Permanent water camps offer game-viewing by boat in the deep channels of the Okavango Delta and game walks on its islands.
The permanent water camps of the Okavango are in the north-west and central part of the Okavango Delta. These camps are typically close to deep channels running through the delta. Here watery game viewing is predominantly by motorboat. Plus game walks on the delta’s islands with an experienced, armed guide.
These permanent water camps offer a completely different safari experience. However game-viewing tends not to be as varied, given this predominance of water. But this is offset by the superb birding in these areas and the stunning watery landscapes.
We recommend including a water-based safari camp only if you have time to stay at two different safari lodges, which we recommend anyway.
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I loved this camp! Comfortable accommodation and I found the camp to be really relaxing.
At the airstrip, we received a very warm welcome, and whisked off out on a mokoro trip straight away, to appreciate what was left of the day before sunset. There are probably very few activities that could come close to a mokoro trip in the Okavango Delta. The transition from being a little stressed and tired, to being in such a peaceful environment and the tranquility of the mokoro trip itself was so amazing! After the mokoro trip, we met the lodge staff next to the runway where we enjoyed sundowners and watched a magnificent sunset. After sundowners we were walked to the camp and saw a giraffe up close that was grazing on the island close to the lodge.
The camp was really comfortable. The bathroom is en-suite with an enclosed door at the back of the tent and could work very well for twin guests sharing. The tent has a proper door that can be closed. The food was excellent – home-cooked style but delicious! If guests know the history of Camp Okavango and how it all started, it will be a treat for them to meet John Carter who has lived in the Delta all his life and been at Camp Okavango for 30+ years (since it started). The staff were absolutely lovely! I can’t think of a better way of starting your Botswana safari than in the heart of the Okavango Delta.
The following day our wake-up call was at 06h00, followed by breakfast at 06h30 and the morning motorboat excursion departed at 07h30, meandering through crystal clear waters to Lopis Island where our game walk would be. It was rather chilly on the boat (mid winter) and we had an unexpected sighting of about five little bee-eaters that were all snuggled up closely on a papyrus reed to keep warm. The island was quiet this morning, but our tracker spotted an elephant when we got off the boat and our paths crossed his again, when we had to make our way back to the boat – what an adrenalin rush, being so close to such a large animal on foot! We had a guide & tracker with us. I must add that I felt completely safe. Some of their older guides have lived in the Okavango Delta most of their lives, so they know the behavior of the animals and are very experienced.
Sightings on the island differ from day to day because the animals migrate/move across the islands. After our stay, guests at Camp Moremi commented that they had been close to a large herd of elephant on Buffalo Island near that camp. We also saw impala on the island, crocodiles on our way back and also visited a “hippo pool” with quite a few hippo. Obviously one can never tell what exciting sightings are to be expected on the islands where walking is done, but learning about the plants and their medicinal values and looking at spoor is equally satisfying and very informative!