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3-Day Okavango Delta Safari Tours

If you could choose anywhere in Africa to spend 3 days on safari, the Okavango Delta should be very high on your list, and possibly even on top. The wildlife here is simply incredible, the landscapes are unique, and throughout much of the Delta there is a distinctive and wonderful feeling of wilderness and wild beauty. This is also a safari destination where the accommodation is very much a highlight of the tour, with remote and exclusive camps a real Delta specialty. And thanks to Botswana’s policy of low-density, low-impact tourism, this is one place where the animals greatly outnumber the people.

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1-15 of 15 Okavango Delta 3-day trips, itineraries, holidays, packages & vacations

5 Questions About 3-Day Okavango Delta Safaris


5 Questions About 3-Day Okavango Delta Safaris

Answered by Anthony Ham

Is 3 days enough time for an Okavango Delta safari?

“Yes and no. On one level, I would recommend having more than 3 days to explore the Okavango Delta and enjoy and experience all that it has to offer. At the same time, 3 days in the Delta could be one of the most remarkable experiences of your traveling life. With 3 days in the Okavango Delta, you’ll have time for 1 full day here. To make the most of your time on safari, fly in early on the first day and don’t leave until late on the third day. Flying in and out to your accommodation (effectively your safari base) is easily the best option. It allows you to spend more time out exploring rather than traveling by road to and from where you want to go. Though expensive, flying also has the advantage of operating like a scenic flight, allowing you to see more of the Delta from above than you ever can from the ground. Obviously flying is not an option for a self-drive safari. I recommend staying in one place for 2 nights and getting to know it well, rather than trying to see too much in a really short space of time. Careful planning is the key to making the most of your time.”


What type of tours are available for a 3-day Okavango Delta safari?

“There are three main kinds of tour to consider for your 3-day Okavango Delta safari. The first is the private safari. On a private tour, you’ll have a guide, driver and vehicle all to yourself (and others in your private traveling party). Unless you pay a lot extra, you may share flight transfers with other travelers. The main alternative to a private safari is the group safari. On a group safari, you’ll see the same things as you would on a private safari, but you’ll share a guide, driver and game-drive vehicles with other safari-goers. It’s a cheaper way to travel and a great way to meet like-minded travelers. The other major option is a self-drive safari. Instead of being driven around by a local driver, you’ll do all the driving. You won’t have a guide, but you will have a whole lot of freedom to go where you want and to stay at each wildlife encounter as long as you wish. Options vary. You might be camping and cooking for yourself, or you might be staying in tented camps and just driving between them. Either way, your tour operator should be able to arrange vehicle hire, accommodation or campsite bookings, and prepare an itinerary for you.”


Which activities are available on an Okavango Delta safari?

“The most commonly enjoyed activities on Okavango Delta safaris are game drives and mokoro trips. Unless you’re on a self-drive safari (in which case you’ll be your own guide and driver), most game drives will involve you going out to look for animals with a guide and driver. You’ll travel around in an open-sided safari 4WD, which has a canvas roof and tiered seating, and enables a real sense of feeling close to the animals. The tiered seating means that everyone gets a good view. The other favorite Delta activity is an excursion in a traditional mokoro (dugout canoe). There’s no better way to explore the waterways than by drifting along in near silence on a slow boat (a local poler moves you forward slowly using a long pole). Watch for elephants and other animals by the water, hippos and crocs in the water, and birds everywhere.”


What is the best way to get to the Okavango Delta?

“In most circumstances, the best option will be to fly into the Okavango Delta from one of the two small airports (Kasane and Maun) in northern Botswana. There are two main reasons for this. First, some parts of the Delta are surrounded by water with no roads able to make it through: you may have no choice but to fly. The second reason is that flying enables you to make the most of your very limited time. It gets you into the Delta quickly to allow more time for exploring, and it gives you incredible views along the way. For those areas of the Okavango Delta (mostly the southern sections) that are accessible by road, driving can be an option. Traveling this way means you can see more of the Delta up close (as opposed to from above) and you can look for animals as you go. And because driving is much cheaper than flying, it’s better suited to budget safaris because it keeps costs down.”


How much does a 3-day Okavango Delta safari cost?

“Because the Okavango Delta is so remote, a 3-day safari here can be expensive. Even a budget camping safari can cost US$300 per person per day, although it might be possible to reduce this to around US$250 per person per day. At the other end of the scale, expect prices to start at around US$750 per person per day for a luxury safari, but it could cost more than US$1,000 per person per day. One of the reasons why prices are generally higher here is because any air transfers in and out have to be included in the 3-day price. And because most supplies and staff need to be flown into many camps, these costs are passed on to those paying for accommodation. Variables that will influence the cost of your safari include the type of accommodation, the dates when you travel (high season and its prices apply from July to October), and whether you’re traveling on a private, group or self-drive safari.”


Okavango Delta Reviews

4.8/5 155 Reviews
Gemma Pitcher  –  
Australia AU

Gemma authored several Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guides to Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.

One for the bucket list

The Okavango Delta thoroughly deserves its legendary status amongst safari destinations. The Okavango River, flowing in from Namibia, spreads out once across the border into Botswana into a labyrinth of channels, floodplains and islands....

Full Review

Stuart Butler  –  
United Kingdom UK

Stuart is a travel writer and author of numerous Lonely Planet guidebooks, including Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.

The Most Beautiful Place in Africa

The Okavango Delta, a huge water world of marshes, shifting channels, shape-changing islands and reed shrouded natural canals is, in my opinion, quite simply the most beautiful corner of Africa. To see it from the air, as you fly into a...

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Vidyasagar Premkumar  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Aug 31, 2019

Great wildlife sightings (both predators and plains animals) and birdlife. Delta from the air is magical for photography, with sitatungas in the channel and same as kwando - focus of guiding on what we are there for - wildlife

Full Review

Alex Bruce  –  
Canada CA
Reviewed: Jul 22, 2019
A once in a lifetime trip that did not disappoint.

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...

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cynthia_rusbridge  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Sep 24, 2018
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...

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schtain  –  
South Korea KR
Reviewed: Aug 7, 2018
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...

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