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Okavango Delta

Botswana

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OKAVANGO DELTA SAFARI HOLIDAYS

Overview

Botswana’s Okavango Delta is known as one of Africa’s most incredible wildlife areas. This phenomenal park has outstanding natural beauty and is home to many of Africa’s most famous safari camps.

Home to many of Africa’s finest parks, including the amazing predator-rich Moremi Game Reserve. The Delta offers visitors a great range of safari activities, as well as some of the most exclusive safari experiences on the continent.

The Okavango’s vast flood waters come from the mountains in Angola, with the main water volume impacting the north-west of the Delta. This deluge arrives in April and transforms the dry landscape into a lovely wetland oasis attracting Africa’s big game in massive numbers.

The game in the Delta are very transient and the species of game that were in one location last month will be sure to have moved on by next month. The team at Sensational Africa understand the Delta like no one else and listen carefully to the safari experience that you are seeking. This means our team can plan an Okavango Delta safari experience focusing on the game that you want to see – as a result, we don’t limit your stay to just one camp, ensuring that you get the complete Delta experience.

The region’s sheer beauty and captivating wildlife makes the Delta one of Africa’s top safari holiday destinations and a must-see.

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

Activities

The large range of activities on offer in the Okavango Delta is one of its big draw cards. People who have experienced a safari would understand how nice it is having the choice of spending a morning fishing or an afternoon on the river rather than heading out on a vehicle safari every day. Boating safaris are ideal for getting close (but not too close) to elephants and hippos crossing the Delta, as well as abundant birdlife.

While on the water, you can experience a traditional mokoro safari, which is where you travel in a traditional dugout canoe. In this experience, a person called a ‘poler’ stands behind you in the mokoro and steers you along the winding Okavango River. Mokoro safaris are about taking your time and enjoying the smaller things that you won’t experience on a driving safari.

You are likely to see things like a reed frog chilling out as you glide past his home or a jacana’s nest sitting on the water. Fishing experiences are readily available using sustainable practices (catch-and-release). Lastly, walking tours are quite popular and are a great way to take a break from vehicle safaris. Visitors enjoy the early morning walks where they can take their time observing the smaller things on a safari and learning about how the local plants can be used, like in traditional medicine.

Time of year to travel

The Delta is an incredibly diverse and complex region with significant changes in landscape as you travel through it. This means that certain areas are better to experience at specific times of the year, so local knowledge is critical when creating your holiday itinerary. Botswana’s winter is July through to October and historically this is the best time of year to be visiting the Okavango Delta. This season starts with the migrational game moving from areas beyond the Okavango with a focus on the flood water and good grazing conditions. As a result, the wildlife viewing is outstanding and comparable in volume and quality to anywhere else in Africa at its peak viewing season. During October temperatures push up to their yearly maximums and a noticeable rise in humidity is experienced building up to the rains in November and December.

The green season is from December to March and this is when Botswana receives most of its rain for the year. Thundershowers usually occur in the afternoon, generally lasting for an hour or so before quickly disappearing. During these few months, some of the game will migrate to the Kalahari and the Pans in search of better grazing opportunities. This is one of the best times of year to visit as the accommodation rates for the premium camps are dramatically reduced, meaning that you can stay in luxurious properties for a fraction of the high-season price. Game-viewing wise, the region is much greener, and the bush is a lot thicker meaning that game can be harder to spot. Therefore, it is best to carefully select where you visit at certain times of the year. The team at Sensational Africa can help you with this. Despite this time of year being the rainy season, the Okavango can be relatively dry in certain areas and too shallow for any water activities. If you want to experience the full variety of activities, then we suggest selecting camps that have deep water channel access.

April and May are when the Delta sees the floodwaters arrive. Our team calls this time of year the “Miracle Season” as we believe that there is nowhere in Africa which is more beautiful than the Delta during its first flood for the year. You’ll see the parched Kalahari sands turn into a wetlands paradise with countless waterlilies rising through the floodplains. The animals which migrated during the green season will all begin to make their way back to the Delta. It’s just magical to watch.

Amazing Places To Stay

Lodges and Accommodation

Camp Xakanaxa

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.

Xugana Island Lodge

Our top tip

You can experience the best of the Okavango Delta when you combine a dry area with a wet area. By this we mean that’s important that you don’t just stay in one camp in the Delta as you will miss specular adventures.

There are many fantastic dry camps which offer a completely different experience to the wetter camps. Combining the two different camp styles makes for a more fulfilling overall safari experience. Also when planning your trip, if you get deterred by Botswana’s high-season prices, then consider travelling in April, May or November – certain camps will still offer guests ridiculously good game-viewing and are better value for money.

Contact us for more information