October marks the beginning of the transitional season in Botswana, bringing with it elevated temperatures and dry conditions. As the water levels recede, we begin to see parts of Xigera drying up, creating pools which trap fish within them. The resulting feeding frenzy of local birds congregating around the drying watering holes creates an impressive sight. The birds present in the image below are mostly marabou storks and great white pelicans.

Birds at watering hole Xigera

However, it is not just the birds receiving their fill in the waters of the Okavango Delta. During a morning boat cruise we came across this impressive sighting of a crocodile holding an African darter bird for his breakfast.

Crocodile holding bird Xigera

Early in October, two lionesses paid us a visit at the lodge, settling underneath the spa for the morning.

Female lion by spa Xigera

Genius managed to capture some beautiful action shots of one of the common resident lionesses, Sisilia, showing a great deal of skill leaping over the channel west of Xigera.

Female lion leaping Xigera 1

Female lion leaping Xigera 2

Female lion leaping Xigera 3

Ike captured an image of one of the two male lions that moved into the Xigera area early October. These intruders have been seen with Sisilia and her daughters. They are noticeably more confident at night and guides have heard them roaring on occasion. Our male resident lions, Lekau and Nyakanyaka, have not yet responded to this challenge on their territory.

Male lion intruder glare Xigera

The new male lions were sighted tracking Boitumelo, which meant that her cubs may be in danger.

Male lion intruder watch Xigera

After a tense wait, there was much joy in the camp in mid-October after a sighting of lioness Boitumelo and her three cubs south of cranes pan confirmed their safety. The cubs had previously been separated when the new male lions attempted a takeover.

Lioness and her three cubs

Here’s another fantastic image from Ike of the three cubs playfighting together. The lion cubs have developed a great affinity with game viewers, allowing guests to capture intimate moments such as this.

Three lion cubs Xigera

Ike also had a great sighting on this Pel's fishing owl to the west of camp. Xigera has had multiple sightings of this rare species in recent months.

Pel's fishing owl Xigera

The striking orange sunset below, again captured by Ike, really demonstrates the supreme beauty of the African bush.

Xigera sunset October

You will also see this beauty reflected in the photographs below. Here, you can see a river on which we host our Mokoro activities. The tranquillity of the Okavango Delta creates an unforgettable setting.

Xigera waterways 1

Xigera waterways 2

Our guide Genius took this striking picture of one of the most colourful birds in our concession, the rosy-throated longclaw. During breeding season, the throat and belly feathers of the male birds turn to a bright pink hue.

Rosy-throated longclaw

Our Managing Director Mike Myers captured this impressive image of two elephant bulls sparring at Xigera.

Bull elephants sparring Xigera

Mike also spotted this herd of elephants on his way home from Xigera one evening. The elephants come into Xigera almost daily, feeding on the soft vegetation as the water subsides.

Elephant herd by Xigera

We have had many good sightings of herbivores in recent weeks. As the water level subsides, herbivores are drawn towards the remaining water source. Below, you’ll see a herd of zebras running together. Zebras have defensive mechanism they use when fleeing danger - tightening together as they run. By doing this, the disruptive markings of their stripes criss-cross together, dazzling their predators. This pattern effect has resulted in the zebra’s collective name: a dazzle of zebras.

Zebra herd running together Xigera

Buffalos have also been moving towards the water source, attracted by the green grass that is growing in the drying floodplains. On this particular afternoon, our guides spotted a herd of 150 buffalo at Mokolwane crossing.

Buffalo herd sighting Xigera

Finally, we’ll leave you with this image captured by Ike, of a giant kingfisher perched on the star deck leading to the Xigera walkway bridge, a special sight for birdwatching enthusiasts.

Giant kingfisher on deck Xigera

Take a look at our land excursions page for more information on the types of safaris we offer.