The Okavango Delta is one of Africa's most breathtaking and celebrated wilderness areas. It is a costly vacation destination - but one that is well worth the expenditure. Travelers can only reach most of the safari camps in the Okavango via light charter flight. African Sky includes the Okavango Delta in several of our pre-designed luxury tours, safari, and honeymoon itineraries.Need Advice?
One of the reasons the Okavango Delta is such a popular African safari destination is the wealth of safari activities available. These activities are enjoyed in one of the world's genuinely remote and untouched wilderness areas. Most of the camps in the Okavango are only accessible via light charter aircraft.
Water-based game viewing can consist of either motorized excursions on the lakes and channels of the Delta or game viewing from a mokoro. Relax as you are propelled through the Delta's shallow waters by a guide standing in the stern and pushing forward with a pole.
The most popular safari activity remains the traditional game drive in an open 4x4 vehicle, which provides visitors with an elevated vantage point over the vast stretches of the delta and the opportunity to spot wildlife from afar.
Walking safaris on the many islands in the Delta accompanied by resident rangers and trackers offer a wonderfully personal way of viewing the wildlife without the interference of artificial sound.
The Okavango is a unique ecosystem of lagoons and channels which covers, on average, some 17 000 square kilometers. It is one of the world's largest inland deltas, once part of Lake Makgadikgadi, which dried up many years ago.
Surrounded by the arid Kalahari Desert, the Okavango is a lush oasis that attracts vast animal concentrations during the dry season. It is a natural spectacle that leaves a lasting impression on all fortunate enough to have witnessed its grandeur.
Regarded as one of nature's most spectacular masterpieces, the Okavango Delta offers its visitors the opportunity to explore one of Africa's supreme wilderness areas. A World Heritage Site, this boundless and unspoiled freshwater oasis stretches across the heart of Botswana's Kalahari Desert. The delta sustains incredible numbers of wildlife within a dramatic natural setting.
Despite its wild nature, the Okavango Delta remains accessible to safari enthusiasts. Guided game drives, bush walks, Mokoro, and boat safaris add to the wild appeal of an Okavango Delta safari. This African safari destination offers the widest range of safari activities available in Botswana and features some of Africa's most luxurious safari lodges.
Safeguarded by the Moremi Game Reserve and various private wildlife concessions, the Okavango Delta is an untouched haven to impressive numbers of elephants, buffalo, lions, hippos, giraffes, and zebra. A predator paradise, the Delta is a world-renowned stronghold for leopards, wild dogs, and many rare and unusual mammal and bird species.
Few places in the world offer a greater sense of remoteness and isolation, a place where man can reconnect with nature and leave behind the worries and frustrations of the modern world, even if only for a short period.
Okavango Delta vacations range from specific packages to this unique wilderness to being included in a longer itinerary with multiple other safari destinations.
The modes of transportation utilized on your safari in the Okavango Delta consist of specially fitted open 4x4 vehicles for game drives. Unlike in private game reserves in South Africa, these vehicles are covered by a canvas roof to protect against the harsh African sun.
The waterways are explored in specially adapted motorized game viewing boats and "mokoro's," traditional canoes that have been utilized in the area for hundreds, even thousands of years. These canoes are traditionally carved from a single tree's trunk and propelled forward by a pole bearer standing in the back of the Mokoro.
When visiting the Okavango Delta, the goal of your experience is mainly to maximize your game viewing. It is also essential to savor the small things, however - those fleeting moments where you truly realize the privilege of witnessing a particular sighting.
This comprehensive luxury safari combines regional highlights with a safari in the Okavango Delta. An adventure to be remembered.
An ultra-luxurious exploration of the best safari areas in Botswana in combination with a visit to Victoria Falls from Zambia.
The Okavango Delta Safari is a short but memorable excursion to Botswana's most famous wilderness area. It departs from and returns to Johannesburg in South Africa.
Daily scheduled flights are operated between Johannesburg and Maun, the gateway to the Okavango. These flights are just under an hour and a half in duration.
Upon reaching Maun, light charter flights bring guests to gravel airstrips close to the lodge where they will be staying.
December to February is hot, wet months with daytime temperatures as high as 40°C. Humidity levels fluctuate between 50% and 80%. From March to May, the temperatures become far more comfortable, with a maximum of 30°C during the day and mild to cool evenings. The rain dries up quickly, leading into the dry, cooler winter months of June to August.
Daytime temperatures at this time of year are mild to warm, but the temperatures begin to fall after sunset. September to November sees the heat and atmospheric pressure build up once more as the dry season slides into the rainy season. October is the most challenging month for visitors - daytime temperatures often push past 40°C, and a sudden cloudburst only occasionally breaks the dryness.
It is best to visit the Okavango Delta between June and September. Having said this, each season in this ecosystem has its wonders to offer visitors.
Malaria is prevalent in the area, and it would be wise to consider anti-malarial prophylactics. If you take any chronic medication or require allergy medication from time to time, we recommend that you pack an ample supply of both, for there are no chemists or shops where these can be bought or supplemented.
Adhere to the rules and recommendations of your ranger as far as wildlife interactions are concerned to ensure a safe and hassle-free safari in Botswana's Okavango Delta.
The Okavango Delta has not always been the reserve it is today. Towards the end of the 19th century, the animal population in the Southern Delta had been practically wiped out by the rinderpest epidemic. It took many years for numbers to recover, simply to come under new pressure from uncontrolled hunting and encroaching cattle farms.
Thanks in large part to the efforts of the wife of Chief Moremi III, the tribe agreed to set aside the area between the Khwai and Mogogelo Rivers as a wildlife reserve. On 15 March 1963, the reserve was officially proclaimed and named in honor of Chief Moremi. This reserve protects a large part of the Okavango Delta and now covers an area of 4872 square kilometers (1856 sq miles).
Animal numbers have recovered very well, thanks in large part to the vision of these early conservationists and the commitment of the Botswana government to preserve its wilderness areas and animal life.
The Okavango Delta is produced by seasonal flooding. The Okavango River drains the summer rainfall from the Angola highlands, and the surge flows 1 200km in one month. The waters then spread over the delta's 250km by 150m area over the next four months.
The flood peaks during Botswana's dry winter months, when the delta swells to three times its permanent size - attracting animals from miles around and creating one of Africa's most significant concentrations of wildlife. The delta's profuse greenery is not the result of a tropical climate - it is rather like an oasis in an arid country.
The Okavango Delta is both a permanent and seasonal home to a wide variety of wildlife, which makes it a popular tourist attraction. The delta is known for its abundance of predator species, which include big cats like lions, leopards, and cheetahs.
The Okavango Delta is also home to one of the largest pack densities of the endangered African wild dog on the African continent. Both brown and spotted hyenas occur. Herbivores range from behemoths like elephants, hippos, and Cape buffalo to large antelope and plains game species such as tsessebe, sitatunga, kudu, sable antelope, giraffe, and zebra.
The area is home to over 400 species of birds, including the African fish eagle, Pel's fishing owl, crested crane, lilac-breasted roller, hamerkop, ostrich, and sacred ibis. The most populous large mammal is the lechwe antelope, with more than 60 000 of these water-loving creatures gracing the wetlands. The lechwe is slightly larger than an impala, with elongated hooves and a water-repellent substance on its legs that enable rapid movement through knee-deep water. They graze on aquatic plants and take to water when threatened by predators.
Most of the estimated 200 000 large mammals in and around the delta are not year-round residents. They leave with the summer rains to find renewed fields of grass to graze on and trees to browse, then make their way back as winter approaches.
One of the reasons that the Okavango Delta is such a popular African safari destination is the wealth of safari activities available. Naturally, the most popular activity remains the traditional game drive in an open 4x4 vehicle, which provides visitors with an elevated vantage point over the vast delta and the opportunity to spot wildlife from afar. The alternative option of bush walks is the chance to get intimate with this unique wilderness area.
An African safari activity that remains inherent to an Okavango Delta safari is a water-based game-viewing adventure from a mokoro. Relax as you are propelled through the delta's shallow waters by a guide standing in the stern and pushing forward with a pole. Mokoros are traditionally made by digging out the trunk of a large straight tree, such as an ebony or Kigelia tree. Modern mokoros, however, are increasingly made of fiberglass.