Botswana's Okavango Delta is one of the most written about safari destinations in Africa but it is only through seeing it up close that the true beauty is revealed.
The Okavango Delta is an intriguing collage of islands and floodplains, channels and floating papyrus all melded together to form a fascinating wilderness of wildlife and plants. Lying on the sands of the Kalahari Desert and fed by a river that rises in the highlands almost two thousand kilometres away the Okavango Delta is truly a wonder of the natural world.
Floodwaters from Distant Lands
The water from the Angolan Highlands takes almost six months to reach the delta, resulting in the phenomenon of the annual flooding of the delta occurring during the dry season. The local rainfall has a limited affect on the water levels although it must be said that in some years the high local rainfall does raise the water table considerably.
The Okavango Delta offers water and land based activities including gliding through the channels on traditional dugouts or Makoros, boating, walking and game drives. The original African elephant-back safaris are based in the Okavango and horse safaris are a popular way of experiencing the delta.
The great dramas of the delta, from buffalo killing lions to the annual flooding during the dry winter months can be witnessed in some of the area of the Okavango Delta.
The Okavango provides excellent game-viewing throughout the year. The fascinating feature of the Okavango Delta is that the water is at its highest in the dry season and at its lowest at the start of the rainy season.
This is due to the fact that most the water in the Delta comes from the highlands of Angola and takes about six months to reach the delta proper. Roads can be bad during the rainy season (November - March) - and during the dry season due to high flood levels.