Rating: Price from: £275 - £350 pp full board
Nxamaseri Island Lodge is one of the oldest lodges in Botswana's Okavango Delta. It is a small private luxury lodge on a heavily wooded island far north in the 'pan handle' and is surrounded by tranquil river channels and expansive floodplains. The lodge is owner-run and you'll experience warm Botswanan hospitality here.
The lodge has 7 en-suite chalets and 1 tree house, so has an exclusive feel. Rooms are surrounded by the forest and each has a private deck looking out over the calm water. Wooden walkways link the chalets to the main part of the lodge, where you'll find sitting and dining areas. The lodge features hand carved woodwork and original artwork giving it a charming rustic style altogether in keeping with its setting.
While at Nxamaseri you can take motor boat or mokoro canoe safaris, both excellent ways to get a feel for the waterways and look for wildlife. This area is great for birdwatching with over 300 of Botswana's 500 species recorded here. You can expect to see Fish Eagles, egrets and skimmers among others and can go for walks and boat rides with your guide to see how many species you can spot. Fishing is also available here with plentiful stocks of tiger fish, bream and catfish.
About 40 kilometres to the west of the pan handle is the rocky outcrop known as Tsodilo Hills. Rising about 1400 metres this is the highest point in the country and is sacred to the San people. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and there are over 2,00 ancient rock paintings. The lodge arranges day trips to the hills which will give you an insight into the San culture.
Open: Nxamaseri Island Lodge is open from 1st March till 31st December.
Location: Nxamaseri Island Lodge is on a forested island in the permanent waters of the Okavango Panhandle.
Rooms: There are eight guest rooms including one treehouse, all with self-contained accommodation including a bathroom with a shower, and a deck. They are linked to the main area of the lodge by teak boardwalks.
Activities: Take mokoro and boat trips in the waterways where you can catch glimpses of crocodiles, hippos and otters. This is a good birding area and guides will take you on walks and boat rides to view the many species. Fishing can be done from boats or sandbanks - this is a great fishing area. The lodge also arranges trips to the Tsodilo Hills to see ancient San rock art.
Facilities: The lodge has a welcoming lounge with deep sofas and hand crafted wooden furniture. It leads out to a wide deck overlooking the water. A fire is often lit here in the evening making it a good place to gather for sundowner drinks. This in turn leads to the jetty. There is a bar, small library and a dining area.
Dining: Meals are generally eaten communally around the long table.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome but need to be kept under supervision at all times.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is no internet access.
"I had wanted to come and stay at Nxamaseri Island Lodge for a few years - mainly because I wanted to see the Tsodilo Hills. Well we saw the hills and they were as impressive as I'd hoped, however I also loved this simple yet really friendly lodge in its gloriously remote position in the Panhandle, where you can get some excellent birding. It's not posh, but it's very comfy with great staff and wonderful home cooked food. Adam our guide was wonderful company and a great birder. I'd recommend this lodge wholeheartedly as long as you're not looking for mammals."