To travel deep and far into Botswana's Okavango Delta and beyond the reach of cellular networks, where hippos, reed frogs and booming Pel’s fishing owls will lull you to sleep, and lion roars and freshly brewed coffee announce the new day.
Delta Detox is a fully-catered, professionally guided, rustic Okavango Delta camping experience. It is suitable for those looking beyond turned beds, silver cutlery, fine cuisine or pre-warmed facecloths. Expect scrumptious food cooked over an open fire, walk-in tents, raised cot beds with mattresses, pillows, clean linen, warm duvets, chairs and tables, showers and a safari/long-drop toilet
Length: 5 days
Group Size: Flexible – you tell us how many in your party
Location: Chief's Island, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Departure Dates: To suit you
Delta Detox is an exit from the rat race and monotonous western-world lifestyle. It is the ultimate reset button, a back-to-basics pilgrimage on a remote and beautiful private island in the heart of Botswana's Okavango Delta.
Whether you want to track wildlife on foot, complete your Okavango Delta specials birding list, photograph the mind-boggling diversity, or let your worries flow downstream as you slither silently over glassy waters in your mokoro … it’s up to you.
Xaxaba campsite nestles under stately jackalberry trees on Chief's Island in the heart of the northern Okavango Delta - a remote mobile base camp for exclusive use. Alongside a tranquil waterway, each tent is strategically positioned to offer splendid views across snaking waterways, floodplains, lush islands and open grasslands. Its idyllic setting has been carefully chosen to provide the best possible base for your exploration of Chief’s Island.
The camp layout is simple - a bush kitchen at one end, showers and bush loos at the other end and a row of twin-bedded 2,5m x 2,5m domed safari tents in the middle. Each tent is endowed with comfortable cots, foam mattresses, sheets, duvets, pillows, blankets, and towels (please bring your own soap and shampoo). Mosquito repellent is provided, and an outside paraffin lamp will light your way. Solar-powered lamps are provided for each tent but please bring your own handheld or head torch. A solar panel provides a trickle charge facility for camera batteries, mobile phones and other small devices. Hot and cold water for your shower is provided for the gravity bucket shower. Safari loos (long-drop) have comfortable seated thrones, toilet paper and the best view in the house.
All meals are cooked in camp by a resident chef, served and enjoyed together with camp staff. Drinking water, juice for breakfast and wine during supper are part of the package. A cooler box with ice and an assortment of cool drinks, spirits and beers is always available. Comfortable camping chairs surrounding the campfire are an enticement to relax as you recount your daily experiences.
Delta Detox can be enjoyed throughout the year, but the following months are best:
In June the dry season starts in earnest, and game sightings improve markedly as the Okavango Delta waters start to rise and wildlife concentrates on dry land. Temperatures drop to the coldest by the end of June, with pre-dawn temperatures reaching as low as 2ºC although daytime temperatures rise up to a very comfortable 25ºC. The bushveld is still green, but leaf drop has started, non-permanent pans are drying up and the annual flood is on its way from Angola.
By mid-July, the waters have reached the height of the flood although the bushveld away from the floodplains is dry and dusty. Wildlife is concentrated, and so are predators – so visibility is excellent. July temperatures during the dark hours remain cold, whilst daytime is slightly warmer with sunny days and crisp blue skies. Access to walking starting points is mostly via boat or mokoro.
By August, the bulk of the flood water has filtered through the system, flooded areas throughout the Okavango Delta are draining, and Maun is seeing rising water levels. Temperatures remain warm during the daytime with peaks approaching 30ºC and dark-hour averages rising to around 10°C.
September sees winter coming to a dramatic end, with temperatures rising steadily and rapidly with day temperatures comfortably in the mid 30°C. Flood water levels have started to drop.
Read this trip report from a happy client: My ‘Delta Detox’ mobile safari experience
Delta Detox 2023
2 – 3 participants
4 Participants (Up to 8 participants)
Children and young adults 2023
5 to 11 years
12 to 17 years
Please enquire about our FAMILY-FRIENDLY AND GROUP SAFARIS:
Minimum age 2.
All boat transfers to and from Chief’s Island upon landing in Maun, mobile tented accommodation with fully equipped private camp near Xaxaba lagoon. All motorised boat game viewing safaris, unlimited use of mokoros, services of professional walking guides, a camp chef and camp hand, plus mokoro polers, all meals, a bar replete with sodas, mineral water and evening wines, access fees to the concession and park, camping and permit fees. 24/7 office support.
International flights, visas, excess baggage charges, telephone calls, laundry, items of a personal nature, entry and exit PCR tests, travel and medical insurance, tips, and any activities not specified on the itinerary.
An Africa Geographic representative will collect you from your arrival flight or accommodation in Maun. Once your bags are packed, a short transfer will deliver you to your speedboat, moored at a jetty on the Boro River in Maun.
If you are a self-drive and have arranged a place to store your car in Maun, please let us know where you would like to be collected (in Maun!!) and we will arrange to meet up with you, and drop you back at the end of the safari.
You may as well do the last download of news and emails on your phone before you switch it off, as you will soon lose reception once you set off (there is a satellite phone for emergencies, and you will always be near an airstrip). Sit back, relax and enjoy the four hour ride.
With each twist and turn of the Okavango Delta waterways, you will see new delights. Expect darting malachite kingfishers racing your prow, pied kingfishers hovering overhead and African fish eagles calling from lofty perches. Honking hippos will beat a hasty retreat and elephants will greet you with flared ears.
Your cruise will end at the idyllic Xaxaba campsite, where camp has already been set up and awaits your arrival. Lunch may have been served en-route, or will be ready for you on arrival - cold drinks, salad, cold meats and a variety of cheeses.
After lunch, your guide will deliver a safety debrief and introduce you to your tents, shower and WC facilities. Then you will enjoy a short afternoon walk (time permitting) or a sunset cruise.
Return to camp at 18h00, by which time warm bucket showers will await you, and once refreshed, you can join your travel companions and guide at the campfire while a delicious home-cooked dinner makes its way to the table.
Lulled by the quintessential sounds of the Okavango Delta, your first night will be spent in a spacious, walk-in domed tent, complete with cot beds and soft bedrolls.
Overnight at Xaxaba campsite.
After an early morning coffee with a bite to eat, you will set off on a cruise along the Okavango’s waterways. Depending on what the local bush ‘intel” has been, you may depart camp by speedboat or mokoro.
Along the way, there will be ample chance to moor the boat and walk wherever you choose. Islands are often fringed with huge mangosteen, jackalberry and nyalaberry trees teeming with parrots, hornbills and starlings. The calls of these birds might mingle with those of quarrelling baboons and excited vervet monkeys, and perhaps the alarm calls of bushbuck, francolins or squirrels will indicate a predator blowing its cover.
Wildlife abounds in the area – including lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, hippo, crocodile, giraffe, lechwe, tsessebe, sitatunga, otter, honey badger, the shy pangolin, and a variety of smaller predators such as the African wildcat, civet, serval and genet.
Reading the tracks on the ground, the bend of grasses, and a plethora of other signs, your guides will track and share the bush news with you. Your walks will always be peppered by fascinating interpretations from the Bayei guides.
As the heat sets in, it is time to return to camp, where beaming smiles and brunch await you.
A plan will be discussed after brunch, and depending on energy levels and expectations, you could go for another bush walk, a leisurely mokoro ride, a visit to a nearby heronry, a swim in a crocodile-free pool, a concerted search for a Pel’s fishing owl, or a chilled cruise in search of the most photogenic sunset spots.
An alternative activity is a visit to the small village of Xaxaba. The legendary Bayei tribe colonised these swamps in their dugout canoes in the 18th Century, and Xaxaba was established way back when.
As the day ends, there will be plenty of time to enjoy a warm shower, drinks by the fire, and some storytelling to recall the highlights of the day.
Overnights at Xaxaba campsite.
Today, after a lovely breakfast and perhaps fitting in one last activity, you will be transferred back to Maun Airport in order to catch your flight back to Johannesburg, or transfer to the next lodge. Either way we will endeavor to get you back to Maun with time to spare, usually late morning.
As you cruise back to Maun your mind will be in neutral, as you savour your last moments in paradise. Batteries fully recharged, you will be ready for life once again – but probably already planning your next safari with us.
We live here, in Africa, and have been doing this since 1991. Travel in Africa is about knowing when and where to go, and with whom. A few weeks too early / late or a few kilometers off course and you could miss the greatest show on Earth. And wouldn’t that be a pity?
Trust & Safety
We are members of:
African Travel & Tourism Association (ATTA)
Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA)
✔️ Have Integrity ✔️ Are Legitimate
✔️ Are Audited ✔️ Are Insured
We are insured by Sutcliffe & Co (UK)
Make a difference
Africa Geographic is about TRAVEL and CONSERVATION – for those who want their safaris and donations to make a real difference – in Africa.
Our MANIFESTO explains how you can help us do good.