If you had to place a pin on the map in the centre of the Delta, you'd probably put it near to here. The Xigera (pronounced Keejera) area is within the boundaries of Moremi Reserve, near its western border. Technically it's within Moremi's only private concession area, NG28. (Although the concession is also split between Mombo and Chief's Camp, their dry-land areas are so different in character from Xigera's that I'll discuss them in a separate section, after this one.)
Look at an old map of the Delta and you'll realise that the western boundary of Moremi used to be further east than it is now. Then the Xigera and Mombo areas were part of the NG28 concession and outside the park. Xigera was originally built as long ago as 1986 by Hennie and Angela Rawlinson, two well-known Maun residents, at a place that Hennie called Paradise Island.
Then in 1992 Moremi was expanded westwards and northwards. This was done in order to bring under its protection all the major Okavango habitats, as until then none of the northern Delta's papyrus swamps or permanent wetlands had been included. This expansion swallowed up NG28, including the Xigera and Mombo areas. Thus these camps occupy prime sites within Moremi Game Reserve.
The lease for Xigera expired in 1998, but the Rawlinsons got it back again for another 15 years. Between December 1999 and April 2000 the camp was completely demolished and rebuilt from scratch a short distance away. It opened in May 2000.
Getting there and getting away
Only pre-booked guests who fly in visit this area, and all the marketing, management and reservations for Xigera are done by Wilderness Safaris.
When to visit
Because the focus here is more on the environment and birdlife than game per se, this area can be visited any time of the year – although the tiny Zepa bushcamp is really not designed for rainy conditions, and so closes during the rains.
What to see and do
Motorboat trips and mokoro excursions have always been the main activities from Xigera; from Zepa only mekoro are usually possible. That said, Xigera's team has worked hard and in 2001 they located a good area for game drives, and have come up with a way of stationing vehicles on the larger islands there. So usually, water levels permitting, it's now possible to drive there too.
Thus from about May until October, whilst the water is high, you boat to the game-drive vehicles, and then drive from there. Then it's possible to do motorboat trips as well as mokoro trips directly from the camp.
However, between about November and May, the water level is lower and it's then possible to keep the vehicles near camp and drive directly from there, though, the motor boats have to be stationed in deeper water a short distance north of camp, and are reached by mokoro.