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Botswana’s Eco-travel Roots Run Deep

Private concessions in the Okavango Delta are leased under strict environmental guidelines. Anything that may potentially contaminate the waterways is a no-go, including building with concrete, cement, and bricks. Although the area covers 2,000 square miles, there are only about 1,000 beds, resulting in a level of privacy that is almost impossible to find anywhere else in Africa. The country’s low-impact approach to tourism has kept its wild expanses exclusive and pristine, justifying its high price tags. The reborn Xigera represents the next chapter in Botswana’s story. Its 12 new elevated suites, most facing the floodplains, still blend into the hardwood forest, but that’s where any similarity to the original ends. Dinners feature spicy Durban curry prepared with local bream and wines from a cellar stocked by the family’s Bouchard Finlayson estate in South Africa. There’s a state-of-the-art gym, a pavilion for sunrise yoga, and a baobab tree house for sleeping under the stars. The spa menu makes liberal use of Tata Harper’s farm-to-face products.