Okavango Delta Safari ideas
The Okavango Delta, the jewel of the Kalahari Desert, is Africa’s largest and most beautiful oasis. Picture an isolated, lush green paradise. Plus this exceedingly beautiful maze of waterways, lagoons and vast grassy plains is home to some of the richest wildlife in the world.. This includes hippo, elephant, lion, leopard, hyena, giraffe, wild dog, rare antelope and around 400 bird species.
But superb wildlife is just one of many elements that make the Okavango delta of Botswana such a special place. Here you experience the brooding quietness of the waterways. Enjoy the plaintive cry of the fish eagle. Or the malachite kingfisher reflected in the waters. And the scent of the water lilies. These sights and sounds will stay with you forever.
How does the Okavango Delta work?
But the Okavango 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 if you want to know why…)
The source of the Okavango Delta lies in the extremely wet highlands of Angola. From here the river flows south, away from the sea, 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. So it is this mix which is the ideal breeding ground for an incredible diversity of wildlife.
With the influx of the annual flood, the delta’s water levels rise steadily. This occurs from May onwards, with its peak reached in August. Then, as the spring temperatures heat the land, the waters recede again by late October.
The Okavango Delta in four ‘areas’:
TIP: Try to visit at two different parts of the Okavango Delta
What we like about an Okavango safari is that you can view wildlife in so many ways. On 4×4 game drives or on foot, by boat and of course via the evocative Mokoro trips. So try to stay at two contrasting camps. This allows you to enjoy a range of activities. And experience the full beauty of the Okavango Delta.
Below we’ve divided the Okavango into four categories. (They are not really regions but more types of land…)
- The Moremi Game Reserve lodges focus mainly on game drives.
- The permanent waters of the Okavango Delta are home to camps with water-based safari activities year round.
- Seasonal Water Okavango safari camps are in areas which are flooded annually. These offer a range of water-safari activities in the peak season. But mainly land-based activities at other times.
- Finally we have some ‘mixed activity’ camps with access to permanent water channels. They are able to offer land and water safari activities throughout the year.
Private Concessions on your Okavango Delta Tour
Apart from the Moremi Game Reserve, most of the Okavango Delta is divided up into private concession areas. Each has only one or two safari camps. Thus ensuring exclusivity and tranquillity. These private concessions also allow driving off road (when following big game), night drives and game walks. (But don’t reject the Moremi. It has superb game-viewing!)