User Reviews – Okavango Delta
Email Kirstie Bankslyon | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Hippos and elephants - as we were on a walking Safari the other animals were quite far away
Email Barbara Bergfield | 65+ years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
It is a great place for Birding. I should’ve stayed at a better reserve.
A unique habitat
Really good boat trips, and meeting a bull Elephant in must, while in Mokoro dugout canoe was very exciting. Ranger guides on land less interesting. Excellent accommodation at Nguma lodge, in perfect setting. However a torrential downpour cancelled a boat trip and dampened our enthusiasm.
A river which fails to meet the sea
The Okabango Delta, called the jewel of Kalahari in Africa, changes the shape of the waterway and plants grow to block it. Hippos living in lakes and swamps here can pass through the blocked waterways or expand their channels.
The swamps in the Okabang Lake grow very well, thanks to the rivers and the nutrients in them. As a natural environment, a large number of animals and birds gather here and breed in a swamp in the middle of a dry terrain. Large animals such as hippos and elephants are easy to see and have various birds.
This was the first part of our trip and was perhaps the best start we could have asked for. The tranquil trip down the delta was very soothing and relaxing. We camped out overnight and experienced the beautiful night sky and morning views. Sunset and sunrise on the delta are memories I will never forget.
A very different ecperience from any that I've had before in a very good way!
We stayed at Moremi Crossing, which was excellent, having flown in by light aircraft from Maun. The weather was very good for us -sunny but not too hot. The clear skies were magnificent at night - coming from a relatively light polluted area the chance to see (and photograph) the Milky Way was great. We say a variety of wildlife and my abiding memory was of an elephant at close quarters from a Mokoro (the experience of being poled through the waterways in a Mokoro was magical too). We also saw Red Lechwe, buffalo, hippo and a great variety of birds - I couldn't define myself as a birder but there certainly seemed to be an abundance.
Our accommodation was very good with excellent food and a pleasant atmosphere.
Email Helene de Ridder | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
Excellent for bird and wildlife photography
Email Paula Adams | 65+ years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
Amazing, amazing, amazing.
Great experience, especially the Mokoro trip. Don't worry too much about malaria!
Being a regular visitor to southern Africa including Namibia and South Africa, I've never been to the Okavango Delta bevor. We arrived in Gaborone via flight from Johannesburg and then took a car to Maun. Since the way is too long (expect min 2 days), we made a stop at the Kama Rhino Sanctuary (which I can also recommend). If you're only been to South Africa before, you'll notice that Botswana is different. It's much less densely populated and there are not many hotels and restaurants available along the way. Most of lodges are in the luxury segment and quite expensive, even for european standards. The road to Maun had many potholes, especially during the last kilometers. The A14 generally had less traffic and a better road quality than the A3. Alternatively, you can fly to Maun as well.
Maun is the gateway to many activities in the delta. Is has quite a lot of accommodations, restaurants, shops and an airport. Even if you can't afford a helicopter flight, you should book a Mokoro boat tour. It takes approximately 8 hours from 8 am until 4 pm. A guide will drive you through the delta while you can relax and enjoy the nature. It's worth every cent. If you come in December, expect the water levels to be low and some rain or clouds from time to time.
Don't worry too much about malaria. It is there but not too common (ask the locals). Take a good mosquito spray with you anyways and keep the doors/windows closed in the evening. We've rarely seen any mosquitos, so I think the health damage done by any medication outweighs the real risk, especially if you're only staying for a couple of days in the southern part of the delta.
Email Inga | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: first safari
A very special place and an unique experince
The two days I spent in the Okavango Delta were absolutely magical. When you camp out in the delta, you're transported via mokoros, a canoe type boat used by the locals to travel around the delta. Usually two people are ferried in each mokoro with one poler propelling the boat. It's a unique way of travelling, making you feel one with the delta itself. Usually they use pathways that have already formed in the reed growing in the delta but sometimes they need to push through the dense reed. Keep your eyes out while sailing in the mokoros as you can see a lot of the smaller wildlife, such as frogs and insects. You'll also probably come across some hippos.
When you camp out on the delta, there are few amenities. The only running water is the water of the delta itself and therefore you can't use soap out there. There are no toilet facilities so you have to use a bush toilet. When you need to go after nightfall, you need a buddy with you to be on the look-out for animals. It's definitely something you don't experience very often.
During the night, you'll hear the delta symphony where the frogs, the insects and the birds sing their songs with occasional rumblings from the elephants and the hippos. The best kind of music to fall asleep to.
I experienced very warm weather in the delta as it was the last days of the dry season, right before the rain would start. Therefore it was very nice to able to dip into the delta for a cooling bath. Bring your swimsuit!
My group went for bush walks with local people as guides. The walks were both shortly after daybreak and then right before nightfall. We got pretty close to elephants, zebras and lechwe antelopes. Our guides were also great at pointing out various birds, smaller wildlife and plants.
There was also a sunset cruise which was wonderful. The colors at sunset are every photographer's dream.
The Okavango Delta is a very special place and I felt I was very lucky to get experience it with the guidance of local guides who know the terrain very well and share with you their knowledge and wisdom.