Okavango Delta, Botswana
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XUDUM LODGE - OKAVANGO DELTA,
An intimate refuge, Xudum Lodge is designed with privacy in mind. Sprawled along the banks of a lagoon and guarded by a resident family of hippo, the Lodge flawlessly combines the best of this unique inland delta - the peace and serenity of gliding through waterways lined with lush aquatic plants and the excitement of searching for big game through endless miles of green grassland.
Xudum Lodge is set in a private wilderness concession of 25,000 hectares (61,800 acres) to the southeast of the Moremi Wildlife Reserve in the center of one of the most unique regions in the world, the Okavango Delta. Renowned for its lush waterways and abundant wildlife, the Okavango is home to a number of aquatic and land species.
Located in northern Botswana, the Okavango River is a unique natural phenomenon - flowing more than 1,000 km (620 miles) from its source in Angola, this river disappears beneath the sands of Botswana, creating a lush inland delta in the midst of this otherwise arid country. The Okavango Delta is in a constant state of flux, expanding and contracting according to the rainy season. While some parts of the Delta remain permanently flooded, others only experience high water levels from May to September, when rainwaters from Angola reach the outer stretches of the Okavango.
Covering approximately one third of the Delta, permanent swamp areas are lush and green, with groves of wild date palm, papyrus and water lilies growing around deep lagoons lined with riverine forest. Seasonal swamps, on the other hand, contain a network of small channels cutting their way through papyrus and reed beds to create islands of all shapes and sizes. Xudum is located on one of the channels in the southern, seasonal part of the Delta.
Xudum Lodge is owned and operated by andBeyond.
Unique Selling Points
Situated near permanent channels of the Okavango Delta with sweeping views of the vast floodplains
• 25,000 hectares (62,000 acres) of pristine wilderness shared by only 18 guests
• Water and wilderness experience with the excitement of viewing big game
• Diverse bird, plant and animal species (birders might well see the elusive Pel’s Fishing Owl)
• Guided walking, mekoro (traditional dugout canoe) and seasonal power (or electric) boat adventures (depending on water levels)
• Night game drives
• The architecture and infrastructure is guided by the principle of a light footprint
• Delicious Pan African meals
• A memorable water and wilderness experience
• The pace of the mekoro excursions and game drives is much gentler, allowing time to appreciate the small wonders and the spectacular Delta scenery
images of Xudum Lodge, click Xudum Lodge
Nine playfully crafted split-level safari suites in handsome tones of chocolate and ebony feature large bathtubs and romantic al fresco showers. Each suite also has a private plunge pool and a lofty rooftop look-out with magnificent Delta views.
Rising high as the treetops, the open upper level of your suite entices you to while away the afternoon in a lofty hide or enjoy a private dinner under the stars. Dark wooden frames cradle another bed in a more conventional bedroom location just down the stairs. Two steps down, a deep, oversized bath offers comfort and warmth, and a choice of indoor and outdoor showers promises refreshment. Curl up in a large, round lounger big enough for two on your private deck and watch the tiny details of life in the Okavango.
• Three meals daily
• Soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beers
• Teas and coffees
• Refreshments on game drives
• Scheduled safari activities
• Emergency medical evacuation insurance
The inventive, layered guest areas boast dramatic decks with 180° views of the surrounding wilderness yet remain discreetly within the tree line. These spaces are designed in such a way to make the guest experience more intimate, with massive, inviting oversized sofas ideal for total relaxation. The well-stocked Safari Shop showcases chic safari gear, African art and jewellery.
Breakfast: After the morning activity, return to the Camp for a delicious breakfast, with platters of fruit and cheese followed by a selection of hot breakfast dishes. Choose from eggs, oats, waffles or a number of other options.
Lunch: If you wish, you can walk off your breakfast on a short walk near the lodge, accompanied by your guide, who will share his insight into the smaller animals and vegetation in the area. Lunch is served in spacious guest areas with classic Delta views.
Afternoon Tea: Cool off with a refreshing dip in the Camp's pool or indulge in an afternoon siesta. Then enjoy a decadent tea before you embark on your afternoon adventure. # Afternoon Boat Ride - Explore the crystal clear channels of the Delta on a mokoro or in a motorised boat. Dozens of bird species, frogs and other intimate details of the Delta lie waiting to be explored at eye level. #
Dinner: After the afternoon activity, return to the Camp for a mouthwatering dinner under African skies.
|Number of Suites
||1 (children 16 yrs and younger)
||All convertible to double
|Private Plunge Pools
|In Room Safe
|Suitable for disabled guests
|Distance between Rooms
||30 meters / 98 feet
|Check In / Check Out
||Visa & MasterCard
Children are welcome. Regretfully, children 5 years and younger cannot participate in the regular game drives and mekoro activities. Children 16 years and older can participate in guided walks and mekoro activities. Childminders can be booked at an additional cost. Children aged 6 to 11 years are accommodated on game drives at the lodge manager’s discretion. An extra bed can be arranged for a child sharing its parents’ suite. No more than 1 triple in camp at any one time.
The highly trained guides and trackers will do their utmost to delight guests with a choice of the following activities:
Twice daily game drives - guests can explore the wildlife surrounding Xudum on morning and afternoon game drives in an open air 4x4 safari vehicle, accompanied by an armed guide and tracker. The landscape traversed on game drives includes floodplains, as well as seasonal grassland, woodland, shrubland and savanna. Game drives track the Big Five, as well as a variety of other animals, including the semi-aquatic lechwe and sitatunga antelope.
Interpretive bush walks - take a leisurely walk in the surroundings of the Camp to take in the sights, smells and sounds of the Okavango Delta, accompanied by an armed guide. Learn about how elephant are vital to the survival of the fan palm, try to spot the elusive Pel's fishing owl and keep a sharp eye out for the shy bushbuck.
River cruises in an electrically powered ‘eco boat’ or mokoro - explore the waterways of the Okavango by boat in the company of our experienced guides. Learn the fascinating details of the Delta's network of channels, fringed by dense reeds and papyrus. A good variety of fish can be found in the clear waters and fishing trips can be arranged on request during fishing season (1 March to 31 December). Spot the nests of weavers and warblers in the papyrus beds and watch out for malachite kingfishers among the taller stems. Beautifully coloured frog species, such as the painted reed frog, abound. Waterlilies brighten up the surface of lagoons, where sleepy hippo splash beneath the surface.
Renowned for its abundant wildlife, the Okavango Delta and the areas surrounding Xudum Delta Lodge are home to a large number of species, including a number of species adapted to the semi-aquatic lifestyle, such as the elegant red lechwe and shy sitatunga. Families of hippo wallow in the deeper channels and lagoons. The area supports the continent’s largest surviving concentration of elephant and buffalo, while roan and sable antelope roam the open woodlands. Lion, cheetah, leopard and African wild dog are occasionally also encountered.
The Okavango is also a stronghold for the endangered African wild dog, although sightings of this rare animal are relatively uncommon. Exhibiting a fascinating social structure, wild dog live in packs led by a dominant pair, with a strict social hierarchy. Lion may be sighted near Xudum and, although predominantly nocturnal and difficult to spot, leopards are fairly common throughout the Okavango, particularly in dense riverine forest.
One of the most common antelope in the Okavango, the red lechwe is especially adapted for the swampy conditions. Its splayed, elongated hooves give it a sure footing in muddy conditions, allowing it to inhabit the outskirts of the permanent swamps. With an incredible wealth of species, the Okavango is also a haven for birding enthusiasts. One of its most sought after species is the huge but elusive Pel’s fishing owl, which roosts in the densest evergreen thickets. A quintessential African sound, the haunting call of the fish eagle can often be heard echoing over the channels.
andBeyond is renowned for having some of the most highly trained, professional, passionate and knowledgeable guides and trackers on the continent. They have a passion for people and wildlife, ensuring unbeatable interpretive safari experiences. The guides at Xudum impart an incomparable wealth of knowledge, personally researched and experienced, about local habitats, ecology, birds, trees, plants, small animals and insects. Many of their guides and trackers belong to the surrounding communities and can share cultural information with guests.
andBeyond runs two full-time ranger training schools headed by professional ranger trainers in Africa - at Phinda in South Africa and Klein's Camp in Tanzania. Each guide at Xudum undergoes a rigorous eight-week training course at one of these schools before joining their team. They then receive further on-site training and benefit immensely from their colleagues' ongoing mentorship. It is through their passion for what they do, and their desire to develop and learn that &Beyond's guides are among the finest in the world.
Thanks to its proximity to the tropics, Botswana experiences marked fluctuations in rainfall and temperature between the wet summer and the dry winter. The average daytime temperature in the summer months (October to April) is 32°C/90°F, although the temperature drops quickly once the sun sets, reaching approximately 25°C/77°F at night time. Dry and cool winters run from May to September, when the nights can be chilly. The rainy season, generally in the form of magnificent afternoon thundershowers, is from late December to the end of February, sometimes continuing into March.
Xudum is situated in an area that boasts a number of permanent river channels that flow throughout the year. The steady water supply creates a distinctive layer of vegetation, with lush beds of tall papyrus, miscanthus grass, evergreen figs and ferns. This is another good birding area, with warblers, weavers and various types of kingfishers. Pel’s fishing owls are attracted by the large variety of fish found in the channels. Clear lagoons are created where channels open up, dotted with floating rafts of water lilies, water chestnut and other aquatic plants. Families of hippo bask in the open water and Cape clawless otter may be spotted.
The abundant water in the Okavango’s permanent channels sustains a dense forest of tall trees, which are forced upward in search of sunlight. Little grass survives among the shrubs and creepers in their deep shade. Among the trees in this forest, the sausage tree is notable not only for its pendulous fruit and large, crimson flowers, but also for the fact that traditional mekoro (dugout canoes) are frequently made from its boughs or trunk. The riverine forest is home to prolific birdlife, with many characteristic species, including the elusive Pel’s fishing owl. Fruit bats are attracted to the abundant fig trees, and shy bushbuck also enjoy the dense coverage.
Groves of tall fan palm up to 20 metres in height grow on the outer edge of the floodplains or on the larger islands. Interspersed with short, shrubby vegetation, these are a favourite for elephant. In fact, the fan palm relies on this animal for its propagation, as the seed can only germinate once it has passed through the elephant’s digestive system. The elephants seem to enjoy this arrangement, relishing both the palm’s fruit and leaves. Fan palms are also a favourite nesting site for many bird species, with white-backed vultures building their nests in the crown and Dickinson’s kestrel preferring cavities that occur in their trunks.
• 2009 - Xudum Lodge listed in UK Condé Nast Traveller Red Hot List of the World’s Best New Hotels (Africa, Indian Ocean & Middle East category)
• 2009 - Xudum Lodge listed in UK Tatler magazine 101 Best Hotels in the World.
• Weather: Botswana has hot, wet summers (October to April). Temperatures can rise to over 40ºC/104ºF and usually drop to 25ºC/77ºF at night. Winters (May to September) are dry and cool, and the nights can be chilly.
• Rainfall: The rainy season – generally in the form of magnificent afternoon thundershowers – is from late December to the end of February, sometimes continuing into March. Summer rains bring spectacular migrant birds to Botswana. Average rainfall per year is approximately 500 mm
• Best time to travel: All year round.
• Malaria: The Okavango Delta is a malaria area and necessary precautions should be taken.
• Ratio of guests to staff: 2 to 5
• Camp closure: Open year round
• Fly times: Maun-Xudum 25 mins; Kasane-Xudum 1hr 25 mins.
Return to Map of Okavango
/ Land Activity Table for Botswana camps: Water/Land
Times between Botswana camps: Fly
For further information about the Okavango Delta, click More
For further information about Botswana, click More