More about Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge
Xudum is situated in an area that boasts a number of permanent river channels that flow throughout the year. The steady water supply creates a distinctive layer of vegetation, with lush beds of tall papyrus, miscanthus grass, evergreen figs and ferns. This is another good birding area, with warblers, weavers and various types of kingfishers. Pel’s fishing owls are attracted by the large variety of fish found in the channels. Clear lagoons are created where channels open up, dotted with floating rafts of water lilies, water chestnut and other aquatic plants. Families of hippo bask in the open water and Cape clawless otter may be spotted.
The abundant water in the Okavango’s permanent channels sustains a dense forest of tall trees, which are forced upward in search of sunlight. Little grass survives among the shrubs and creepers in their deep shade. Among the trees in this forest, the sausage tree is notable not only for its pendulous fruit and large, crimson flowers, but also for the fact that traditional mekoro (dugout canoes) are frequently made from its boughs or trunk. The riverine forest is home to prolific birdlife, with many characteristic species, including the elusive Pel’s fishing owl. Fruit bats are attracted to the abundant fig trees, and shy bushbuck also enjoy the dense coverage.
Groves of tall fan palm up to 20 metres in height grow on the outer edge of the floodplains or on the larger islands. Interspersed with short, shrubby vegetation, these are a favourite for elephant. In fact, the fan palm relies on this animal for its propagation, as the seed can only germinate once it has passed through the elephant’s digestive system. The elephants seem to enjoy this arrangement, relishing both the palm’s fruit and leaves. Fan palms are also a favourite nesting site for many bird species, with white-backed vultures building their nests in the crown and Dickinson’s kestrel preferring cavities that occur in their trunks.