Nxamaseri - ‘The sound the wind makes when it blows through the reeds.’

One of the oldest in the Okavango Delta, Nxamaseri Island Lodge is a small exclusive lodge situated in the heart of the Okavango panhandle, on a private island. Beautifully secluded in an indigenous forest, the lodge is designed to showcase the breathtaking scenery. With rustic natural charm enhanced by the warm hospitality of its hosts and staff, Nxamaseri Island Lodge brings you an intimate way to experience the peaceful beauty of the Okavango Delta. Enjoy meals at the intimate dining room at the lodge.

The chalets have private decks overlooking the waters for guests to enjoy privacy along with peace and quiet.

This is the real and remote wilderness of Africa. Presenting an intimate, rustic lodge which is owner managed, providing an authentic experience.


Nxamaseri Island Lodge prides itself on providing a personal touch. Highly exclusive – featuring just eight 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 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.


  • 320km North of Maun (3,5 – 4 hours drive)
  • 50 minutes flight from Maun to Nxamaseri private air-strip on the next island)
  • 40km South of Shakawe (Mohembo Namibia border) (1 hour drive)
  • 6km South of the main road turn off to Tsodilo Hills
  • 35km from Tsodilo Hills

Getting there

Air: Fly to Nxamaseri Island Lodge’s private air strip, situated on the next island. From there a 10 minute boat trip takes you to this haven.

Coordinates: S18 35.50 E022 03.59

Road: Park in the secure car park and the lodge will collect you for a transfer by 4x4 and boat to the lodge 30-45 minutes.



Botswana’s premier fly fishing destination

Nxamaseri Island Lodge is renowned for its incredible year-round fishing and is featured in several specialist books including “Fly Fishing in Southern Africa”, “The Longest Cast” and “A Fly Fishing Safari in Africa”. The Tiger Fish is an indigenous species that provides thrilling angling for both experienced and novice fishermen. It 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 at Nxamaseri Island Lodge

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 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. Nxamaseri Island 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.

San Cultural Trips

Tsodilo Hills is a place you will never forget

A national treasure and the highest point in Botswana, the Tsodilo Hills rise 1,400 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.

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.


Enjoy an abundance 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.

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.

Our Community

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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