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Reviewed May 1, 2015

My husband and I recently stayed 3 nights at the andBeyond Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp and had a wonderful time.

Nxabega, which is located in a 25 000 hectare (61 775 acre) exclusive wildlife concession on the edge of the Okavango Delta, bordering the Moremi Game Reserve is the ideal camp to combine all the exciting aspects of the Okavango –game viewing by 4x4 , on foot, by motorized boat and traditional mokoro.

The camp is small and exclusive with only 9 tents. The tents are set on raised wooden platforms underneath Ebony Trees. The tents are simple, but very comfortable with a kingsize bed, dressing table, chair, bedside tables and reading lamps, luggage rack and a standing fan (no ceiling fan or air conditioning). In the bathroom area at the back of the tent is a wardrobe with shelves and hanging space. The bathroom consists of a shower, toilet and basin – all open plan. The bathroom area can be closed off from the “bedroom area”, by canvas flaps.

The tents have plenty of towels as well as a sarong and a bathrobe(no slippers). The bathroom has all the usual amenities such as soap, shampoo, body lotion, showers caps etc. There is also a torch, hairdryer, air horn(for emergencies, as there are no in room telephones) & bug spray. There is no minibar in the room, but there is a cooler box with mineral water and if you want anything else, you simply write your request down and your butler will make sure you get it. The camp has electricity – powered by generator. This is switched off an hour after the last guest has gone to bed and switched on at around 04h00 the next morning. The tents each have a private veranda with 2 camp chairs and views overlooking the reeded floodplain. You are so close to the water, that at night you can hear the hippos eating the grass outside your tent and hear their splashing as they make their way back into deeper waters as the sun rises.

The guest area consists of an indoor dinning area and sitting area under thatch. There is also a seating area and dinning available on the deck with umbrellas for shade. Whilst there is usually someone on hand to assist with bar service, you are also encouraged to help yourself just in case – a great idea!

The pool area is lovely and has a decent size pool as well as a spacious deck, with loungers, towels and umbrellas. It’s the perfect place to refresh after a morning safari and to relax and take it the sights, sounds and smells of the Delta. Close by is the well stocked safari shop – which is a must! The lodge has a masseuse called Rose who is excellent and the massages are done in the privacy of your tent.
There is wi-fi in the guest area, so you can keep in touch. No mobile reception though.

A typical day at Nxabega starts with a wake up at around 05h30. At 06h00 you meet for a cup of tea or coffee, with a light breakfast of yoghurt, fruit and pastries before setting off for the morning. Return to the lodge around 11h00 or so, depending on what you see. On arrival back at the lodge you sit down and enjoy a delicious brunch, which is in the form of a tray consisting of salads, , cheese, breads, fruit and a hot dish. If you prefer, you can order a hot breakfast, so eggs, bacon etc. After a siesta or time at the pool, you meet again at 16h00 for afternoon tea. Afternoon tea has a wonderful selection of sweet and savoury snacks, as well as some delicious iced tea or coffee. Return to the Camp around 19h30 for dinner under African skies. Dinner is rarely in the same place and over a 3 night stay, I enjoyed dinner next to the pool, in the boma and in the bush, which was magical.

Safari activities include a game viewing by 4x4. The vehicles all have individual bucket seats which are very comfortable and a canvas roof, which offers protection from the strong African sun. Off road driving (always done sensitively)allows you to get up close to the area’s exceptional wildlife. Afternoon drives continue after night, allowing for an opportunity to see the many animals that are more active at night.

Nxabega is able to offer mokoro and boat activities all year round. The motorised boats are lightweight aluminium boats which are able to travel easily through the water. Depending on how hot it is, the boats have canvas awnings for shade.
We enjoyed a great morning of fishing with Dave (the regional habitat & field manager) and exploring the hidden channels around Nxabega. Fishing in the Delta is seasonal and always on a catch and release basis. It’s great fun even if the fish aren’t biting and an ideal early morning or late afternoon activity.

The Delta is probably best known for its Mokoro rides. These sturdy boats used to be hand crafted out of large Delta trees, but most of the boats used in the Delta are fibre glass replicas, to prevent the cutting down and depletion of the Delta’s magnificent trees. Mokoros are a great way to go game viewing. As they are not motorized, they allow you to glide silently through the maze like channels and shallow lagoons of the Delta, allowing you to approach the wildlife silently as they are not scared off by a motor. A walking safari with a licensed guide is also available on request.
Helicopter flights can be arranged at an extra cost.

Nxabega means “Place of the Giraffe,”, and besides giraffe, there is a huge variety of game and birdlife to be seen. Animals include the semi-aquatic red lechwe and shy sitatunga, rafts of hippos, multicoloured reed frogs, elephant, buffalo, roan, sable, impala, elephant, lion and leopard. There is plenty of game in and around the camp as well, with monkeys, impala and bushbuck being spotted on the walk from the guest area to my tent. Even the elephant came for a morning visit and passed very close to the guest area. Enroute to the bush dinner the one night we spotted two huge male lions, with flowing black manes – who looked like the ultimate kings of the Delta. The Okavango is a haven for birding enthusiasts and whilst the Pel’s fishing owl remained elusive, but we did see a whole range of birds including the fish eagle whose call is iconic, wattled crane, saddle billed stork & african jacana to name a few. Thanks to Dave, we saw for the first time the greater swamp warbler and Retz’s helmetshrike. A highlight was on an afternoon drive while following wild dog tracks we happened to stop on a rise overlooking a section of the Delta when we saw a large crocodile take a reedbuck which was swimming across the channel –over in 5 seconds, but phew – very dramatic.

The staff at Nxabega were outstanding. Everyone, from the night security to the housekeeping was friendly and smiling. Our ranger, Fred and his tracker Kenny had a great sense of humor whilst our butler English, was never far away. Patrick, the manager is amazing and his genuine warmth, humor and hospitality shine through. His reputation precedes him throughout the Delta, as when I mentioned I was heading there next, previous Nxabega guests mentioned how much they enjoyed his company.
I will always remember Patrick’s greeting on arrival, when he greeted us with “ Welcome Home” . Nxabega felt just like that – home, and I miss it already!

Room tip: All the rooms have views overlooking the Delta, and all private
Date of stay: April 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank Suzie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2015

We stayed at a total of 3 camps/lodges in the Okavango Delta in Botswana during this 10 day safari. Nxabega was hands down our favorite.

The best thing? The people. They were friendly, warm, and made us feel like we were staying with family, but with the finest service one could ask for. And we've stayed in the Peninsulas and Four Seasons of the world...this was some of the best service we've experienced. Special shout-out to Moses and our guide Kux, who we're now friends with on Facebook.

The camp is luxurious, but still in touch with nature. And the food? So outstanding you cannot believe you are in the bush. We live in Paris, and have not ever had that many consistently phenomenal meals. Everything is organic and homemade, from the desserts to the bread. Anyway, can't say enough about the experience we had with at Nxabega, except for that it was truly and uniquely special. Thank you!!

Date of stay: April 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank afg215
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2015

From the moment we arrived on the airstrip and met Chika, our guide, our two boys (age 3 & 6) were instantly taken by him and he continued to impress us with his interaction with them and us throughout our stay. Our arrival at the lodge was met by the staff singing a welcome song which was very welcoming and the service level the Manager has created is second to none, they discreetly took care of our every need and made us feel welcome with our young boys who are full of energy. Nothing was left out and all of the luxuries of home were at hand. The food was delicious and we particularly loved the brunch! Continental breakfast is served at 6am then off on your game drive to return to a tapas style brunch which was divine! The outdoor bush dinner was incredible, gas lanterns hanging from the trees as well as dotted around the bush, a fire pit to sit around, and divine food! The tents were comfortable and it was lovely to sleep hearing the natural noises outside - the hungry hippo wandering outside our room! We had two tents side by side as we were a family of 4, but it worked out well. There is no WiFi in the rooms, but at the main lodge and is free. The Safari game drives each day just seemed to get better and better each time as we came up close and personal with all of the animals. We LOVED Chika, he is the best guide we have ever had and was funny, informative, a very safe considerate driver, patient with the boys and their questions and answered them in a way they could understand. He was endearing and hilarious with our young son and both boys were in tears when we left as they enjoyed themselves so much. TT (our Tracker) was experienced and awesome in spotting all of the animals and we feel very excited by all that we saw. Definitely a highlight is the Mokoro (dugout canoe) trip with sundowners and snacks in hand whilst on mirror still water watching the most spectacular sunsets. Also the river boat safari through the reeds is worth doing also, a different way to have a sundowner but worth doing. We all had a great laugh when taking off on the plane to see Chika, TT & another guide running along side the air strip holding hands sending us off with big smiles on our faces! We truly loved every minute of our stay and thank you Nxabega for your hospitality - what the Manager has done with the team to make the service so good is clear to see, they all seemed to love their job which showed in the service they gave. There is nothing I could fault about the lodge, it was comfortable, clean, relaxing, had all the amenities, and staff that are lovely and cater for all of your needs without any fuss. We would definitely recommend this place and would return again. Its not going to blow the budget by staying here.

Date of stay: April 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank ukmorrows
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2015

This was an amazing and very different experience for me. I am very used to my luxuries and taking three small planes into the delta was not one of them! when i arrived i was ill and all staff continually checked on me and asked if i wanted a doctor flown in! this was very comforting for me to know that in such a remote area i was still being cared for. The tents were great and food was delicious. Only annoying thing is that the Monkeys have a liking for sugar & salt and constantly try and steal your food from your trey and plate. This can be improved by staff standing on "Monkey watch". Water was hot, food was delicious and Elephants wandering between the tents was even better! we had amazing outdoor dining experiences and I was treated to an "early birthday suprise" courtesy of the team! Four nights was the perfect amount of time. Power is run by generator and is turned off around midnight and is back on around 4am ready for Safari. Great option!

Room tip: Tent 4 is nice and close to the main tent whilst maintaining privacy!
Date of stay: March 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank jordys_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2015

My wife and I spent two nights here. As with every &Beyond camp, it's the people that make the difference. The company is owned by the Getty and Eindhoven families, and the owners clearly understand that if you take care of the staff, the staff will take care of the guests.

Although the camp adheres to the &Beyond luxury standards, it's not over-the-top luxury that you'll see at nearby Sandibe or Ngala Tented. And the price reflects that. So if money is no object and you want to be blown away by the amenities like outdoor showers, enormous common areas and private plunge pools, this may not be for you. If you want to be treated like royalty without paying a king's ransom, then this is a great choice.

Two days is probably enough however. The highlights are the boat trip and the mokoro (dugout canoe) trip -- you won't get these on other safaris. And having sundowner drinks and snacks on water so mirror-still that you can see every detail of the blazing sunset reflected in the water is not to be missed. The flip side is that this area has less wildlife than, say, Sandibe, where every five minutes you're driving past something interesting. A day for water activities and a day for game drives is perfect; we then flew off to another camp in Botswana with higher concentrations of wildlife. Contact an &Beyond consultant by email and they will steer you in the right direction.

Date of stay: February 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Tim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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