Okavango Delta is a major tourist destination in Africa and has a lot of wilderness experiences to offer travelers. It is the world's largest inland delta and the most unexpected natural wonder – a swampy and forested island in a desert landscape. It covers an area of 22,000 sq km of the Kalahari Desert on heavy flooding days. There is no doubt that the Okavango Delta is one of the world's most stunning wilderness regions. The area experiences dramatic drought and flood periods; yet there is a wide variety of wild animals thriving despite these changes – no wonder one of Africa’s best safari destinations. Discover the world’s largest inland delta; the most unexpected wonder.
The Annual Flooding at Okavango Delta
Located in the Kalahari Basin, the world's most unexpected wonder feeds from Southern Africa's 4th longest river, the Okavango River. This river increasingly gets full during the wet seasons, thereby flooding the delta by the end of the rainy period (usually April). The flooding is associated with the heavy rainfalls in Angola highlands that flow into the Okavango River.
Getting to Okavango Delta
Because flooding in this area is unpredictable, the whole area is uninhabited, and aircraft is the only way to get there. Travelers take a domestic flight from Maun, Botswana's third-largest town and tourism capital. The flight takes visitors into the camps constructed with eco-friendly principles.
- Time: It takes 15-45 minutes, depending on where a traveler's accommodation is.
When to Visit
The dry season (May-September) is perfect for wildlife viewing. This is the same period during which the annual flooding occurs, and wild animals have to stand on higher grounds for protection, making them easy to sight. The weather is great – cooler and less humid, and sufficient sunlight. Animals leave the Delta areas around November to March to graze at the nearby grasslands as the floods have submerged at this time. It is not easy to access incredible wild viewing opportunities, and most of the lodges can't provide water-related tour services. Also, some lodges close down at this time, and accommodation is limited. The green season remains the best time to explore the World’s Most Unexpected Wonder.
Visiting Okavango Delta gives the best wilderness experience, incredible wildlife viewing, and beautiful scenery to explore. The abundance of incredibly diverse wildlife, including at least 160 mammal species thrive here. Visitors can spot the Big Five and the endangered African wild dog. Okavango is known for more and regular sightings of leopards. The endangered African wild dog is hard to spot, but travelers are more likely to sight the rest of the park – around 50, maybe. One can have the best experience with these wild dogs when they are playing in groups as they hunt and tussle.
Travelers can also spot cheetah, crocodiles, zebra, hippos, and giraffes. Antelope species, including the sable, red lechwe, and the vulnerable topi - call this place home. Okavango Delta is a perfect destination for bird watchers, with over 530 different species recorded. It is the best spot for bird viewing in the whole of Southern Africa.
Moremi Game Reserve
Not just the only public game reserve in Okavango, Moremi Game Reserve has a lot to experience – from wildlife, diverse bird species, floodplains, and papyrus rivers, to beautiful lagoons and acacia forests. It is located on the Delta's eastern side – one of the rare places in Southern Africa where various species of plants and animals coexist so well in random ecosystems. The reserve is known for its high concentration of leopards. Both black and white black rhino also thrives in this mind-blowing environment. Moremi Game Reserve is the gateway to the World's Most Unexpected Wonder, and travelers can always engage in game drives as they enjoy the stunning view of the reserve's incredibly diverse wildlife.
Safari Activities at Okavango Delta
Travelers mostly visit Okavango for wildlife viewing and exploring its magnificent nature. Its waterways and spectacular lagoons make it a unique safari destination, and water-based tours offer an experience to remember. Most private camps only provide boat safari rides for game viewing because water surrounds the place at that time of the year. Travelers can also go for horse riding, elephant safaris, conventional jeep, and safari walks. Fishing is also available, and visitors can spend time casting for tilapia or tiger fish. Viewing from above offers the best experience of the Okavango Delta safari.
Accommodation Near Okavango Delta
There are many options for accommodation in the Okavango Delta area - ranging from public campsites to luxury lodges to private tented camps. Sanctuary Chief's Camp is a popular option for travelers, and it's located in Moremi Game Reserve.
- Sanctuary Chief Camp services: Airport shuttle, free Wi-Fi, swimming pool, free breakfast, patient library, and spa.
- Activities: bush dining, game drives, mokoro trails, helicopter flights, scenic flights, photographic safaris, and private game drives.
- Cost: $900-$3,650
Camp Xakanaxa – is the most famous and oldest bush camp in Moremi Game Reserve and is a perfect option for visitors looking for an optimum Okavango nature safari experience. The private concessions found at the Delta are for walking safari and night game drive enthusiasts.
- Camp Xakanaxa Facilities: Free breakfast, Airport shuttle, swimming pool, lounge, and free parking.
- Cost: $585-$1,034
Located on the Khwai concession, Khwai River Lodge offers luxury accommodation to travelers. Gunn's Camp is another popular option and is situated on the Xabaxaba concession. Gunn is based on water and provides bush walks, mokoro tours, and camping trips.
- Cost of spending at Gunn’s Camp: $560-$1,085, depending on the season
Okavango Delta is truly a truly unexpected wonder that every traveler should prioritize on their bucket lists. A tour of this safari destination offers an incredible experience of the African wilderness and wildlife.