Xugana Island Lodge, Okavango Delta

Xugana Lodge is on Xugana Lagoon, one of the most spectacular permanent water sites in the Okavango Delta

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About Xugana Island Lodge

Xugana means ¨ kneel down to drink¨. Xugana Lagoon has, for thousands of years, been a safe haven for the Bushman people who hunted this pristine water world. Xugana Lagoon is in the permanent Delta, a world of crystal clear waterways winding through vast reed and papyrus beds, opening unexpectedly onto tranquil lagoons, home to bream, catfish and the fighting tiger-fish and fringed by secret wooded islands, haven for the magnificent bird and wildlife that inhabit the Delta.

Xugana Lagoon is widely accepted as being the most spectacular permanent water site in the entire Okavango Delta. Xugana Island Lodge, situated on a wooded island abutting the lagoon, takes full advantage of this magnificent site. The thatched common area, comprising cocktail bar, lounge and curio shop, is still the original building put up in 1974, when Xugana became only the second tourist lodge ever built in the Okavango Delta. Meals, for which the lodge is justly famous, are taken alfresco on the edge of the lagoon, except on those rare occasions of rain when the lounge doubles as the dining-room. Tea is often served in the garden inside the island, where quiet, secluded reading benches can also be found.

The lodge accommodates a maximum of 16 guests in raised reed and thatch ¨Mesasas¨ situated on the shaded fringe of the island, each with a lagoon view through the artfully cleared lagoon-side vegetation. The tastefully decorated ¨Mesasas¨ have twin or double beds, en-suite facilities, ceiling fan and a private deck.

Activities include Mokoro trips in eco-friendly dugout canoes built to the traditional design, boat safaris to lagoons and islands and wilderness walks give guests the chance to see sitatunga and lechwe antelope, crocodile and hippo, as well as the other big game that frequents the islands and riverine fringes. Bird-watching opportunities are outstanding, and the bream and tiger fishing can be excellent at certain times of the year. The peaceful boat ride back across Xugana Lagoon during the spectacular African sunset provides a lifelong memory. All activities are conducted by experienced naturalist guides, who, as well as ensuring that guests come to no harm, are keen to impart their vast knowledge and love of this unique area.

The lodge swimming pool is a unique construction, allowing guests to swim in the clear fresh water of the lagoon protected by a heavy metal cage, designed to deter "fat Albert" the crocodile, a long-time lagoon resident