The unique system of waterways which is known as the Okavango Delta in the Republic of Botswana is a large wetland area surrounded by the Kalahari Desert. Thousands of years ago tectonic activity and faulting interrupted the flow of the river causing it to backup and form this unique ecosystem of waterways and countless islands. Now it supports a vast array of animal and plant life that would have otherwise been a dry Kalahari savanna. The Okavango Delta is both a permanent and seasonal home to hundreds of species of animals and birds. Conservationists have taken a great interest in the preservation of the Botswana Delta, as it is such an exceptional area of Africa.
When you take your Botswana safari through the Okavango Delta, you will have the opportunity to explore the natural environment that supports large herds of Elephant, Antelope and Buffalo, as well as Hippopotamus, Giraffe, Crocodile, Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Wildebeest, Rhinoceros, Zebra, Baboon and countless others. Our Okavango Delta safari will bring you in close contact with over 400 species of birds, including the African Fish Eagle, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Crested Crane, Lilac-breasted Roller, Ostrich and Sacred Ibis, among others. There are also over 70 species of fish living in the waters of the Okavango Delta.
Altogether there are approximately 200,000 large animals living in and around the Botswana Okavango Delta, some of which leave during the rainy seasons and return during the drier winters. The Okavango Delta’s floods are fed from the Angolan rains, which start in October and finish in April. The floods only cross the border between Botswana and Namibia in December and only reach the bottom end of the Delta (Maun) in July, taking almost nine months from the source to the bottom. This slow meandering pace of the flood is due to the slow decline in elevation over a very long distance (60 m over a distance of 450 km). The Delta’s water ends in the Kalahari – via the Botetle River, with over 95% of the water eventually evaporating.
The best time for Botswana safari game viewing in the Okavango Delta is during the period between May and October, as the animals gather along the flooded areas as the vegetation has dried out. The most impressive month is August, when the champagne-coloured water is at its deepest. The best time for birding and vegetation is during the rainy season when most of the young are born. This is the time between November and April, as the migrant bird populations are returning, and the vegetation is lush and green.
The unique contrasts between the surrounding dry areas and the lush Botswana Delta capture your senses as you glide through the Okavango Delta on one of our Mokoro boat trips, which you will experience during your Botswana safari through the Delta. The sounds and sights of the tranquil environment will enliven your soul while you explore the land and witness the natural interactions of many species of African wildlife.