As we approached the gates of Camp Xakanaxa the team greeted us with singing and dancing. This is just one part of Desert and Delta Safari’s commitment to ‘Empowering Botswana through Tourism’. This has to be one of the friendliest welcoming committees The Luxury Travel Bible has ever had.
Camp Xakanaxa (pronounced Ka-ka-na-ka) can accommodate up to twenty-four guests in eleven canvas Meru-style luxury safari tents. Camp Xakanaxa is one the few camps in Botswana to still offer a classic tented camp.
It may have had canvas walls but my accommodation was complete luxury. Each of the tents, including the two-bedroom family tent, feature an en-suite bathroom and private deck. Of all the properties I stayed at during my stay in Botswana, this felt the most like ‘being on safari’.
One evening Oscar, the local hippo, who has battle-scars from his scraps with other hippos, was wandering around the camp. While lying tucked up in my four-poster bed, listening to the noises outside, I was incredibly reassured, and felt completely safe, to hear the guides walking around trying to shoo Oscar away from the camp. This really was being in the wild.
There was such a laid-back and relaxed feel in this camp and throughout the main buildings. Built of local timber, the lounge and dining rooms overlook the river and offered beautiful views and there are plenty of spots to sit and relax.
Sitting on the deck reading my book and then heading to the swimming pool for a dip was a perfect way to spend the afternoon and reflect on a busy few days.
Located on the banks of the Khwai River on the Xakanax Lagoon, within the Moremi Game Reserve, the camp offers year-round land and water safaris.
Due to the location of the camp, surrounded by forests, open savannah, waterways and seasonal floodplains, the fauna and flora in this area are exceptional. Animals that can be spotted in the areas include Buffalo, Elephants, Hyena, Giraffe, Hippo, Wildebeest, Kudu and Lions.
Our guide also amused us when one of the group thought they had spotted an animal in the distance, ‘Ah yes, that is an ATL! An ‘Animal-looking thing’.
One evening as we were heading back to camp after a drive where we had already seen zebras, giraffes, buffalos, elephants and impalas, our guide received a radio message that something very special had been spotted.
Our group instantly voted that we head back out, even if there was a slim chance to see this beautiful creature in the wild. The G&Ts back at the camp could wait!
Heading out, trying to beat the fading light, our guide was using his instinct, knowledge and determination to try to locate the special creature. Everyone was silently looking out for any clues.
And then, suddenly, we spotted them. Two beautiful cheetahs. Staring back at us and for a few precious moments they captivated us before heading back to the bush.
It was an unforgettable experience and part of it was the exhilarating race in our game drive vehicle to locate them.
Once back at the camp, we sat by the fire pit, which overlooks the Khwai River, over a round of G&Ts, to marvel at an incredible and unforgettable afternoon.
Luxury Link: www.desertdelta.com
Sarah Bryans, 14/08/2023