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5-Day Okavango Delta Safari Tours

If someone were to offer you 5 days on safari in the Okavango Delta, it would be like they were giving you the keys to paradise. If that sounds like an exaggeration, it really isn’t. This is one of the most prolific wildlife terrains on earth, a glorious wilderness filled with big cats and elephants. More broadly, it’s a place of astonishing biodiversity that very few destinations can match, even in Africa. Central to the Okavango’s charm is the watery landscape: this is a world of islands and channels that changes every year. Also part of its appeal are the fantastic accommodation options you’ll find across the Delta and the complete lack of crowds with whom you’ll be sharing safari trails.

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1-18 of 18 Okavango Delta 5-day trips, itineraries, holidays, packages & vacations

5 Questions About 5-Day Okavango Delta Safaris

 
 

5 Questions About 5-Day Okavango Delta Safaris

Answered by Anthony Ham

Which areas of the Delta can I visit on a 5-day Okavango Delta safari?

“The simple answer to this question is that there aren’t many places in the Okavango Delta that you can’t visit. Tour operators in these parts are experts at getting to just about anywhere in the Delta. But this is no ordinary destination. When the waters of the Okavango River flood down into the Delta every year, they submerge many of the tracks that fan out across the region, cutting them off by road from the outside world. Instead of limiting where you can go, however, it just means you get to fly into an exclusive corner of this beautiful place. And it’s almost guaranteed that there will be hardly anyone else there, especially when compared to other safari destinations. The Moremi Game Reserve is the only officially protected area of the Delta, and much of it can be reached by ‘road’ year-round. Much of the rest of the Delta is a patchwork of private and community concessions, each with just a handful of rooms or luxury tents and its own airstrip.”

1

What kind of accommodation is available on an Okavango Delta trip?

“All across the Okavango Delta you will find tented camps (mostly of the luxury variety). These camps usually have a dining, bar and lounge area, and often a swimming pool. Each also has a handful of well-spaced safari tents, with mosquito nets, en suite bathrooms, a writing desk, sofa, wooden floors and other luxury furnishings. Some operators also run what are known as mobile or bush camps, with a simpler, back-to-nature setup and tents, usually in an exclusive area known for its wildlife. One of the thrills of staying in any kind of tented camp is the chance to lie in bed and listen to lions roaring in the night. For budget safaris, there are lots of camps that can be reached by road or sandy track in the southern Delta (thus avoiding expensive flights). Most have simple camping tents, as well as shared toilet, shower and cooking facilities, and a shaded communal dining area. If you’re on a self-drive safari and will be camping, there are dedicated campsites with communal shower and toilet blocks and fire pits.”

2

Is camping a good option for a 5-day Okavango Delta safari?

“Camping is a wonderful way to experience the Delta. No other form of accommodation enables quite the same closeness to nature (although the best tented camps try to recreate this sensation). This is true if you’re lying awake at night with just canvas separating you from the animals that you know are out there and you can hear. It also applies to the thrill of moving around in a camp with no fences to keep the animals out. It may sound scary, but operators know how to keep you safe and it’s all very exciting. The only downside of camping on a 5-day Okavango Delta safari, especially if it’s a budget safari, is that you may be limited in how far you can explore the Delta. That’s because much of the Delta is accessible only by plane. Most of the remote accommodation places are of the luxury tented camp variety, with very few options for camping.”

3

Should I choose a guided or self-drive safari to visit the Okavango Delta?

“Both guided and self-drive safaris are wonderful ways to explore the Okavango Delta. Each has its own advantages. On a guided safari, there are two main options: the private and group safari. A private safari means that you will have a guide, driver and vehicle all to yourself. On a group safari, these are shared with other safari-goers. For both of these, you’ll be accompanied at all times by an expert guide, which is an outstanding opportunity to learn and ask questions about the Delta and its wildlife. It’s also a fine way to find out about local life from your guide and, on a group safari at least, meet other travelers. A self-drive safari means you’re on your own, and that can be a wonderful thing. Your tour operator will make sure that you know where you’re going, but you should also do your own planning and research. Armed with this knowledge you’ll have a delicious sense of freedom as you explore. All the decisions are yours, including how long you stay and watch those lion cubs play or that elephant family interacting. You also have the choice of camping and of staying in the same accommodation as those on group or private safaris.”

4

How much will this safari cost?

“A 5-day Okavango Delta safari starts at around US$300 per person per day for a budget camping safari and can cost almost US$1,000 per person per day for the full luxury experience. Most safaris cost somewhere in between. One of the larger expenses of traveling in the Okavango Delta is the cost of flying into, out from and around the Delta. Check with your tour operator whether the cost of these flights is included in any quoted prices. Either way, they need to be factored into the overall total that you’ll pay. Accommodation is a major variable when it comes to cost, with everything from basic campsites right up to five-star luxury with prices to match. The time of year you travel is also important: high-season prices (which apply from July to October) can be double those of low season. Remember, however, that not all camps open year-round. The other variable is the type of safari: private safaris will always be more expensive than group or self-drive options.”

5

Okavango Delta Reviews

4.8/5 167 Reviews
Expert
Mark Eveleigh  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mark is a travel writer who grew up in Africa and has written over 700 titles for Condé Nast Traveller, Travel Africa, BBC Wildlife and others.

Africa's greatest waterborne safari venue!
5/5

I spent two weeks living on the Okavango Panhandle, near the point where the Okavango flows into Botswana from Namibia's Zambezi Region. I was working on a scientific study, collecting data on the Okavango's outrageous crocodiles. We would...

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Expert
Sue Watt  –  
United Kingdom UK

Sue is an award-winning writer who specializes in African travel and conservation. She writes for national newspapers, magazines, Rough Guides and Lonely Planet.

Living with Elephants in paradise
5/5

I came to the Okavango Delta to write a story on a brilliant project called Living with Elephants for World Elephant Day, a deeply moving experience that remains a highlight of my travel-writing career. The organization is based on the...

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Angels  –  
Spain ES
Reviewed: Aug 31, 2023
5/5

You feel closer to nature than anywhere else by doing a walking safari. We felt very secure at all times with our guide, even when seeing animals very close, like giraffes, elephants, crocodiles and even lions (we saw two males eating a...

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Alina & Andrzej  –  
Poland PL
Reviewed: Aug 21, 2023
5/5

We have seen lions, buffaloes, lots (!) of elephants, warthogs, herds of antelopes (different species), hippos in the water and grazing, crocodiles, w wild nature. Mokoro trips and walking safari was exciting.

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Vidyasagar Premkumar  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Aug 31, 2019
5/5

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

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Alex Bruce  –  
Canada CA
Reviewed: Jul 22, 2019
A once in a lifetime trip that did not disappoint.
5/5

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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