable about every bird, animal and plant we saw. The walking safari was so different from the usual game drives. The ride to the hippo pool was very long but gave lots of opportunity to see more birds, more plants. Bird life is very rich here. The mokoro ride was a bit ho-hum for us except the tiny frongs were pretty special. We were there in June; the weather was cool and those early morning boat rides need gloves, warm coats, etc.

There was a honeymoon couple the first night we were there. They sat down to dinner and were immediately whisked away to a private table. The couple received a bottle of champagne from the lodge, which they asked to be served and shared with the other guests around the firepit. So we toasted the newlyweds and enjoyed the drinks. Made for a very special evening.

This camp was recommended by our SAA Vacations rep because she had stayed here and loved it. After a long driving vacation in Namibia and two other Desert and Delta game driving camps, this water based camp brought a freshness and sense of relaxation that I didn't know we needed until we got here. It is total relaxation, total peace. Whether it is the water environment, the absolute quiet, the beautiful camp or whatever, this place was a great finale to our Botswana camp experience. In some ways, this camp is more about the camp itself and the water locale than it is about the activities (sort of like more about the journey than the destination). The activities were fine and fun and different, but the peace of this place is just extraordinary. Go.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank MargaretEllen1950
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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159 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
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English first
Carlsbad, California
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2012

Xugana Island Lodge is remote and intimate. It takes a plane trip onto a grass airstrip and a ride by boat to reach and lies in the heart of the Okavango Delta in Botswana. A beautiful property, the Xugana Island Lodge is one of Desert and Delta's sweetheart spots. Surrounded by lily pads and night croaking frogs, the updated lodge has sumptuous rooms with private bath and balconies. A very nice new deck faces the the lagoon and hosts the tables for daily meals. Activities include lots of water bird and wildlife spotting as well as walks for those who wish to stretch their legs. Manager John Jr and his entire team including Meshack, Angie and Otie made us feel so welcome. Each guest's name is remembered and each person is treated as someone very special. The food is terrific and the guides are both knowledgeable and entertaining. Our guides Clifford, Johnson and Steve were all really terrific. A five star experience worth every penny.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lori C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2012

Xugana is a must do for a fun and different safari experience. It has recently been remodeled so the facilities are great and the staff are simply wonderful. Some of the most warm and loving people we have ever met. John and Angie, the managers, went out of their way to make sure we had a great time and that our every need was met. Dining together with some of the staff every night under the stars was very informative and fun. The "choir" performance that the staffed put on for us our last night was truly a joy. Lasty, our guide, was awesome and had incredible knowledge about the animals, birds and the complex eco system of the delta. We did safaris by motor boat, dug out canoe and island walks. Lasty even took us fishing one afternoon and the chef prepared our catch for dinner. This is a great place and deserves a strong 4 star rating if not 5.

Room Tip: While all the rooms have water views, #'s 1&2 are the best. Also, make sure you do the islan...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tim D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karratha
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2011

The staff at this hotel were really the icing on the cake. Dinner is at one big table, and the staff ate with us - they were so friendly and chatty I am convinced Botswanan people are the nicest people on earth now. The hotel was very remote (small plane ride to get there - not for the weak stomached though! Definitely take pills or whatever you use for motion sickness) but it is incredibly romantic. We went here in May 2009 for our honeymoon and it was lovely. We did go at the wrong time of year though - after wet season all you will see is Hippos, so make sure you do an 'on land' portion also. There's not much to do a the lodge except relax, read, or play board games, but it really is so peaceful!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank KylieKarratha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darnestown
Level 6 Contributor
171 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2011

We arrived at Xugana Lodge after a many hour, delightful boat ride from the Moremi Reserve where we had been tent camping, so we were predisposed to enjoy Xugana Lodge. We were met with smiles and refreshing towels, cool drinks and introductions to the staff. We settled in and then assembled for another, 'local' motor boat ride to the hippo pool through magnificent waters and grasses with Coca as our guide. He explained and described and interacted with us throughout the ride. The next morning we again assembled for a boat ride to an island where we spent some time on a walking safari, again with Coca as our guide to all things natural. This walk was one of the more beautiful experiences we had in Botswana. After lunch we hit the boats and arrived at a private dock where we transferred to 'mokoros', actually fiberglass replicas of dugout canoes, in which we were poled through a quiet water way where we could see animals and insects. We were fortunate to have Coca, yet again!, as our poler/guide and he shared his knowledge with us. He is a born teacher. These three different exposures to the natural world, by slow motor boat, by foot, and by water level mokoro, gave us a very special perspective we had not gotten on safari with Land Cruisers. In addition to these three scheduled experiences, the food, the staff and the facilities all combined to make these two days a highlight of our two weeks in Botswana.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank mikeandlindaR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
538 reviews
137 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 440 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2011

Xugana was so different from Chobe and Savute, that it is difficult to compare the three. But we enjoyed immensely the boat trips through the Okavango Delta and the knowledgeable guides who led us on the trips. The highlight of our entire trip to Africa was a half day walk across one of the islands, where we encountered dozens of wild game and learned more than the rest of the trip combined. It was a sort of hands on experience, learning about and touching everything from "elephant chewing gum" to the fruit and nuts of the marula tree. And the beautiful and wildly varied bird life! Good thing digital cameras were invented, or we would have had to take two suitcases full of film for the photos we made during our stay here.

Landing on the grass airstrip, we were immediately taken to a waiting small motorboat and transported to the lodge, which faces a large expanse of water and is maintained perfectly. Eating out on the open deck three meals a day, we could enjoy the bird life close up and enjoy the company of the other visitors. Eating with the staff at the table gave us a chance to ask all the questions we had forgotten about during the daily tours, and the ambiance sitting around the fire pit in the evening was outstanding.

Rooms were very nice, and the supply of hot water this far out was amazing. We would return here in a minute.

We had made our reservations through a firm called Siyabona, with which we had a significant dispute over conversion rates that was finally settled to our satisfaction. We encourage you to get your tour priced in South African rand if you use them (and perhaps any other firm, as well), so that will not be an issue.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank Charlie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kiah
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2011

We stayed 2 nights at Xugana Lodge and couldn't fault it. Everything was fantastic from the moment we were picked up from the airstrip by our lovely guide and taken to the lodge through the delta on a boat. The rooms are beautiful, service wonderful, food and wine lovely. The atmosphere is relaxed, it's clean and we thoroughly enjoyed sitting round the fire on the deck which overlooks the water, enjoying drinks and chats with the others. The staff put on an amazing singing and dancing performance which we all joined in with - it was just exceptional. The tour guide was great - knowledgeable and laid back and we had great tours both on boat and land.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JennyKiah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Xugana Island Lodge

Property: 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 #12 of 72 Specialty Lodging in Okavango Delta
Hotel Class:4 star — Xugana Island Lodge 4*
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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