Another Belmond property, located on Xaxaba Island in the Okavango Delta, northern Botswana, Eagle Island Camp is a small and extremely remote luxury lodge.
Set in a belt of Illala palms, overlooking Xaxaba lagoon, a wood, canvas and thatch build, Eagle Island Camp consists of a main lodge and 12 sleeping rooms. The shared areas include a bar, lounge, an open air dining area, shop, extensive decking and a pool. Raised on wooden platforms, protected by long thatched roofing, the lounge and dining area are characterised by slumber seating, low tables, rugs and lightweight safari and loungers. In common with all of Orient-Express’s properties, the feel here is tech-romantic, the bar situated on its own mini-island, the lodge embracing internet, TV and various mod-con facilities.
Recipient of unrelentingly fine feedback, the service and food is excellent. Meals can be taken communally, or in the privacy of one’s room. Early pre-game drive breakfast snacks are followed by a more substantial brunch, this by high tea, the day rounded off with a three course dinner. Much is made of the Botswanan beef fillets, the salad bars, the fish and stews. And again and again, returning guests are full of praise for the standard of both in-lodge and guiding services.
The rooms at Eagle Island Camp are divine. There are 11 luxury tents and 1 suite. Approached by means of a stone path, each room is wonderfully appointed, thatched, raised, looks out over the lagoon and includes a double bed, side tables, storage, private veranda and en suite bathroom. As with the main lodge, the rooms are beautifully designed – polished floors, well made pieces of furniture and a headboard that doubles up as room divider. Open air and containing a shower, standalone bath, basin and flush toilet, the bathroom is extraordinary. The suite is similarly excellent, only larger and comes with its own plunge pool. Please be advised that, given the rooms position, guests are escorted to and from their tents. Each tent is equipped with an internal phone, various amenities, including a mini bar, fan and air-con.
Activities at Eagle Island Camp depend on the time of year. Now that Botswana has entered a new wet cycle, with the Savuti Channel and Selinda Spillway in full flow, the delta is significantly wetter, meaning that for camps like Eagle Island the wet safari season now lasts from early November through to late May. So, while game drives are rarer (June to October), mokoro trips, motorised boating, fishing and guided walks are standard elements of the northern Botswanan safari.