Eagle Island Camp is one of the Okavango Delta's best kept secrets and certainly one of Botswana's greatest assets. The camp is set in the exotic surrounds of the Xaxaba Island, surrounded by Illala Palms. Eagle Island Camp overlooks the gorgeous lagoon, whose waters flow freely from the Delta.
With such freely available water sources, a variety of natural vegetation is prolific in the area which, in turn, means that wildlife is equally varied. Game viewing and bird watching in this area is a particular treat to animal lovers and wildlife enthusiasts as the array and quality of the game is unmatched. The Fish Eagle Bar was voted by the New York Times as being one of the most romantic bars in the world, and Eagle Island Camp has the added privilege of being within close proximity to this venue.
The camp is protected by an umbrella of indigenous trees, which offer a welcome retreat fro the harsh African sun. Xaxaba is a particularly beautiful location, as waterways and exotic palm trees abound. Eagle Island Camp is built on this island, and is designed to blend in with the green, natural environment; a true oasis for the travelling needing to escape the ever-bustling city life.
Spectacular sunsets are ideally viewed from the Fish Eagle Bar at Eagle Island, voted one of the most romantic venues in the world, or from the deck that towers over the serene waters of the lagoon.
Luxurious tents are elevated on raised wooden platforms and covered by authentic thatch roofs, which keep the tents cool and comfortable. Because they are elevated, the view is spectacular. Each tent has a large private deck with easy chairs and a luxurious hammock, from which the local wildlife can be watched or sundowners can be sipped.
The interior of each tent is elegantly furnished and home comforts are never negotiated. An en-suite bathroom, fully-stocked mini bar, four poster bed (with mosquito net), inside safes and air-conditioning all combine to ensure that your stay at Eagle Island Camp is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
Other convenient facilities include gas geysers (one per tent), 'his and hers' vanity unit, outside lounge (with a hammock and ceiling fan), hair dryers, electric overhead fan (24 hour use), 110v/220v plugs for electric razors, facilities for charging video batteries, 24 hour DC battery lighting in guest rooms and an intercom that connects guests to the reception.
Eagle Island Camp offers guests a number of dining alternatives, all of which guarantee that memories of the camp are pleasantly imprinted in the minds and hearts of our visitors.
Open-air and covered dining, bar and lounge areas, as well as the viewing deck and Fish Eagle Bar ensure that guests are able to take advantage of the pristine surrounds.
Dining around a traditional camp fire sets the African scene. The off-site bush dining venue also provides locals and visitors with an ideal venue to escape the chaos of city living under the majestic African sky.
Meals at the Eagle Island Camp include:
The serene ambience of Eagle Island Camp is perfect for relaxing and taking in all the splendour of the African landscape. However, this venue also offers a wide range of activities that allow guests to experience the exciting sites and sounds of the area. Walking safaris are done at your own pace and allow close encounters with the environment, and some of the local wildlife. Water excursions are conducted on a mokoro or a motor boat on the plentiful waterways of the area, from where a number of the local animals and birds are viewed.
Water levels around the island drop between November and March and are usually low enough to drive a 4x4 right off the island's shore. This allows guests an exciting experience of a game drive cum water activity!
Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times to undertake any sort of game viewing activities, as the wildlife is most likely to be awake and eating or drinking at these times. Birdlife and game are best viewed from motorised boats or the traditional dugout canoe called a mokoro. These glide quietly along the Okavango waters and offer minimal disruption to the surrounding wildlife.
The romantics among us are able to take private tours to mysterious islands for a romantic rendezvous (at an additional fee). Alternatively, enjoy romantic private dinners from the comfort and seclusion of the private deck of each tent.
Scenic Helicopter Flights
Orient-Express Safaris is the holding group to which Eagle Island Camp belongs and offers guests of the camp a rate-inclusive 45-minute helicopter flight. Guests are flown over the spectacular game-rich Okavango Delta, being granted the exclusive opportunity of a bird's eye view of the African plains and the life they are home to.
Fishing Excursions at Eagle Island Camp
Orient-Express Safaris offers guests the unique opportunity to undertake an escorted fishing trip along the Bora Channel, a tributary of the Okavango Delta. Tilapia, or bream as it is commonly known, is the most prevalent fish in the area. Freshwater pike and catfish also populate these waters, but are fairly rare.
Then camp is equipped to provide basic fishing equipment (rods and reels), but guests should bring their own equipment should they desire to spend some quality time at the water's edge. Equipment should include light tackle, mepps spinners (No 3), small FZ spoons (8grms), and spinning tackle.
Bird Watching at Eagle Island Camp
Bird watchers are sure to enjoy their time at Eagle Island Camp as nearly 400 species of birds live in the Eagle Island Camp vicinity. There are also special packages that have been compiled specifically with the birding enthusiast in mind.
The exotic surrounds of Eagle Island Camp imply an exotic array of birds. These include Pel's Fishing Owl, Black Coucal, Long Toed Plovers and Brown Fire Finches. Flocks of up to 200 Wattled Cranes make for an impressive spectacle. When the flood waters fill the Okavango Delta, Eagle Island Camp is completely secluded from the outside world. The water birds add to this sense of complete seclusion and the utmost in an authentic African experience.
Eagle Island Camp is situated in the greater Okavango Delta of Botswana. This Delta is acclaimed as one of the world's largest inland water systems and the only inland delta of its kind. It also provides a one-of-a-kind oasis of life right in the heart of the Kalahari Desert.
The Okavango Delta occupies 16,000 km2, and this vast area is home to an incredible number of wildlife, as well as fish-, vegetation- and bird species. Originally, it was thought that the water actually ran into the ocean. However, after a series of tectonic shifts and earthquakes running along geological fault lines, the land at the edge of the Delta is now lower than the level of the surrounding area. This means that the water seldom flows further south than Maun.
Flooding of the Delta usually begins as a result of the rainfall that begins in November. Flood waters begin their 250km journey downstream from the Angolan highlands towards Maun. The Okavango floor slopes quite gently (1: 36,000), so flooding takes approximately 6 months before they reach their final destination.
Temperatures peak in October, and usually reach a maximum of 35ºC, while June and July temperatures drop to a minimum of 6ºC. Rains usually fall between November and April, and January / February usually experiences the heaviest rainfall.
The Okavango Delta is made up of main channels, smaller tributaries, lagoons, floodplains, islands and mainland areas. The variety of watercourses are changing all the time as a result of the annual flooding in combination with sediment transport, seismic activity, the construction of termite mounds, and the regular opening of new channels and closing of old channels. Channels are opened by feeding hippopotami that feast on the vegetation, and the closing of others by new vegetation growth.
The Okavango Delta boasts two main areas. The permanent swamp is one of these and always relatively full of water. Vegetation around this area consists of wild date palms, papyrus, forest areas and floating lilies floating in the lagoon. The seasonal swamp begins the season flooded with water, which dries gradually dries up as the hot summer season approaches.
Eagle Island Camp, part of the Orient Express Safaris Group, has achieved award-winning status as a result of the outstanding services we have committed to providing to our valued guests. These awards include: