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An exclusive first look at Xigera Safari Lodge, Botswana

Opening on the western side of the Moremi Game Reserve, Xigera is the culmination of a lifelong dream of the South African borne hoteliers, the Tollman family, and their love letter to the African bush. Every aspect has been handcrafted to beguile guests’ senses and stir their souls – from the evocative interiors to one-of-a-kind encounters.

Xigera Safari Lodge Botswana

This story is one of renewal. Of rebirth and family legacy, and of the pioneering spirit that drives one to seek out Africa’s wild spaces. This very spirit has inspired a complete reinvention of the Okavango Delta safari. This is Xigera (pronounced ‘kee-jera’), named for the Pied Kingfisher that makes its home amid the watery channels of Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve.

The lodge sleeps a maximum of 24 guests in 12 individually designed suites, including one two-bedroom family suite situated on two islands, bridged together with an extraordinary bronze lily centrepiece. Enchantingly elegant, comfortable and intimate, with an aura of eclectic adventure, each suite subtly reflects the outside environment, with a deck that extends to include an outdoor daybed with uninterrupted views over the floodplain. Design exists cohesively in a jewel-like layering of materials and texture including timber, bronze and hand-carved wood. Hand-crafted bronze elements, local artwork and artisan furniture made with natural materials blend African authenticity and high design, creating a thoughtful space with a sense of place in the magical wilds of Botswana.

The Xigera Family Suite consists of two bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, dressing area and outdoor shower. These two rooms are joined by a shared lounge area that opens onto a deck and also extends out to a daybed for lazy, long, luxurious reading, relaxing and reflecting. Designed for family safaris (children are welcome over the age of 12), the spacious two-bedroom Xigera Family Suite is fully air conditioned and can accommodate up to four guests and is also a popular option for those travelling with friends.

The lodge’s design has been conceptualised by Toni Tollman, Philip Fourie and Anton de Kock, who have collaborated with Southern Guild in a design partnership like never before. Every piece guests will look at, touch and interact with has been hand crafted and inspired by the incredible natural surroundings, allowing them to feel utterly connected and at one with the Delta and the spirit of Africa.

Guests will stay in a ‘living gallery’ of bespoke works commissioned exclusively for the property by Africa's most exciting young artists and craftspeople, including Adam Birch, Madoda Fani, Porky Hefer, Otto du Plessis, Stanislaw Trzebinski and many more. The bespoke assemblage of pieces has taken 18 months to produce with each item hand-made. Quietly surprising touches are everywhere; from human-sized woven nests by renowned South African artist Porky Hefer resting on decks for guests to nestle in. The pièce de résistance is a totemic fire pit sculpture by blacksmith artist Conrad Hicks, holding the fire as a boma centrepiece and offering a contemporary take on the traditional boma setting. Within the lounge, the fireplace is made out of hand-beaten copper in the form of a lily – a recurring motif which represents the lodge.

Dining will be celebratory, showcasing delicious dishes that are inspired by the Delta, using the very best fresh and local ingredients. African-inspired menus, designed by experienced Red Carnation Executive Chefs, are complemented by much-loved signature recipes inspired by Bea Tollman’s legendary dishes. The cellar showcases a premium list of the very best Champagnes and wines, including hand-crafted wines from Xigera’s sister vineyard Bouchard Finlayson in South Africa.

Guests will also be treated to life-changing experiences, such as glass-bottom mokoro excursions gliding across the Delta’s waterways, a unique sleepout experience in a baobab tree house located 1 km from the camp, spa treatments by Tata Harper (exclusively in Africa) and enriching game drives which take in a myriad of wildlife. But it is the people that will define Xigera, as you'd expect from a Red Carnation creation, with an exceptional team, passionate about service and hospitality. Led by bush veterans Mike and Marian Myers with a team of the most experienced guides in Botswana ensuring an experience like no other.

Rates at Xigera Safari Lodge start from $2,320 (approx. £1,847) per adult per night sharing. This includes accommodation on a fully inclusive basis, park fees and all activities. Spa treatments are additional.


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