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Belmond Eagle Island Lodge, Gunn's Concession, Botswana

Our rating: Deluxe

Belmond Eagle Island Lodge can be found nestled amongst the Ilala palms on the tranquil island of Xaxaba overlooking a large lagoon in the heart of the Okavango Delta. It is situated just south west of the southern section of Chiefs Island and is surrounded by a myriad of channels and streams that pass through numerous little islands with solitary palm trees and ilala palms.

Amongst the indigenous trees on Xaxaba Island, there are twelve en-suite luxury tents that each have a wide viewing deck with a hammock on which to laze in the heat of the day. There is also a fully stocked mini bar as well as air conditioning that allow for cooling and relaxation when the summer heat is too strong; not forgetting the calming treatments from the 'Naturally Wild' spa on the property. Whilst in the main camp, there are views across the floodplains from the open sided dining and lounge areas. There is also a swimming pool to utilise when not enjoying excursions into the delta and the surrounding bush.

Primarily a water based camp, the main activities on offer are mokoro trips or boating trips into the surrounding lagoon. Between April and October when the flood waters are high, only these are available but in the drier months it is possible to take game drives into the surrounding islands. Being water logged, the aquatic birding is also superb throughout the year. Guests at Belmond Eagle Island Lodge can also enjoy a spectacular 35 minute helicopter flight as part of their stay, which is payable for locally. This offers a wonderful aerial view over the surrounding area and is a really memorable experience.

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