OKAVANGO DELTA SAFARI
The Okavango Delta is an inland oasis creating a vast eden of tranquil beauty which is home to one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife on the planet. This phenomenal delta was created through the shift of 2 tectonic plates that changed the course of the Okavango River directing it into the dry Kalahari desert, turning it into one of Africa’s most incredible wildlife areas. The ebb and flow of the Okavango’s waters is ever changing with each season offering something different as wildlife adapts to the environment. The Okavango Delta has outstanding natural beauty and is home to many of Africa’s most famous safari camps.
The Okavango’s vast flood waters come from the north in the mountains in Angola and the water slowly winds its way into Botswana where the river widens at the what is known as “the pan handle”. It travels down the pan handle for about 100kms before it starts to slow down and spread out as the water flows into the vast floodplains of the Kalahari sands. The water runs down old existing channels, elephant migration routes and hippo pathways and down new pathways created by wildlife trails spreading out to create a 15000sqkm wildlife haven. The heart of the Okavango is a permanent swamp, a maze of lagoons and channels, rich in birdlife, quiet and tranquil as the waters courses slowly through beautiful water lilies and papyrus-reeds. Filtered by the vegetation and sand these pure waters become crystal clear only adding to this pristine environment. The Okavango Delta is a true wilderness paradise and on the bucket list of all safari connoisseurs.
Bordering the Okavango Delta is the famous Moremi Game reserve which is often considered part of the delta. This wildlife rich area also features lodges and camps and can often tie in very well with a pure water based safari deep in the delta.
ONE OF AFRICA’S FAMOUS WILDLIFE AREAS
ANNUAL FLOODS BREATHES LIFE INTO THE DELTA
MASSIVE CONCENTRATIONS OF BIG GAME
HOME TO AFRICA'S FINEST & FAMOUS CAMPS
There is great variety in activities in the Okavango Delta, most of which is dependant on which camp you choose. Many of the camps are water based camps that only offer water based activities such as the Mokoro (traditional canoe) which is a peaceful way to explore the waters of the delta and get up close to some f the deltas smaller creatures that live on or close to the water. Motor boat excursions and fishing is also a highlight at these lodges. There is also a big focus on walking safaris as the Delta has many large islands that have permanent wildlife. Seeing lion, elephant or some plains game of foot can give w whole new feeling to game viewing and create some amazing life long memories. Some of the other camps on the other regions of the delta are on private concessions which allows them to do more activities than the water based camps. They can offer game drives in conjunction with water based activities as well as guided walks and night drives.
Time of year to travel
Choosing the right time of the year for your Okavango Delta Safari is very important. As with most of Africa, the best time to view wildlife is the winter dry period which starts in at the end of April and goes through to October. The Delta is unique as the when the dry period starts and the rain has stopped in Botswana, the cool waters of the Okavango River start to arrive from the highlands of Angola, turning the Delta into an inland oasis and animals migrate in the area. The Okavango Delta is at its peak between June to August and then it starts to recede. This of course makes not only for unbelievable game viewing but seeing the Okavango in flood and doing a water based safari a top experience for any traveller. The mercury starts rising in mid August and in October temperatures push up to their yearly maximums, there is a noticeable rise in humidity before the rains start in November and December. A lot of camps are water based and have permanent water whilst other dry up for a couple months which means activities such as mokoro (traditional canoeing) is not available. The green season is from December to March and and Botswana during these months Botswana receives its highest rainfall. Thundershowers normally occur in the afternoon, only lasting for an hour. During these few months, some of the game will migrates south to the Kalahari and the Mgadigadiki Pans to graze on the grassy plains. The Okavango’s camps become a lot more affordable during the green season, and whilst game viewing is not at a premium it still offer great diversity and combines very well with a “dry” safari in other parts of Botswana. Be sure to get the right advice on which camps offer permanent water so that you can take full advantage of a water based safari.
Amazing Places To Stay
Lodges and Accommodation
Seba Camp is set in a wildlife wonderland overlooking a perennial lagoon. Its riverine situation in a forest of majestic hardwood trees plays host to prolific birdlife, while on the concession a variety of land and water game-viewing activities ensure that Seba delivers a classic Okavango Delta safari experience.
Located on the northern tip of Chiefs Island, ‘The Place of Plenty’, Mombo boasts enormous concentrations of plains game and predators. This wildlife haven is considered to be one of the best areas for game viewing in Africa and doesn’t disappoint.The camp was rebuilt in 2018 and maintains a minimal human footprint and impact on the natural environment.
An elevated, thatched style guest area provides uninterrupted views of the lagoon and Khwai River. Featuring an open-air lounge with plush leather sofas and comfortable armchairs this area is a great place to relax and take in the local wildlife scenery.
Xugana Island Lodge
Xugana Lagoon is widely known as one of the most spectacular permanent water regions in the Okavango Delta. Located within a private concession Xugana Island Lodge is right on the edge of this lagoon, it is easy to see why this lodge is so sought-after.
Our top tip
Be sure to understand what experience camps offer. Some camps are purely water based, whilst other are seasonally flooded which means they can offer game drives and a range of other activities. Camps located on private concessions can offer night drives and guided walks. Winter can be cold so if travelling from May to July, be prepared and take some warm clothing!