Xaranna, Okavango Delta, Botswana

LOCATION: The Africa of your imagination – a remote, idyllic location on the banks of the Okavango Delta, one of the seven natural wonders of the continent. A new airstrip has recently been completed close to the lodge, but you’re still 25 minutes by light aircraft from the nearest significant town, Maun.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The setting is very special, and it would be very hard not to be wowed by your first look out onto the Delta from the lodge.

THE FACTS: Xaranna consists of nine large tented villas, each with a Delta-facing deck featuring a plunge pool and al fresco shower. Despite the lodge’s isolation, the food is excellent and all allergies and preferences are catered for. The deck, raised slightly above the dining area, is a glorious lounging spot with comfy couches and – if you really must – Wi-Fi access. Rhinos were recently re-introduced into the area and there’s an abundance of birdlife to complement the more well known larger animals. As an open camp it’s not unusual for wildlife to traipse through the area at night – you’re always completely safe, however. While you may not see game in the same vast numbers as you might in spots like Sandibe or Chobe, there’s still a wonderful variety of animals here. The real treat is you’re unlikely to come across any other humans while you’re out wildlife-spotting, improving the experience no end.

A GOOD BASE FOR: The Okavango Delta is up there with the best safari spots in the world, so make the most of it.Dawn and dusk are the times for game drives or walking safaris, while during the heat of the day you can laze around the Delta’s waterways by boat or canoe, fishing, swimming or kicking back with a cool cocktail. There’s not much in the way of entertainment at the lodge itself, but that’s not what a place like this is about – there’s plenty to keep you busy in the surrounding area during your stay however.

WOW: This is how you really get away from it all in style. The location itself is obviously the standout here, but I was also blown away when the staff sang traditional songs for the guests one evening - it’s presumably something they do for everyone, but given the setting it was fantastic nonetheless.

HOW MUCH: A fully-inclusive villa starts from $650 per night.
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