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Introduction To Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta dubbed as the jewel of the Kalahari is one of the world’s largest inland body of water blessed with a unique ecosystem. It is found in the north western side of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, Africa. Its water comes mainly from Angola through Namibia as Cubango and Kavango Rivers, and enters Botswana as Okavango River. It empties directly into the Okavango Delta or Okavango Alluvial Fan. At the Kalahari, the Okavango Delta splits into smaller water veins and channels that cover 16,000 km2 of the area. The water flow forms swamps, lakes, lagoon with numerous islands that look like dots all over the Delta. The water veins traverse the sides of the Moremi Game Reserve producing a leaf like shape. An aerial view shows a beautiful leaf shaped arrangement of water channels. The Delta water level decreases in summer from October to March and increases during the winter months from April to September. In summer, the Delta draws its water from the Angolan rain water that flow down to the Delta and spread out all over the area. The flow of water during the summer from Angola towards Maun takes six months. The slow pace of water flow is attributed to the consistent flat terrain of the Delta. In winter, the water level increases three times its normal size submerging most of the Delta and creating a beautiful sanctuary for wildlife - perfect for your awaited Botswana safari. Yearly, eleven cubic kilometers of water traverse the Delta. Most of the waters are absorbed by the plants while most evaporates into the air, and only some of the waters are left to flow to Boteti River via the Thamalakane River in Maun, Lake Xau east of the Delta and Lake Ngami on the west.

The People Of Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta is home to a population of over 140,000 composed of the Banoka, the Bushmen who have occupied the area since the Stone Age, the Bayei - a Bantu tribe from the north. The Herero and Hambukushu occupy the southern part of the Delta. These tribes are spread over the villages with a population of less than 500. They live on the natural livelihood from the delta i.e. fishing, hunters-gatherers, seasonal farming etc. There are also other ethnic groups such as Ovaherero and Ovambanderu who are living in the delta. However, they are not recognized as native villagers of Okavango. The people of Okavango all speak their native, tribal language.

Flora & Fauna Experiences Of Okavango Delta

The Delta serves as the oasis of the Kalahari Desert. The Moremi Game Reserve is one of the best wildlife reserves for your African safari. It has a tremendous diversity of flora and fauna that bring color to the Delta. It has over one thousand plant species thriving on the grounds of the Delta. It is populated by mopane, swathes of papyrus, groves of wild date palm, acacia, woodland etc from the tongue of the mopane to Chief’s Island and around the whole of the delta. Along with beautiful water channels, lagoons and islands are trees, shrubs and bushes of various species. Camel thorn trees, silver terminalia, wild seringa, Burkea Africana and Kalahari apple leaf adorn the sandy open spaces of the delta. The Delta is home to over 200,000 animals that roam the area giving life to the whole Delta and the Moremi Reserve. You will find leopard, rhino, zebra, lechwe, giraffe, lion, monkey, antelope, crocodile, hippo, elephant, buffalo, hyena, impala, reedbuck, tsessebe, wildebeest and many more. There also an estimated over 400 kinds of birds such as African Eagle, Hammerkop, Ostrich, Crested Crane, elusive Pel's Fishing Owl and Lilac Roller gracing the heavens and the wilderness of the Delta.

When To Visit Okavango Delta For Your African Safari In Botswana

The Okavango Delta is a perfect place to visit any time of the year depending on your interests and preferences. But if you are a nature lover, then Okavango Delta is undoubtedly the place you need to see at least twice as the Delta prides itself of a year round majestic beauty and rich ecosystem with two contrasting seasons. From April to September during the dry winter season, you can enjoy the dry and sunny days with temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius, and evenings at 2 degrees Celsius or lower. These are the months’ when the maximum floods occur at the Delta. This is one of the best times to witness the Okavango Delta for your safari at its peak with water 3 times its normal size. October to March marks the onset of a wet summer in the Delta and temperatures can reach as high as 40 degrees Celsius during the day and as low as 20 degrees Celsius at night time. During these months, wildlife traverses drier grounds as the water levels reduce. The trees and bushes are greenest and robust once the rains start, and there is an explosion of different natural colors coming from the variety of flora and wildlife, adding to the attraction of the Delta. It is one of the times of the year that you can view the skies in its beautiful and colorful splendor.

Okavango Delta Activities During Your Safari In Botswana

There are various adventures that Okavango Delta offers that will make your Africa safari well-rounded, enjoyable and engaging with maximal experiences.

Mokoro Safaris (Traditional Canoeing) Enjoy a day of traditional canoeing and blending with the wildlife in the Delta. Relax and appreciate the scenery as your guide silently navigates your mokoro exploring the magnificence and ecological intricacy of the Okavango Delta. You will witness the flourishing flora lining the edges of the waterways and the lush vegetation encompassed by diversity of African fauna from birdlife, aquatic and terrestrial wildlife. You can explore the delta channels with a mokoro canoe under the guidance of native and experienced mokoro guides and polers.

Game Driving And Boating Safaris Guests can explore the abundant animals surrounding Okavango Delta on morning and afternoon game drives in open 4 X 4 vehicles or on motorized boats. The landscape traversed on game viewing includes open floodplains, dense mopane bushveld, swamps, lakes, lagoon with numerous islands offering spectacular game viewing and birding opportunities all year round.

Okavango Nightlife Sleeping in the wilderness can be an exhilarating experience. You will be treated to sounds of the night in the wilderness of the delta and a watching spree of the nocturnal game that roams the delta. A game drive into the wilderness of the Delta at night is a rare experience as you are welcomed into the backwoods with different nocturnal sounds and enveloped in total darkness only with the guidance of your guide’s spotlight. You can observe the life of night game in your own comfort zone. Share your day’s safari experience with people around or your friends as you sit by the campfire. You will also have the chance to listen to other people’s accounts of their day around the delta.

Nature Walks / Walking Safaris Nature walks and walking safaris with a guide within the Delta is one experience that you will surely treasure. You can walk the grassy and luxuriant grounds of the Delta with varied flora species surrounding you. Guests can observe plants and insect life they have never seen before. Also, there is wildlife roaming around the arid land that you could encounter on foot while in the delta maze thus embracing all sights including tracks, smells and sounds around you.

Fishing Excursions The Okavango Delta offers excellent tiger-fishing, bream, pike, catfish and other species. The standard policy is “catch and release” with an option of having a single catch for dinner or lunch. When staying at a water-based camp, guests can enjoy fishing while basked in the spectacular scenery. Roll into the still waters and feel the morning or evening breeze on your skin. An experienced guide stays with you during the fishing trip and can also train you to cast.

Okavango Life And Culture Have a first-hand experience of the culture and tradition of the people of Okavango. Although this is not a standard tourist attraction or activity, sometimes guests get invited to village homes when visiting concessions close to the villages e.g. Khwai. You may want to interact with the locals and be exposed to traditional lives of the people of Okavango.

Helicopter Safaris - Aerial Viewing The aerial view of the Delta is fantastic. As the copter rises, you are treated to the vast green of flourishing flora that covers the arid land of the Delta. You can see the remotest portions that cannot be easily toured when you are on the ground and spot wildlife from a bird eye view. The fan shape delta with its many islands, ornamented maze of water channels and waterways will definitely catch your eye.

Okavango Heavenly Watching Another interesting activity to do while in the Okavango Delta is to experience watching the changing of the color of the skies as the sun sets and rises. The sky color is majestic especially towards the evening after a sunny day. Also, in the comfort of your lodge or camp, you can gain enlightenment from your guide who can circumnavigate you through the swarming heavens and theme out the most remarkable sights.

The Okavango Delta safari experience would probably be one of your most treasured trips to nature. You will see the magic of a life unadulterated by masses of tourists. Okavango Delta is unquestionably one vacation paradise which is worthy of living and a life changing experience!

So what are you waiting for? Contact Africa specialist – AfricanMecca Safaris to plan your safari to Okavango Delta and other Botswana safari destinations.

Okavango Delta Camp & Lodge Accommodations In Botswana

Click here for listing of camps and lodges in Moremi - Okavango Delta


What are our Customers saying about our safari holidays?

  • On behalf of myself, my wife and my two adult daughters, I want to sincerely thank you and AfricanMecca Safaris for our fabulous recent safari. Everything you promised exceeded our expectations and was superb, which is saying a lot since this was our second trip, having had a wonderful Botswana Safari 10 years ago. Do not ever hesitate to use me as a reference.
    Robert Schenkein - prVision Photography Studio - Colorado, United States
  • Chobe was delightful, less than half full. Sussi and Chuma, very nice, again only 13 people in all. All the game drives and river cruises were excellent. We had great weather. The ability to get really close is in inspiring. EVERYWHERE we went, the people were warm, helpful and charming. Thank you so much. We will be recommending your services to all.
    Thomas Kelch - California, United States
  • Raza Visram at AfricanMecca planned the most amazing trip for my friend and I. I wanted to go to 4 countries in 15 days and he made it happen. It was an aggressive itinerary and Raza planned it so well, that the transitions were seamless. The last leg of the trip was Botswana for another Safari and we stayed at the most beautiful lodge. The excitement in seeing the animals so closely is indescribable.
    Karin Alsdorf - New Jersey, United States
  • I had a wonderful trip to Africa and I would highly recommend your company.I have been to Africa many times and I have never had such wonderful service. The guide and safari vehicle were both great and all the lodges were outstanding. We will be going to Africa again the year after next and I assure you I will be contacting you. Thanks again for arranging such a great trip.
    Ronald Price, President, Ron Price Motors Group - California, United States
  • Our Botswana safari was FANTASTIC! It truly was a luxury, but rustic enough, safari. We really loved our trip! We saw everything here. From lions to leopards to elephants to buffalos. Our guide, Rams was truly amazing. He really knew his stuff! While on the bush walks we encountered zebras, warthogs and much more. Thanks for your help! We will definitely do another trip within a year.
    Duncan Rosen - Florida, United States
  • Thank you for everything; we had an amazing honeymoon. Words really can't describe our experience, all we can really say was that it was the most amazing experience of our lives and we would recommend AfricanMecca to anyone. We hope to visit Africa again sometime next year! Thank you & all of your staff for an amazing & perfect honeymoon.
    Rick Sagoo - London, United Kingdom


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