Location: Western Okavango Delta - Ranns Concession
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A maze of sparkling lagoons, meandering channels and overgrown islands with its own unique wildlife, the Okavango Delta lies like a sparkling jewel at the heart of the Kalahari Desert. Here the Okavango River, flowing more than a thousand kilometres from Angola, disappears beneath the sands, creating a lush inland delta in the middle of this otherwise arid country. Known as the river that never finds the sea, the Delta’s crystal clear channels spread over the thirstlands of the Kalahari with their papyrus-fringed banks and fertile floating islands.
Renowned for its abundant wildlife, the Okavango Delta and the areas surrounding &Beyond Xudum Delta Lodge are home to a large number of species making for an exhilarating Botswana safari. The area is home to an assortment of species adapted to the semi-aquatic lifestyle, such as the elegant red lechwe and shy sitatunga. Lion prides, cheetah, leopard and African wild dog are occasionally encountered, while families of hippo hide in the deeper channels and lagoons that are fed by seasonal rains. The area supports the continent’s largest surviving concentration of elephant and buffalo, while roan and sable antelope are occasionally spotted in the open woodlands.
Adapted for life in and out of water, the elegant red lechwe and shy sitatunga are found in this watery wilderness. Lion, cheetah, leopard and African wild dog share the floodplains with large herds of elephant and buffalo. Hippo inhabit the deeper channels and lagoons, while honey badgers can be seen in broad daylight. Tall termite mounds are home for families of dwarf and banded mongoose. Iridescent dragonflies, frogs of every colour and jewel-like kingfishers live in the papyrus-lined banks.
Air Botswana operates scheduled flights to Maun and Kasane. From there, guests can fly into PomPom airstrip, a mere 25-minute hop from Maun or a 90-minute flight from Kasane. This is followed by a 10-minute game drive and a 50-minute boat ride to camp.
Child rates will be quoted on request.
Sprawled along the banks of a lagoon and guarded by a resident family of hippo, &Beyond Xudum lies deep within an exclusive 25 000 hectare wildlife concession. Nine playfully crafted split-level safari suites in handsome tones of chocolate and ebony feature large bathtubs and romantic al fresco showers. Rising high as the treetops, an open upper level entices guests to while away the afternoon in a lofty hide or enjoy a private dinner under the stars, while a private plunge pool promises instant refreshment on a sunny day.
Guests can indulge in a playful moment or two on a big tractor tyre swing in the shade of the trees or gaze out over the lagoon from the quiet comfort of the massive couches in the multi-layered guest areas. An interactive kitchen allows guests to tantalize their taste buds while watching the chefs at work. Guests indulge in a water and wilderness experience, from mokoro excursions to thrilling night game drives and guided daytime walks.
Game viewing in the Okavango Delta is remote and secluded, with very few vehicles sharing the private concession. Sensitive off-road driving practices allow our guests to get up close to the area’s exceptional wildlife. Afternoon drives continue after night, allowing for an opportunity to see the many animals that are more active at night, including leopard and serval. Lion frequently hunt at night and there is always a chance of coming upon them feeding on a kill. &Beyond’s professionally trained guides will ask you about your favourite wildlife and will do their best to ensure that your preferences are met, whether it is tracking a particular species or spending more time enjoying each sighting, getting to know the habits of the animals. They will also tell you about the vegetation of the region and will explain the behaviour of the animals that you come across. In some cases, the guides will be able to identify individual animals and let you know about their history and habits.
The Okavango Delta is well known for its Mokoro rides. These are boating trips through the maze like channels and shallow lagoons of the Delta. As mokoros are not motorized, they allow you to glide silently through the channels. You will see many animals that feed on the grass and reeds on the palm islands such as lechwe, sitatunga, elephant, hippo and crocodile.Seasonal activityBoating
Game viewing is also offered in motorized boats. These trips allow you to cover more ground and to see more of the landscape. Boating is offered seasonally depending on the water levels in the Okavango Delta.Seasonal activityFishing
Try your hand at catching the fierce tiger fish, or Tilapia in the Okavango Delta. Not all water based camps in the Okavango allow fishing, but some camps do allow fishing on a catch and release basis. Most of the fishing however takes place in the Panhandle region where the Okavango River enters the Delta.Seasonal activityScenic Helicopter Flight
Thrill to an aerial view of the Okavango Delta as you soar above a vast maze of both permanent and fleeting waterways and floodplains that occupy an otherwise sandy corner of Botswana in a helicopter. Fly over rivers and pools dotted with lily pads, as well as a variety of wild animals that inhabit this unique habitat.Additional costs applyOkavango Horseback Safari
Immerse yourself in the unique landscape of the Okavango Delta on a half or full day horseback safari that explores this magnificent habitat, providing you with the opportunity to venture up close to the Delta’s spectacular wildlife and bird species. Set off on this extraordinary adventure, which allows for exceptional game viewing opportunities and an exhilarating experience as your expert ranger guides you through untamed Africa. All horses and tack are of the highest quality and safari guides are armed to ensure your safety at all times, with stringent safety precautions taken when dangerous game is encountered.Additional cost applyInterpretive Bushmen Experience
Experience a guided Bushmen walk at &Beyond Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge. The Bushmen, also known as the San people, are one of the continents oldest inhabitants, with ancestral roots tracing back to over 30 000 years. They are highly skilled hunter-gathers using bows and poisoned arrows, traps and throwing sticks, fashioned out of raw materials found in the wilderness. Three Bushmen lead this exceptional half-day adventure, where you will be introduced to their various hunting and survivalist techniques.
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