Xigera Mokoro Trail
Moremi Game Reserve - Okavango Delta, Botswana
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View images of Xigera Mokoro Trail: Xigera
UPDATE: The Xigera Mokoro Trail can be booked as a standalone safari
based upon camp and guide availability. Minimum 4 guests only.
Mokoro Trail is also available as part of the following
XIGERA MOKORO TRAIL
- MOREMI GAME RESERVE, OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA
to Xigera Camp
For travellers seeking
new adventures, there is no better way to experience the Okavango than
to camp out on its remote islands. These safaris will operate every
three days from early May to the end of October to fit in with
the rise and fall of the annual flood waters.
Xigera is set right in the heart of the
Okavango Delta and the Xigera Mokoro and Walking Trail starts soon
after you land at the airstrip (arrivals should be no later than 12h00)
and meet up with your senior guide and BaYei polers. After a short
drive to the starting point and a safety talk, we climb into the mokoro's
and set off into the wilderness. Mekoros are dugout canoes propelled
by a guide/poler who uses a long pole to push the craft through the
Delta's shallow, winding channels. Some
of the mokoro's carry the camping equipment, drinks and food while others
carry the guests and their personal luggage so the group is totally self
contained and can operate at it's own pace and needs.
We stop for a picnic
lunch on the first day and find an island on which to make camp by
mid afternoon. The paddlers set up the camp and all meals are cooked
on the campfire. There are bucket showers and a "long drop" toilet.
The tents are specially designed with the top made out of netting
so one does not lose the feeling of sleeping out under the stars
but are still safe and secure tucked up for the night in comfortable
bedrolls with duvets and pillows.
After an early breakfast
and walk while the paddlers break camp and load the mokoro's we set
off for another island, enjoying the Delta and its wildlife whilst
relaxing in the dugouts. Stops along the way to walk and explore
for any reason are the norm and the rhythm and pace depend on what
is happening at that moment. Most of the older guides
at Wilderness Safaris cut their teeth taking similar mokoro trips
and they love them for this reason. It's the ultimate feeling of
freedom in this exquisite wilderness - unrestricted by any outside
On the last morning we pack up our personal luggage and head back to the airstrip
(arriving around 13h00) for the flight transfer out.
Accommodation is in 2-person tents with
enough headroom to allow guests to stand (maximum of two guests per tent).
Tents will be lit with battery lamps and furnished with comfortable bedrolls
on the floor, as well as duvets and pillows. All meals will be cooked
on an open fire and served at a table. Ablutions will consist of a shared
hot bucket shower with shower tent, and a shared pit latrine toilet with
seat and toilet tent.
Xigera has outstanding birding. Pel's Fishing Owl,
Wattled Crane, African Skimmers, Slaty Egret, Rufousbellied Heron, Swamp
Boubou and a host of eagles, vultures and raptors will keep the bird lover
fully occupied. The rare Sitatunga antelope are at their highest density
in the Okavango in the Xigera area. Stalking Sitatunga silently by mokoro
is an experience never to be forgotten. The wooden foot bridge, which
connects this island to the next, is often used by Lion and Leopard to
move between islands. Many a guest has enjoyed Lion viewing from the dining
room. When water levels permit, game drives are an attraction.
The Xigera Environment
Situated in the Moremi Game Reserve, but on the extreme western boundary, the Xigera concession is probably at the very centre of the Okavango alluvial fan. This magnificent area epitomises the permanently flooded section of the Okavango. Palm-filled hardwood islands, hardwood riverine forests and a multitude of clear water channels and flood plains are what the Delta wetland is all about.
Although it is considered to be a permanent water camp, one may be surprised by the presence of lion, leopard, hyaena and buffalo on the islands. These animals will happily wade and swim between islands in search of food.
This is the land of the sitatunga antelope and Pel's Fishing-Owl. Water birds are also seen in large numbers including Rufous-bellied Heron and the secretive White-backed Night-Heron. Papyrus swamp specialists include Greater Swamp-Warbler, Coppery-tailed Coucal and Luapula Cisticola. Birding around camp and on other islands is also extremely productive for specials like Brown Firefinch, Swamp Boubou, Hartlaub's Babbler and Western Banded Snake-Eagle. A displaying African Goshawk can often be seen in the morning.
One of the great secrets of the Xigera operation is the presence of Okavango born tribesmen as guides. Some of these men were born a stones throw from the present location of the camp and know every turn and tree in this magical wetland.
to Xigera Camp
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of Okavango Delta Camps
/ Land Activity Table for Botswana camps: Water/Land
Times between Botswana camps: Fly
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