Those who have already been to Botswana or are familiar with safaris on the African continent might already know it: Botswana is one of the best destinations for your “dream” safari.
In particular, the Okavango Delta Safari is considered by many as the best destination for a safari in Africa. The place is an oasis to a world full of wildlife to observe and lush vegetation.
Considered by the UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, the delta is a paradise for everyone looking for an unforgettable safari experience. If you plan to visit Botswana, you should take advantage of the Okavango Delta Safari!
Suppose you want to learn more about this fantastic destination or consider visiting it. In that case, you should collect some information about what the Okavango Delta is, what to expect from it, and some tips to organize your trip at best.
The Okavango Delta Safari is located in the northern part of Botswana. It is an iconic safari destination that offers a unique combination of populous wildlife, stunning landscape and scenery, unspoiled wilderness, and remote islands that cannot be found anywhere on Earth. Situated in the Kalahari Basin, the Okavango Delta Safari is fed by the Okavango River, the fourth largest in Southern Africa.
Amid the Kalahari sands, the Okavango Delta Safari is the world’s largest inland delta and one of the world’s greatest mysteries: perennial water in the desert! The iconic Okavango delivers the spectacle of wild, untamed Africa:
- The heart-stopping anticipation of big game viewing
- The peaceful tranquility of a pristine estuary
- Unforgettable landscapes of extraordinary natural beauty
This is a lush landscape of picturesque channels, lily-filled lagoons, papyrus stands, and reedbeds dotted with islands that are ever-changing with the ebb and flow of the annual floods and the movement of hippos and elephants through the watery channels. The scenery changes from periods of flood and drought that create a completely different landscape.
The popular “swaps” are created by the river’s annual flooding, which contributes to forming an essential and lush oasis in the Kalahari Desert.
The only public reserve in the Okavango is the Moremi Game Reserve, which covers about one-third of the area. Despite its rather small size, the area is one of the few places where black and white rhinos can be spotted.
The vastity of the area and the variety of wildlife and vegetation make the area unique. Because of its special ecosystem, most of the area has been inaccessible to humans for many years, leaving it untouched. The wilderness that characterizes its stunning landscape is magical and different from any other place on the planet.
Furthermore, every visit to the Okavango Delta Safari can be different because of the unpredictable nature of the floods and the great abundance of camps around the great area.
The Delta is unique in its diversity of animal life. More than 122 species of mammals are present in the area, including all of the Big Five. In particular, the Okavango Delta is well known for the possibility of seeing leopards as the home of the most numerous populations of the endangered African Wild Dog.
The Okavango Delta is a great bird-watching choice, hosting more than 444 species, including the African skimmer and the Pel’s Fishing Owl.
The good news about visiting the Delta is that, in reality, it can be classified as a year-round safari destination. However, consider the seasonality that characterizes the natural environment to plan your visit accordingly and know what to expect.
If you want to visit the Delta when you can more easily spot animals, you should plan your trip during the dry season. The vegetation will be lower, more animals will concentrate around water sources, and the sky will be cleaner, with fewer crowds. The dry season spans from May to September and coincides with the year when animals need to gather on higher ground. The temperatures are lower, and the weather is drier than the rest of the year. During this period, you’ll experience the best water safaris.
The high season spans from July to October, but you won’t even notice it because of the great size of the area.
During the rainy season, from November to March, many animals leave the Delta, and the floods recede. Even if the scenery is greener and lusher at this time of the year, you’ll still be able to see plenty of animals. This season is the best time for getting cheaper bird-watching rates. In particular, December to April is considered a low season, and while some lodges or camps might be closed, you might find the best rates for your trip.
The only months you should avoid are January and February, when you might experience continuous rainy days that can interfere with your trip.
Of course, if you plan to visit the Okavango, you already have your priority for animal watching. One unique experience of the Delta is the opportunity to have a water safari in a mokoro, the traditional canoe; if you can, try to squeeze a water safari into your schedule, as it is an unforgettable experience you’ll always bring.
You can explore the Delta on land in a 4X4, on foot, or by having a fantastic view from above while flying on a small bush plane. No matter how you explore the park, your experience will be unique and full of lasting memories.
The Delta also includes some of the most luxurious and remote camps and lodges in the African continent, equipped with the best structures and organizing many activities for their clients.
- Mokoro Rides
- Guided Walks
- Game Drives
- Helicopter Flight
One of the best ways to see the wildlife around the Okavango Delta is in one of the locally made dugout canoes, known as mokoros. These used to be carved from ebony but are now made from commercially grown wood and fiberglass to protect the fragile environment of the Okavango. In one of these traditional crafts, it is possible to float around the waterways and lagoons that make up the Delta, looking for crocodiles in the water and getting a remarkable view of the plains game from a new and exciting angle. This gentle and informative safari mode is unique to the river Bushmen, comprising three tribes who made the Delta their home. The camp also has motorized speedboats for the less brave that can be used when the rivers flood. (All water-based activities are seasonal and based on the water levels of the Delta.)
Walking in the wilderness is the highlight of a true safari experience. No special training is required as the focus is on exploration and discovery – tracking fresh spoor each morning to reveal the night’s events. Guests will be in the hands of the best professional guides whose first passion is interpreting and bringing every aspect of the bush to life.
Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy motorboat trips to some of the Okavango Delta’s best fishing spots for a chance to experience the beautiful surroundings before landing a variety of species such as tilapia and tiger fish, African pike, and sharp tooth catfish.
Game drives are conducted with a professional guide in specially designed vehicles. This allows unhindered game viewing and photography. Game drives often continue into the evening, offering the opportunity to see the area’s nocturnal inhabitants.
These scenic flights involve flying west towards the permanent Delta, exposing unreachable areas by vehicle or boat and showcasing the sheer enormity of the Okavango Delta Safari. There is the option of the doors being removed for unrestricted photographic opportunities. Choose 30, 45, or 60-minute tours in a one-turbine Bell Jetranger helicopter with 3 seats. This activity is offered on a year-round basis. Being a personalized activity, it’s up to you what time of day you would like to do the activity. However, we recommend early morning and late afternoon as these times usually provide the best light for photography. Preferred flight times can be requested on booking.
After reading what you can expect from visiting the Delta, you might have already decided that visiting the Botswana Safari Okavango Delta is worth it.
For many of its visitors, this destination represents one of the best travel experiences they have ever had. Seeing such a variety of wild animals in their natural environment and great numbers, living their life in the stunning natural landscape they inhabit, is a privileged opportunity. If you can live such a unique experience, don’t hesitate to visit the Okavango Delta; you won’t regret it!
The Bottom line: Why Should you Visit the Okavango Delta?
After having read what you can expect from visiting the Delta, you might have already made your mind up: visiting the Okavango Delta is worth it.
This destination represents for many of its visitors one of the best travel experiences they have ever had. Seeing such a variety of wild animals, in their natural environment and great numbers, living their life in the stunning natural landscape they inhabit is quite a privileged opportunity. If you have the chance of living such a unique experience, don’t hesitate to visit the Okavango Delta, you won’t regret it!