Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta is Africa’s largest and most beautiful oasis - an isolated, verdant green paradise with some of the richest wildlife in the world.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

April to Oct

Overview

The Okavango Delta is Africa’s largest and most beautiful oasis - an isolated, lush green paradise filled with Wildlife.

However superb game-viewing is just one of many elements that make the Okavango delta such a special place. Here you experience the brooding quietness of the waterways, or the plaintive cry of the fish eagle. You see the malachite kingfisher reflected in the waters. And the scent of the water lilies. These sights and sounds will stay with you forever.

The source of the Okavango Delta lies in the extremely wet highlands of Angola. From here the river flows south gathering ever more water until it reaches Botswana. Here the Okavango Delta fans out into a vast, astonishingly luxuriant wilderness. Flood plain and forest, lagoon and large expanses of water all intermingle. It is this mix which is the ideal breeding ground for an incredible diversity of wildlife.

Below we’ve divided the Okavango camps into four categories.

  • The Moremi & Khwai lodges focus mainly on game drives.
  • The camps in the permanent waters of the Okavango Delta offer water-based safari activities year-round.
  • Seasonal water camps are in seasonally flooded areas. These offer water-based safari activities during the flood only, and game drives at other times.
  • Finally ‘mixed activity’ camps have access to permanent water channels. So they’re able to offer land and water safari activities throughout the year.
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Tasha Eygelaar

Africa Travel Specialist
Our experienced band of Safari Planners can create a bespoke plan for you. More enriching, more restorative and making more of a difference. Discover how working with a specialist adds value to your African adventure.

Features

Why you may love it

  • Exceedingly beautiful maze of waterways, lagoons and vast grassy plains
  • Home to some of the richest wildlife in the world including hippo, elephant, lion, leopard, hyena, giraffe, wild dog, rare antelope
  • The Okavango is a birder’s paradise with over 500 bird species
  • You can view wildlife in so many ways - on 4×4 game drives, on foot, by boat and via the evocative Mokoro trips
  • Most camps are on private concessions each with only 1-2 safari camps. Thus ensuring exclusivity and tranquillity
  • The delta is a conundrum. Its crystal clear channels, serene lagoons and palm-lined islands makes it a unique wetland system. Yet it survives on the sands of the vast Kalahari Desert. (Check out our article on why the Okavango Delta floods to know why...)

Explore the Okavango Delta map

When to visit Okavango Delta

December to March

Emerald Season

This is the summer rainy season. The wildlife tends to be more dispersed and harder to spot. But the vegetation is lush and green, animals are being born and birding is superb. Note that the Okavango Delta is not in flood and so the seasonal camps resemble ‘land’ camps at this time. If you want the watery experience, you should opt to stay at a water-based camp or one by a permanent water channel which offers water and land-based activities throughout the year.
AVG RAINFALL 90 mm
AVG DAYLIGHT 7.5 Hours
MAX TEMP 31 ℃ / 88 ℉
MIN TEMP 19 ℃ / 66 ℉

April to June

Start of the dry season

This is considered the shoulder season as the summer rains stop. The landscape is still green and lush but grasses start dying down. Note that June is a transitional month and varies from year to year depending on the rains (and thus how early the flood comes. Thus you may be lucky with a seasonal safari camp and get some water-based activities. Or you may not…
AVG RAINFALL 15 mm
AVG DAYLIGHT 9.5 Hours
MAX TEMP 30 ℃ / 86 ℉
MIN TEMP 15 ℃ / 59 ℉

July to September

Peak flood

Traditionally this is the best time to visit as the dry season continues and the Okavango Delta comes into flood. During the dry season the bush is less dense and the animals flock to the water sources for water. This makes the Okavango Delta a mecca for wildlife. Note that June and July night-time and early morning temperatures can be very chilly in the Delta.
AVG RAINFALL 1 mm
AVG DAYLIGHT 10 Hours
MAX TEMP 25 ℃ / 77 ℉
MIN TEMP 6 ℃ / 43 ℉

October to November

Rising temperatures

But temperatures heat up quickly in late September and October prior to the start of the summer rains. Make sure you are comfortable with heat if you travel in October. These high temperatures lead to the receding of the flood during October so we consider it a transitional month. October and early November tends to be very hot and dry but with good game-viewing Somewhere in November, the summer rains start. This leads to a fairly dramatic change in game-viewing as the wildlife disperse across the northern plains of Botswana and away from the Delta.
AVG RAINFALL 30 mm
AVG DAYLIGHT 10 Hours
MAX TEMP 35 ℃ / 95 ℉
MIN TEMP 18 ℃ / 64 ℉

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Exceeded all expectations

"Okavango Delta. The inevitable highlight. The region lived up to its reputation (on the first morning, we watched three lions track a herd of buffalo for maybe an hour, before witnessing the kill from only 20m!). The safari crew were awesome: outstanding guide who really knew his stuff." Mr Michael Barnard
Did you know
  • Delta to nowhere...The delta doesn't flow into any ocean or sea 
  • LandscapeVery flat, varying only by 2 metres in height