I’ve Just Visited Xobega Island Camp in Botswana

Innocent Xobega - Image by Dan Dugmore
Camp Manager, Innocent from Xobega – Image by Dan Dugmore

Xobega Island camp is a new camp located on a sparsely populated, wildly untouched sliver of paradise in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. The Okavango Delta is a World Heritage site and comprises a myriad of waterways teeming with birdlife and game. Xobega Island Camp lies on a remote island, only accessible via boat. The adventure to camp is made up of a series of twists, turns and cruising along the calm waterways are part of the journey to your tropical safari paradise.

En route to the boat station to catch your “taxi” to the island, you will encounter the splendour of the Moremi Game Reserve. With a combination of the Moremi and the weaving channels of the Delta, you’ll get the best of both a land and water safari.

I had the pleasure of experiencing the ultimate Robinson Crusoe adventure at Xobega Island Camp. In short, I was blown away by this exploring this rugged landscape unmarred by civilisation and an untouched by tourism. The focus here is on simplicity, while never comprising on comfort.

Here are a few questions I was asked about the newly built and rustically stylish Xobega Island Camp.

1. Xobega Island Camp seems to be located in the middle of the wild Okavango Delta. How on earth did you get there?

We actually stayed at Tuskers Bush Camp, which makes a great part of the trails of Botswana route. From there, we were transferred to Mboma Boat Station, on the edge of the Delta’s waterways. It was about an 8 hour drive in total, but felt like 3. We traversed across acacia bushveld, went into the Moremi Game Reserve and even stopped for lunch at a pan.

We had crocodiles, hippo, birds, red lechwe and zebra dining with us! The Tuskers team made a packed lunch for us. The journey was so epic. When we arrived at Mboma we did a quick mekoro trip and while weaving through the narrow channels we spotted African fish eagles, eagles and plenty of other birdlife. The boat journey to the camp was about 1.5 hours.

2. What did you love about the camp?

It was so remote! The tents were very comfortable and I loved the huge sausage trees hanging over the pathways in between the tents. Also loved the arrival greeting – the boat pulls up into a small gap in the middle of a jungle and there were smiling faces ready to show you paradise. There is nothing like sitting around a huge fire while being served glasses of wine and listening to hippos honking in the background.

3. What is the overall atmosphere at the camp? Adventure, romantic or chilled? 

It was a cross between an adventure (the boat ride there) and a chilled atmosphere. It’s not your five star luxury but rather a rustic camp with elegant understated decor and all the amenities from home. Just what you need in such a remote area. The atmosphere is peaceful and I loved getting to know the staff while sitting in the relaxation area close to the water. Evening times around the fire are also so memorable.

Birdlife in the Okavango Delta
Birdlife in the Okavango Delta

4. What activities can you enjoy?

Sunset boat cruises, water safaris and guided walks around the island.

Mekoro Trips Okavango Delta Okavango Delta Sunset

5. Any advice for first time visitors to Xobega Island Camp?

Yes – take your camera! Expect an adventure and the simple luxurious from home. There’s a bar, lounge and plenty of relaxation areas at camp. Also, try not to wander down to the water’s edge alone…We mistakenly did that and failed to notice the baby Nile crocodile chilling in the shallows at our feet.

Okavango Delta Crocodile