Nxamaseri Island Lodge
Okavango Panhandle, Botswana
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NXAMASERI ISLAND LODGE RATES: Nxamaseri Island Lodge Rates
ISLAND LODGE - OKAVANGO PANHANDLE, BOTSWANA
Nxamaseri is a small privately owned luxury lodge
built on a heavily wooded island in one of the world's most renowned
wilderness areas. This camp is situated in the so-called "Panhandle" of
the Okavango Delta. The Panhandle is surrounded by tranquil river channels
and expansive floodplains; the lodge affords guests a fantastic and very
affordable way to experience all the very best the Okavango wetland system
has to offer. The specialties of camps along the Panhandle are angling
and birding. For those interested in the very best of either - then a
trip to Nxamaseri is certain to provide a fabulous experience.
one of the oldest camps in the Okavango Delta. It
was established in the early 1980's by PJ and
Barney Bestelink. PJ, an experienced guide
and lodge owner, spent months exploring the permanent
water channels of the Delta in search of the
perfect location for his home and camp. He
favored the Nxamaseri Channel for its beauty
and seclusion and eventually elected to build
his camp on a large, shady island hidden in the
Nxamaseri waterways. PJ, an avid fisherman,
used Nxamaseri Island Lodge to pioneer fly-fishing
in Botswana. He remains one of the most
experienced fly-fishermen in Southern Africa
and the camp is Botswana's premier fly-fishing
For images of Nxamaseri, click Nxamaseri
The main lodge complex is
centrally situated with spectacular raised views over the Nxamaseri channel
and surrounding floodplains. Wooden boardwalks lead to six private brick
and thatch chalets with outside decks overlooking the waterways. Bathrooms
are en-suite with flush toilets and hot and cold shower facilities. Three-bed
chalets are available.
meals a day are offered, with times depending on
the activities organized for the day. The lodge
has a fully stocked bar, which includes a good
to the Lodge is permitted; there is a car-park
just off the main road and the staff will meet
you there with a 4x4 vehicle for the half-hour
transfer to the Lodge. During the flood
season (May - September), there is no access
to the island by vehicle or foot and guests
are transferred from the airstrip or car park
For those seeking the ultimate
in tranquility, a morning or afternoon activity on a mokoro (a traditional
dugout canoe) is a must. This is a great way to explore the smaller channels
and backwaters of the Okavango. Fishing and birding remain the specialities
at Nxamaseri Island Lodge and there is a renewed focus on excursions
to the sacred San site, Tsodilo Hills. For non-fishermen, Nxamaseri is
still a perfect destination to experience the soul of Africa. With new
emphasis on décor and cuisine, the lodge provides an exclusive
and revitalising getaway for the traveller wanting to experience the
tranquil and unique nature of Africa.
In addition to birding, fishing, excursions to Tsoldilo
Hills and mekoro trips, Nxamaseri offers excellent
guided walks on nearby islands, accessed by boat
or mokoro, giving you the opportunity to experience
the intimacy and peace of unspoiled Africa. Exploring
the islands on foot is an effective way of relaxing
and finding the more timid, forest-dwelling birds
in this area.
The bird life at Nxamaseri is prolific with over
350 different species having been recorded. Viewing is done from motorized
boats, mokoro, and on foot. The area offers a variety of interesting
environments for viewing, which includes the Okavango River and lagoons,
floodplains, palm islands and the drier mainland. Species of interest
include the Pel's Fishing Owl, African Skimmer, Slaty Egret, Whitebacked
Night Heron, Wattled Crane and Western Banded Snake Eagle as well as
numerous species of Bee-eaters, Herons, Kingfishers, Ducks, Geese and
at Nxamaseri is spectacular throughout the year and the area boasts one
of the densest concentrations of African Fish Eagles in Southern
viewing can be done on foot, from mokoro, on boats or from the comfort
of the Lodge itself. A highlight at Nxamaseri is the night-time
boat trips, when one can often see the rare and shy birds for which
this area is renowned.
The lodge has over the last
twenty years earned the reputation as one of Southern Africa's finest
destinations for lure and fly-fishing for both Tiger Fish and Bream.
It has been listed in many fishing journals and various books as such,
and in a forthcoming book on top fly-fishing destinations throughout
the world, it is the only African destination that has been included.
The Tiger Fish is Africa's most sought after angling species, and particularly
during the peak season months of August to December, the waters around
Nxamaseri provide excellent catches with regards to both size and numbers.
Both Tiger Fish and Bream are caught throughout the year. Other species
caught are African Pike and Catfish. All fishing equipment is provided
but guests are welcome to bring their own.
The lodge carries standard lure-fishing equipment;
however, for fly fishing we suggest you bring your own gear. There
are Tigerfish flies available for purchase at the Lodge as these flies
are fairly specific.
A private, specialist fly-fishing guide is available at extra cost on
a per-day, per-group basis.
About 40 kilometres to the
west of the Panhandle lies a rocky outcrop known as Tsodilo Hills. Rising
400 metres above the dry Kalahari landscape, Tsodilo boasts one of Africa's
richest collections of San rock art with over 3,500 individual paintings.
Tsodilo is a full day trip from Nxamaseri, which includes
a picnic lunch stop amongst the hills.
Mahango Game Park
Nxamaseri offers day trips
to this Namibian parkland, which is situated a mere 70v kilometres from
Nxamaseri. Mahango is one of Southern Africa's prime wilderness areas
for Sable and Roan Antelope. It also has good populations of Elephant,
Hippo, Buffalo, Kudu, Wildebeest, Sitatunga and Red Lechwe.
The dry season extends from
April through to October. The hottest and driest month is October,
just prior to the first rains. It is during the winter months of
May, June and July that the annual floodwater enters Botswana from Namibia
and makes its way down the Panhandle to the Okavango swamps. At
Nxamaseri, the water is at its highest and clearest in June and July. Temperatures
during these winter months average around 72°F, but evenings can
get quite chilly. It is advisable to bring warm jackets, scarves
and hats, particularly for the boat trips at night.
Nxamaseri Lodge has recently been
bought back by its original founder, PJ Bestelink, who owned and ran
the lodge from the 1980’s through to 2000. PJ’s intention is to ensure the lodge remains
a small, intimate, family-run destination with a new focus on providing
guests with an unforgettable African experience.
to Map of Okavango Panhandle
/ Land Activity Table for Botswana camps: Water/Land
Times between Botswana camps: Fly
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