About The Lodge
Enjoy a unique island experience in the permanent waters of the spectacular Okavango Delta. The lodge is designed to show off the area’s breathtaking scenery. With décor handcrafted by local artisans and original Botswana artwork, its rustic natural charm is enhanced by the warm hospitality of our hosts. Owner-run, and focusing on personalised attention, Nxamaseri is an intimate way to experience the peaceful beauty of the delta.
aprilBest kept secret
"Best kept secret, enjoyed the fishing and stay." Will & Willy Beecherl, USA
septGreat place to be
"Great place to be, very friendly staff, nice boat trip & bird watching." Family Weng, Germany
More About The Lodge
Our Accommodation & Activities
Peaceful riverside luxury
Nxamaseri Island Lodge prides itself on providing a personal touch. Highly exclusive – featuring just seven double en-suite chalets and a charming tree house – the Lodge maintains an intimate atmosphere for those requiring true relaxation. Each secluded room is surrounded by indigenous forest and enjoys a private deck overlooking the water. Teak walkways link the chalets to the lodge main area, providing an opportunity to witness – at close range – the remarkable birdlife that inhabits the tree canopy above.
Nxamaseri Island Lodge Activitiesmore photos
Fishing at Nxamaseri Island Lodge
Botswana's premier fly fishing destination
Nxamaseri Island Lodge is renowned for its incredible year-round lure fishing and is featured in several specialist books including “Fly Fishing in Southern Africa”, “The Longest Cast” and “A Fly Fishing Safari in Africa”.
Our location is well known for its sheer volume of Tiger Fish, one of the world’s most dramatic freshwater game fish. An indigenous species that provides thrilling angling for both experienced and novice fishermen, the Tiger Fish has a voracious appetite and can reach as much as nine kilos in weight.
Various other species – including some magnificent bream and catfish – can also be caught on line, ensuring an eventful and memorable fishing trip.
The best time to fish
Bream fishing is usually best during the winter months, from April until August. The optimum time to fish for Tiger Fish is during the annual catfish runs (“barbel runs”). The exact time of these runs differs from year to year but generally lasts from late August to the beginning of November.
Outside of these months Nxamaseri Island Lodge is still able to offer excellent fly fishing as the water levels are lower. This concentrates the marine life in the permanent channels and you will experience a great deal of species diversity.
The lodge offers a number of specialist fly-fishing guides and fully equipped boats. We can also make special arrangements if additional boats are required for fly-fishing. We carry standard lure and basic fly fishing equipment, but suggest that avid fly-fishermen bring their own equipment.
Birding at Nxamaseri Island Lodge
Enjoy an abundance of birdlife
The remote location and rich natural resources of Nxamaseri Island Lodge ensure that the area is home to a phenomenal wealth of birdlife.
Nxamaseri boasts one of the densest concentrations of Fish Eagles in Southern Africa. Water birds are prolific here and Nxamaseri provides unrivalled water bird viewing, having a large variety of kingfishers, herons, storks and other waterfowl. The area also has an impressive list of woodland and riverine forest species that occur on the islands and in the seasonal floodplains beyond the lodge.
Sightings at Nxamaseri Island Lodge include rarities such as the nearly-endemic Slaty Egret, African Skimmer, Pel’s Fishing Owl, White-backed Night Heron, Western-banded Snake Eagle, Wattled Crane and Lesser Jacana. There are also a number of species that have their southernmost range in the Okavango, including the Coppery-tailed Coucal, Brown Firefinch, Hautlaub’s Babbler, Swamp Boubou, Long-toed Plover and Swamp Warbler.
The best time to bird watch
Nxamaseri Island Lodge offers spectacular birding throughout the year. However, the most exceptional birding months are from September to February, before the new water arrives. This is when feeding conditions are at an optimum and most of the migrants are present. The Nxamaseri area of the Delta panhandle features approximately 325 of the 500 bird species found in Botswana and on a 3-4 day trip guests can expect to see between 190 and 220 species.
Due to the abundant birdlife, viewing can be enjoyed on foot, by boat, from the unique perspective of a Mokoro (traditional dug-out canoe), or even from the comfort of the lodge. A much-loved highlight at Nxamaseri is a night boating trip, during which rare and shy birds can be easily seen. The most ardent birders usually choose to take a guided walk where our specialist guides introduce guests to the joy of exploring the panhandle’s myriad of islands on foot – a relaxing yet effective way of discovering the more timid, forest-dwelling birds.
Day trips to Tsodilo Hills
A national treasure and the highest point in Botswana, the Tsodilo Hills rise 1400 metres from the flat desert landscape. Sacred to the San people of Northern Botswana, these mystical and spiritual hills were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 and are adorned with over 2,000 ancient San paintings.
A visit to these hills delivers, however briefly, the essence of an ancient culture: fragile and increasingly threatened in the face of pressure from the Western world. Tsodilo is a place you will never forget.
We offer fully-catered and guided day trips to explore the hills, which are easily accessible from Nxamaseri Island Lodge. Savour the ambience and view the paintings in their typically arid Kalahari environment – a world away from the lush greens of the Nxamaseri waterways.
The traditional method of transport along the waterways and floodplains of the Okavango Delta is by Mokoro, or dug-out canoe. There is no better way to experience the stillness and beauty of these waters than to be poled along the crystal-clear surface, eye level with dragonflies, reed frogs and water lilies and within touching distance of the myriad of colourful fish that swim just below the surface.
As the Mokoro silently glides along, listen to an authentic Delta soundtrack: the haunting cry of the Fish Eagle; the melodic tinkling of tiny reed frogs; the gentle ‘Nxamaseri’ – the sound the wind makes when it blows through the reeds. Only here will you experience the true soul of Africa.
Nxamaseri Island Lodge News
20 October 2012 – The first rains have arrived!
We had a really good storm this week. The rains are early this year but we are thrilled to have relief from the very hot October weather.
As usual, October fishing has been very good. Record numbers were caught by guests as well as some fantastic weights being measured. One of our first groups started the season off with a bang: 3 guys in 5 days landed over 500 tigers! We are sure this is a record and according to Guy, their specialist guide, it certainly is very close to one. Another of our regular groups also had a brilliant season – almost every member landed their biggest tiger to date, with sizes from 9 to 12lbs.
Exceptional bird sightings
There were also some exceptional bird sightings again this season. We had quite a few guests who got to see the slaty egret fishing on the run, and one group had an awesome view of the western-banded snake eagle catching a snake and taking off with it. As always, there were several sightings of the Pels fishing owl and a lot of beautiful photos of the different kingfishers. And of course guests once again got to see the magnificent fish eagle in action.
Unfortunately we did not see the carmine bee-eaters returning in their usual numbers this year. After consulting with several authorities we are led to believe that when they have been badly disrupted the carmines might avoid their breeding area for a year. This was certainly the case this year with a resident black mamba at Red Cliffs. Aside from the carmines, birding in the area was very good this past season, and as always the activity on the barbel runs was excellent for both birders and fisherman.
For enquiries or to make a booking, please contact reservations who will be happy to answer your questions.
Please note that booking is essential as there is no access to the lodge without a pre-arranged transfer.
Tel: +267 7132 6619
Private Bag 23, Maun, Botswana
Welcome to our piece of paradise
Our locationNxamaseri Island Lodge was established in the early 1980s by PJ Bestelink, an avid fisherman who pioneered fly-fishing in Botswana. He found the secluded island - at the heart of the Delta panhandle – to be the perfect location and the lodge is now the Okavango Delta’s premier fly-fishing destination.
Read more from our visitor's book
"Thanks to everyone – especially the chef – food excellent." Vicky & Peter Sterns, UK
"Geweldig mooie locatie, met fyn personeel, we gebben genoten van al het moois en lekkes xxx." Toos & Roy, The Netherlands
The Nxamaseri area has strong traditional links to the San people of Botswana – in fact ‘Nxamaseri’ is the San word used to describe “the sound the wind makes when it blows through the reeds.” The ancient course of the Nxamaseri channel flowed past the mystical Tsodilo Hills, a site sacred to the San people, and as a result the Nxamaseri community has a marked San influence in its culture and appearance. Nxamaseri Island Lodge has a curio shop selling handcrafts and artefacts made by the local communities, proceeds of which go to community development projects.
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