​User Reviews – Okavango Delta

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Pippa   –  
Tanzania TZ
Visited: September 2019 Reviewed: Nov 4, 2019

Email Pippa  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Overall rating

Stunning, not many people and lots of animals that aren't accustomed to people.

Tina   –  
United States US
Visited: September 2019 Reviewed: Sep 23, 2019

Email Tina  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

Birders’ paradise; did not camp here so can’t say much about Bush life

Karen   –  
Canada CA
Visited: June 2019 Reviewed: Aug 1, 2019

Email Karen  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

Magical safari experience.

Alex Bruce   –  
Canada CA
Visited: June 2019 Reviewed: Jul 22, 2019

Email Alex Bruce  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

A once in a lifetime trip that did not disappoint.
Overall rating

From the moment we arrived at Belmond Eagle Island Resort, we were made to feel like royalty. The entire staff greeted us at the entrance in song, followed by refreshments and tour. The accommodations redefine the term "glamping" with our beautifully appointed tent that included an outdoor shower (as well as an interior shower and soaker tub), a walk-in closet and infinity pool on our deck. The food was as expected, just wonderful.
We chose the month of June as it's the ideal time to see the wildlife due to the fact its the wet season. Unfortunately, it just happened that it was the driest June they've experienced in 10 years. That said, it did not hamper or affect our visit in any manner. While sitting on our deck in our first minutes of arriving, we watched elephants, hippos, antelope, eagles, warthogs etc....thinking, who needs to go on a drive when you're surrounded by all of this wildlife.
We were assigned a guide when we arrived. The daily routine was, your guide comes to your tent at 6:00am with coffee for your wake up call. Breakfast at 6:30 then meet at the jeep for 7:00 - 7:30. The morning drive goes until approx 11:00am, return for lunch and then 'siesta' time until 3:00 when you meet at the main lodge for "tea" then back to the jeep for 3:30 for your afternoon drive. The afternoon drive lasts until sundown which ends at a scenic spot at which the guide sets up a little bar so you can enjoy a cocktail while you watch the sunset.
Being winter at that time, the morning temperature can be quite cool (between 5-10 degrees celsius). While they advise you to wear layers, fleece lined ponchos were provided as well as blankets for the morning drive. By the end of the morning drive however the layers are peeled off at the temperature shot up to the mid 20's. I don't think we saw a cloud the whole time we were there.
As a professional photographer I was thrilled that we had drives that included the beautiful 'golden hour light'. I was also very happy that our driver had a good understanding of light for photography and would always position our vehicle for the best possible angle to take pictures.
I won't get into the actual wildlife we witnessed, only to say that we pretty much saw it all, including the Big 5 - Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Cape Buffalo. Our guide was amazing in his ability to track the various animals along with his knowledge of the area and wildlife.
Being a private reserve, we rarely saw another vehicle which for me enhanced the experience. As a bonus, I treated myself to a helicopter ride over the area which was a highlight of the trip, to see and photograph the animals from a different perspective. I would highly recommend the Belmond Lodges for that 'once in a lifetime trip and experience'

schtain   –  
South Korea KR
Visited: June 2017 Reviewed: Aug 7, 2018

Email schtain

A river which fails to meet the sea
Overall rating

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.

Michael Mayer   –  
Germany DE
Visited: December 2017 Reviewed: Feb 11, 2018

Email Michael Mayer

Great experience, especially the Mokoro trip. Don't worry too much about malaria!
Overall rating

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.

Inga   –  
Iceland IS
Visited: October 2017 Reviewed: Nov 1, 2017

Email Inga  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

A very special place and an unique experince
Overall rating

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.

Larry W   –  
United States US
Visited: October 2017 Reviewed: Oct 30, 2017

Email Larry W  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Chief’s Island in the Okavango Delta is as good as it gets in a safari destination.
Overall rating

I just spent a week at Mombo Trails camp in Botswana. I am somewhat of an old hand at African destinations since I have travelled the continent from north to south and east to west over 5 decades. However, I have never before seen so many critters up so close or been guided by professionals who knew more about the flora and fauna. The birds were gorgeous, the big cats magnificent, the other creatures plentiful and the backgrounds colorful and varied. Mombo Trails accommodations were comfortable and the food varied and delicious. The staff were solicitous but never intrusive. In short, this was the best safari experience I have known!

Regula   –  
Switzerland CH
Visited: July 2017 Reviewed: Sep 21, 2017

Email Regula  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Overall rating

Don't miss it - it is different but nevertheless amazing, pure and peaceful and th hippos are a little scary!!Just so cool!!

Mark   –  
United States US
Visited: March 2017 Reviewed: Aug 13, 2017

Email Mark

Amazing place to visit
Overall rating

Everything was perfect about this safari, except the season. We've been there at the end of still wet season, with too much water around and too tall grass to hide for wildlife. Did not spot big cats at all. However, a lot of hypos, zebras, giraffes, elephants, different kinds of antelopes, beautiful birds.

Average User Rating

  • 4.8/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

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  • 3 star 3
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 0
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