(8 chalets) Book via Drotsky's Cabins, above
Xaro (GPS: XARO) is about 8.5km downstream from Drotsky's Cabins, its parent camp, and is usually reached from there by boat – a 15-minute trip. The lodge is built on an outcrop from the mainland, amidst an old, established grove of knobthorn (Acacia nigrescens
), mangosteen (Garcenia livingstonei
) and jackalberry (Diospyros mespiliformis
Once there, it's hard to escape the feeling that this was once an absolutely beautiful, old-style Okavango camp. It was originally built in about 1984 by Hartleys Safaris, before passing through several hands until it was acquired by Jan Drotsky, whose son now runs the camp. Here you'll still find a thatched, stone dining area with a large table in the centre and various old books on the bookshelves in the walls.
Accommodation is currently in Meru-style tents built on permanent concrete bases, each with a shaded veranda and a separate toilet and shower. These are adequate, though there are plans to build eight more modern, octagonal thatched rondavels with en-suite facilities to replace them in the future.
Look around and you'll also find a garden of succulents and cacti here, banana trees and even a small baobab tree (Adansonia digitata
) on the left of the camp as you look out onto the river.
Talking to Royal, one of the marvellous staff who have been here for years, he recalled that the lodge has always been used for fishing and birdwatching from motor-boats, never from mekoro, and that's still the situation.