Botswana’s Okavango Delta is one of Southern Africa’s most unique, highly sought-after safari destinations. With lush plains teeming with wildlife the whole year round, it’s no wonder this leading destination tops many travellers’ safari bucket lists.
Why Travel to the Okavango Delta
This World Heritage Site can be explored by foot, on a game drive, by air, or idling through the labyrinth of lagoons in a mokoro, making it an unforgettable safari experience.
The Okavango Delta covers an area of more than 17000 square kilometres and is made up of a series of canals, lagoons, lakes and hidden channels, earning it the title of the largest inland delta in the world.
Every year during the wet season, which runs from June through to October, floodwaters flow from the central African highlands over 1000 km away to the delta, creating an oasis in the harsh arid climate.
It is home to an abundance of wildlife and makes for some of the best game viewing opportunities in Botswana.
About the Okavango Delta
Botswana is a popular choice when it comes to planning a safari vacation. With 17% of the country devoted to national parks and game reserves, it boasts some of the world’s finest luxury safari lodges and authentic tented camps in what is arguably one of the finest game-viewing destinations in Africa.
Okavango Delta Topography
The Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve was the first sanctuary in Southern Africa created on its own land by an indigenous tribe, while Chobe National Park, shared with neighbouring Zambia and Zimbabwe, witnesses staggering concentrations of up to 50,000 elephant.
Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan are a 4×4 enthusiast’s dream, where the arid and uninhabitable salt pan is said to resemble the surface of the moon, and the shifting red dunes of the Kalahari Desert echo the footsteps of the San bushmen of generations past.
Conservation of the Okavango Delta
Botswana was a pioneer in the way in which it dealt with attracting international tourists. After it regained independence in 1966, the government decided that the most sustainable form of tourism was a high-end luxury standard that would attract the right kinds of travellers but in lower volumes.
The pristine, well-preserved wilderness paradise and the impressive annual tourism numbers are all testaments to this, and the economy enjoys a substantial injection from its tourism sector each year.
Botswana’s commitment to conservation means that travellers are able to experience plenty of thriving, wholly diverse game populations with very little effort.
The impressive diversity of landscapes provide game viewing of both the large and small creatures that is second to none, making it the perfect safari destination to visit at any time of the year.
Whether you stay in the heart of the African bush or choose to stay closer to the water’s edge, a safari vacation in Botswana is one that will never be forgotten.
When to Travel to the Okavango Delta
May to September
The best time to visit Botswana is from May to September when temperatures are more moderate and wildlife is active in the flooded plains of the Okavango Delta. Apart from the many incredible activities on offer in the delta, it remains the most unique safari experience in Southern Africa.
Accommodation in the Okavango Delta
With a range of breathtaking accommodation options, from luxury safari lodges to more rustic and authentic tented camps, travellers are spoilt for choice. From top class service and unrivalled game viewing opportunities at Mombo and Little Mombo to the iconic Camp Xakanaxa on in the Xakanaxa Lagoon, or immersive experiences at Chief’s Camp a trip to the Okavango Delta a treat for the soul.
View all accommodation in the Okavango Delta.
Things to do in the Okavango Delta
There are countless experiences and activities to enjoy in the Okavango Delta. From spotting the Big Five on a game drive or meandering through the delta’s lagoons in a mokoro to tiger fishing and water safaris, horseback safaris and soaking up the sights of the delta’s teeming plains from above on a scenic helicopter ride, there’s something for everyone.
Activities are dependent on which part of the delta you are located and whether it is a permanent or seasonal area, as the floodwaters subside in the dry season, dramatically altering the landscape.
Mokoro excursions are by far the most popular activity. These traditional dugout canoes are the Okavango’s answer to the gondolas of Venice’s canals. Drift through the delta’s waterways, soaking up the sights, birdlife, and residents that graze on the surrounding grasslands including Sitatunga, elephant, hippos and Crocodiles and many more.
Anglers will be in their element as the Okavango’s waters provide incredible fishing, with over 70 species, including tilapia, bass and bream. The most highly-prized catch in these waters, though, is the ferocious Tiger Fish, found where the Okavango River feeds into the delta.
At the end of a busy day exploring this wild paradise, travellers can retire to their accommodation where they can watch the sun dip below the horizon, enjoy fine cuisine under the starry African skies, and fall into a deep slumber to the sounds of the African bush.
From the Okavango Delta’s waterways and the elephant-abundant waters of the Chobe River to the arid red dunes of the Kalahari Desert and the lunar surface of the Makgadikgadi salt pans, there’s something for everyone in this country of contrasts.
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