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Okavango Delta Fly-in Safaris

The Okavango Delta is one of the most beautiful and rewarding safari destinations in Africa. The wildlife viewing here is simply incredible, and the landscapes are unlike anywhere else on the continent. And, of course, the Okavango Delta is custom-made for the fly-in safari. For large parts of the year, there is simply no way to get to many of the remote tented camps and concessions other than by plane, because many of the roads lie underwater. Best of all, getting from A to B and everywhere thereafter has never been so spectacular, with each journey effectively a scenic flight out over the most amazing African wilderness.

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1-20 of 62 fly-in safaris to Okavango Delta

7 Questions About Okavango Delta Fly-in Safaris


7 Questions About Okavango Delta Fly-in Safaris

Answered by Anthony Ham

Are fly-in trips recommended in the Okavango Delta?

“Absolutely, yes. There is nowhere in Africa so well suited to the flying safari than the Okavango Delta. That’s because the Delta is a unique environment, one where getting around by plane is the only way to reach many of the camps, concessions and wildlife destinations for many months of the year. The result is a safari industry with vast flying experience, something that will benefit you from your very first flight. Quite simply, it’s a fantastic way to get around a fantastic place. On arrival at Maun Airport, it’s impossible to miss the many small planes waiting at the airport. Just outside the airport, signs promise scenic flights over the Delta, drawing in customers with spectacular aerial photos of the Delta in all its glory. If you’re here on a flying safari, your entire safari will feel like one long scenic flight.”


Do I need to charter a plane on a fly-in safari in the Okavango Delta?

“Your safari operator will handle all of your arrangements, so from that perspective, you won’t be the one chartering any planes. The only question is whether you will have the plane all to yourself, or whether you’ll share it with other travelers. To answer that question, you’ll need to discuss the precise arrangements with whoever is organizing your trip. If you are on a private fly-in safari, then the company will most likely charter a plane just for you and those in your traveling party. This can be expensive, but it also gives you absolute freedom and privacy. You can save money by sharing the plane with others: small planes fly regularly between the various camps and concessions, carrying safari travelers and local workers from one camp to the next. Again, these are things to discuss with any safari operator when planning your safari.”


What are the luggage restrictions on a fly-in trip in the Okavango Delta?

“The planes that fly into and around the Okavango Delta are small, and there are quite strict luggage restrictions as a result. Unless your safari operator has chartered the plane just for you, it’s unlikely that you’ll be permitted to take more than a 15kg/33lb suitcase or backpack, plus one small item of carry-on baggage (usually a camera bag and/or a handbag). This limitation catches out many first-time (and even some experienced) travelers, especially if you’re flying into Botswana or elsewhere in Africa on an international airline that allows you to check-in luggage that weighs 20kg/44lb or more. If you have brought more than 15kg/33lb, your safari company will be able to store luggage for you while you’re out in the Delta. But unless you’re traveling somewhere else in addition to the Delta or you otherwise need a heavier bag for whatever reason, it makes more sense to travel light in the first place.”


Are the small aircraft used on an Okavango Delta fly-in trip safe and reliable?

“Northern Botswana has one of the most experienced fleet of planes, pilots and mechanics in Africa: they’ve been flying people around the Delta for decades. In fact, the overwhelming majority of tours into and around the Delta necessarily involve some flights, so that travelers can reach the tented camps that lie beyond the reach of land-based vehicles. Although safety can never be 100% guaranteed with any form of transport, this extensive flying experience is a big factor in why you can expect your plane to be safe and reliable. Both the safari operators and Botswana’s government have an extra reason for ensuring your safety as you fly around the country’s north: they cherish Botswana’s reputation for safe and reliable flying safaris, and they’d like to keep it that way.”


Can I take photos from the air on a fly-in trip?

“Yes! Every time you go up in a plane over the Okavango Delta, you’ll be blown away by the views. Sometimes it will be a watery world of green and blue stretching to a seemingly infinite horizon. On other occasions, you’ll look down and see a herd of elephants or a pride of lions on an island surrounded by water. Put simply, a stunning holiday snap is never far away. There are a few things to remember so that you can really take advantage of this experience. First, make sure that you carry your camera or phone in your hand when you take your seat for takeoff. You’d be surprised by how many people leave their photo-taking equipment in a bag at the back of the plane, only to realize too late that they can’t go and get it. Unless you have the plane to yourself, most aircraft and tickets have unallocated seating. Where that happens, ask the pilot which side will have the best views, board quickly in the hope of getting a window seat, and make sure you choose a seat where the view is not obscured by the wing.”


How much does a fly-in safari in the Okavango Delta cost?

“There are lots of different pricing packages when it comes to going on an Okavango Delta fly-in safari, and lots of determining factors. Will you have the plane exclusively to yourself or will you be sharing the flights with other travelers? How many flights will you be taking? Will you be staying in luxury accommodation or something less expensive? Will you be traveling in high season (July to October) when prices are high, or at some other time? How long do you plan to be here? For obvious reasons (flying in a plane will always be more costly than traveling by road), flying safaris are among the most expensive tours. You can expect to pay at least US$500 per person per day for your Okavango Delta fly-in safari. Prices can even reach US$1000 per person per day, more if the plane is just for you and you’re staying in luxury accommodation. It pays to shop around: ask any safari operator with whom you’re considering booking your trip about the packages they have available.”


How long do I need in the Okavango Delta?

“The more time the better! A lot will depend on how much time you have available and the budget for your safari. But any time you spend in the Okavango Delta will be time well spent. Even if you can only allocate a few days to your fly-in safari, it will absolutely be worth it. Ideally you should plan for your trip to last at least a week. This will enable you to stay in two or three places in the Delta and get to know them well. It will even allow for some relaxation without rushing on to the next stop on your itinerary. Ten days would, of course, be even better, and 2 weeks is perfect: with a fortnight in the Delta, you’ll leave with an incredible taste for what this amazing place has to offer. It's one of the many advantages of an Okavango Delta fly-in safari that you’ll be getting from one itinerary stop to the next in the fastest way possible. And a transfer on this kind of safari is really an extension of your safari with so much to see along the way!”


Okavango Delta Reviews

4.8/5 166 Reviews
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

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...

Full Review

Brian Jackman  –  
United Kingdom UK

Brian is an award winning travel writer, author of safari books and regular contributor to magazines such as BBC Wildlife and Travel Africa.

Africa’s Magical Everglades

What an amazing river is the Okavango. It rises in the mountains of Angola and then flows across Africa for 1,000 miles, gathering strength as it goes. But once it has entered northern Botswana its mighty floodwaters falter. In vain they...

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Angels  –  
Spain ES
Reviewed: Aug 31, 2023

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

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

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.

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...

Full Review