Overview – Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is one of Africa’s most famous destinations. There are several private reserves in the delta, as well as Moremi Game Reserve. It offers a true wilderness experience, excellent wildlife viewing and stunning scenery. Walking safaris and mokoro (dugout canoe) trips are a great addition to the usual game drives. Most of the lodges in the delta are reached by charter plane and offer a very exclusive, high-end service. The quality of the guiding tends to be superb.
Pros & Cons
- Excellent wildlife viewing with four of the Big Five easily spotted
- Off-road driving is permitted, which facilitates quality sightings
- Great birding destination, especially for waterbirds
- Game drives, night drives, walking safaris and mokoro trips are available
- A large choice of small, exclusive camps
- The Okavango is an expensive destination
- Widlife viewing is limited in the water-based camps
The delta is a vast area and wildlife viewing is dependent on your location. Moremi Game Reserve is the most productive and four of the Big Five are easily seen. Rhino are present in Moremi, but not seen that often. Elephant and hippo are abundant throughout the delta and wild dogs are quite common. The water-loving red lechwe and waterbuck are easy to see from a mokoro.
The Okavango is the world’s largest intact delta. It is fed by the river with the same name during the driest months. The fan-shaped delta is a mosaic of papyrus-fringed channels connecting open areas filled with water lilies. Islands in between carry borassus palms and thickets of acacia and mopane woodland.
Weather & Climate
The Okavango Delta has a Dry season that extends from April to October. Afternoon temperatures are warm and pleasant until September, with the heat quickly building to a fierce peak the following month. Then the rains break, announcing the start of the Wet season (November to March), and the delta starts to cool down a little. It remains reasonably hot in the afternoon, but the morning is especially pleasant.
Best Time to Visit
Water levels in the delta are most conducive to mokoro (dugout canoe) trips in the Dry season (April to October). This is also the best time to see wildlife, putting aside the heat that dominates the two months before the rains come. You can still see animals in the heart of the delta in the Wet season (November to March), but storms and lower water levels can limit activities.
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Brian is an award winning travel writer, author of safari books and regular contributor to magazines such as BBC Wildlife and Travel Africa.
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