Xugana Island Lodge is situated over the magnificent Xugana Lagoon which is widely recognised as the most spectacular permanent water site in the entire Okavango Delta. The Okavango River rises in the highlands of Angola yet never reaches the sea; instead, its immense waters empty over the sands of the Kalahari, where the great thirst of the desert is quenched in a wilderness of freshwater lagoons, channels and islands.
Located within a private concession, Xugana takes full advantage of this magnificent site. The main area features an expansive deck and al fresco dining area that overlook the vast, pristine body of water that makes up the permanent Okavango Delta. Areas of relaxation are the lounge, bar and dining area which are set under the Ebony and African Mangosteen trees. The swimming pool, located within the mature gardens in the centre of the island, is a perfect place to relax.
Xugana is a private and intimate lodge that accommodates up to sixteen guests in raised, reed and thatch lagoon facing chalets, with en-suite facilities and private viewing decks optimally placed on the shaded fringe of the island.
Being located in a private concession allows Xugana the opportunity to offer guests a range of activities giving you a true Okavango Delta safari. All activities are conducted by experienced professional guides. Explore the crystal-clear waterways by mokoro or motorboat for the chance to enjoy the magnificent variety of bird, plant and reptile species found in the area.
Experienced guides will also take you on a guided nature walk on surrounding islands in the concession, giving you the chance to experience nature up close and personal. Day and night game drives are also available within the private concession for a chance to search for the prolific wildlife found in the area. Catch and release fishing for bream and tiger fish is also offered as an added activity at the lodge (season dependent).
About the Okavango Delta
The largest inland delta in the world, the Okavango Delta is the most unexpected wonder – water present in a desert. The broad Okavango River sinks into the dry sands of the Kalahari Desert, creating a lush and waterlogged oasis with crystal clear lagoons and channels, reeded islands and fertile floodplains. Dubbed “the river that never finds the sea”, this magical oasis spreads over more than 15 500 km² (almost 6 000 square miles) and yet is so fragile that, if it were denied water for even a decade, it would revert to a semi-desert.
This breath-taking environment constantly adapts and changes with the ebb and flow of the floodwaters that seasonally inundate large portions of the Delta. Although dry for two-thirds of the year, during the winter months the rising floodwaters create a maze of marshes, small wooded islands and shallow lagoons. Water lilies and other aquatic plants flourish in the shallow water, while water birds inhabit the banks of papyrus. As relatively little water can be found elsewhere during this time, the wildlife is drawn to the clear waters of the Delta.
On the edges of the Delta, where land blurs with water, breeding herds of elephant splash gently through shallow channels, the long necks of a family of giraffe materialise slowly out of the Delta skyline and graceful sitatunga antelope hide in the reeds. It is a place where you can wonder at the antics of wild dog in the morning and cast a line for tiger fish in the afternoon, wake in the dappled shade of a forest and enjoy dinner beneath the boughs of a massive baobab at full moon.
Beautiful little reed frogs cling to the water grasses and a variety of incredible bird species make their appearance, from jewelled kingfishers and bee-eaters to ponderous herons and cranes and solemn-looking owls. Red lechwe scamper through the shallows and wild cat, serval and pangolin can be spotted at night, when the moon reflects off the backs of a family of hippo coming out of the water to graze, turning them into slabs of shining silver.
The Okavango Delta is home to a large number of species, including some that are specially adapted to the semi-aquatic lifestyle, like the elegant red lechwe and shy sitatunga antelope. Lion prides, cheetah, leopard and African wild dog may be encountered, while hippo resides in deeper channels and lagoons. Honey badgers are observed during daylight hours. Roan and sable antelope favour taller grass in open woodlands and families of dwarf and banded mongoose occupy large termite mounds.
Graceful giraffe, with their impossibly long necks, and herds of zebra can be encountered on the floodplains. Lion, as well as other predators, can also be found in the area, particularly in the drier areas. Although predominantly nocturnal and difficult to spot, leopard occurs in the dense forest are the water’s edge. The sparkling channels teem with a variety of fish, while hundreds of bird species, frogs and insects inhabit the reeded banks.