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Botswana Safari

Nxamaseri Island Lodge

Okavango Panhandle, Botswana

African Skimmers
Return to Map of Okavango Panhandle

View images of Nxamaseri: Nxamaseri Images

NXAMASERI ISLAND LODGE RATES: Nxamaseri Island Lodge Rates

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.

Nxamaseri is 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 destination.

Accommodation            For images of Nxamaseri, click Nxamaseri Images
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.

Three 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 wine list. 

Self-driving 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 by boat.

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 Storks.

The birding at Nxamaseri is spectacular throughout the year and the area boasts one of the densest concentrations of African Fish Eagles in Southern Africa. Bird 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. 

Fishing Equipment
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.

Fly-Fishing Guides
A private, specialist fly-fishing guide is available at extra cost on a per-day, per-group basis.

Tsodilo Hills
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.

The Owners
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.

Top           Return to Map of Okavango Panhandle

Water / Land Activity Table for Botswana camps:  Water/Land Botswana
Flying Times between Botswana camps:  Fly Times Botswana

For further information about the Okavango Delta, click More Okavango
For further information about Botswana, click More Botswana

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