The 6000-hectare Xigera Concession is a wetland paradise within the Moremi Game Reserve in the heart of the Delta. Situated on one of the Okavango’s key waterways, it is surrounded by picturesque papyrus swamps and wooded islands and is renowned for the highest density of the elusive sitatunga antelope in the Delta.
Although the area is not known for big game, mammal sightings include red lechwe, spotted-necked otter, elephant and tsessebe. Predators include lion, spotted hyaena and leopard. However, when the water levels drop at this time of year, and more area is covered by game drives, the guests have been enjoying great leopard and elephant sightings. Guests are sometimes treated to close-up views of lion or leopard using the footbridge connecting Xigera’s island to the next.
Where Xigera really shines is in the birding and avifauna department. The diversity of habitats, isolation and abundance of riparian and riverine vegetation and waterways all contributes to attracting over 400 bird species. Many of the swamp dwelling specialities are residents in the area, and a myriad of summer migrants settle in and breed during the summer months.
Notable specials for the area are Pel’s fishing-owl, African skimmer, brown firefinch, greater swamp warbler, wattled crane, African pygmy goose and lesser jacana.
Recently while out on a boat trip, Nic Proust (a Wilderness Ecologist) photographed a colony of nesting African skimmers on the sandbanks of the Xigera Lagoon. This is great news, as African skimmers are very sensitive to habitat change and disturbance, so we are really happy that they are breeding in the area.
One of the camp guides, Dennis Smith has become a pro at locating Pel’s fishing-owl, and has been able to share sightings of this bird with many guests. Dennis is a keen photographer and has captured some great images of not only Pel’s, but also some outstanding mammal images whilst out with guests.
To top off this great offering, Xigera provides some of the best mokoro and boating trips around, in addition to game drives once the annual inundation draws back.