The Okavango Delta is renowned as one of the most unique eco-systems on the planet, which makes for a truly magical safari destination. The delta is a haven for huge quantities of wildlife and is famed for its unsurpassed game viewing experiences. Safaris in the Okavango are enjoyed in a 4×4, on foot or in a traditional hollowed-out canoe called a mokoro. During the seasonal floods, an estimated 200,000 animals migrate to the Okavango Delta, including half of the elephants in southern Africa.
About the Okavango Delta
Located in northern Botswana, the Okavango Delta is a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site. When flooded the delta itself is the largest wetland wilderness area on the planet and home to 164 mammal species, 157 reptile species and around 540 bird species.
The delta snakes across the eastern side of the Moremi Game Reserve as well as a number of small private concessions. Between the months of July and September the area is flooded by water from the mountains of nearby Angola. During these months the region is a blanket of fresh, shallow water dotted with islands and full of wildlife.
Okavango Delta Wildlife Safaris
Since the delta does not flood as a result of rainfall, Botswana’s dry season is when the Okavango Delta is flooded and wet. During these months game viewing is sensational and all of the Big Five can be found on a tailor-made safari in the Okavango Delta. Black and white rhinos have been reintroduced but sightings are still rare. Elephant and buffalo are frequently spotted, while lion and leopard are also relatively common. The delta is a haven for the rare African wild dog and to find them denning during your luxury Okavango safari is not uncommon. Regular sightings of giraffe, wildebeest and zebra can also be expected and hyena can be seen frequently during game drives.
Rare antelope species such as roan, sable and tsessebe are seen relatively often during game drives, bush walks or from a mokoro safari in the Okavango. The rare swamp-adapted red lechwe and sitatunga antelope are also both found in the Okavango Delta.
Whilst game drives, walking safaris and mokoro tours (which are dependent on the water-level) are the most popular way of exploring the Okavango, fishing trips and helicopter flights are also possible and offer a unique way of seeing the delta.
Birding in the Okavango Delta
Recorded species of bird in the Okavango Delta exceed 500, and during Botswana’s summer months between May and November the area is alive with domestic and migratory birds. There are several exciting birds of prey to be found during a bespoke Okavango safari, including the Pel’s fishing owl, Bateleur eagle, martial eagle and black-chested snake eagle amongst others. Birding specials in the Okavango include the slaty egret, African pygmy goose and the rosy-throated long-claw.
Best Places to Stay in the Okavango Delta
Choosing the right Okavango Delta camp or lodge is very important as the activities available may differ from property to property. For those interested in a combination of game drives and mokoro safaris, opting for a camp that offers both is important. There are also lodges that cater well for those on Okavango family safari holidays, or honeymoons.
Hand-picked Camps and Lodges
Best Time to Visit the Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta floods each year around May, and from June to November the flooded delta is full of incredible wildlife. During these months there is little rain, the climate is pleasant and there are less mosquitos making it the perfect time for a safari in the Okavango Delta. September and October are particularly good months for game viewing as animals tend to concentrate near the water’s edge in greater numbers.
During Botswana’s wetter summer months between November and April animals disperse over greater distances although wildlife viewing remains good. Birding in the Okavango Delta is excellent at this time.
Weather During the Year
How to Book an Okavango Delta Safari Holiday
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