The Okavango River originates in the highlands of central Angola, then flows south-east across the Caprivi Strip in Namibia before entering Botswana on its north-east border and forming the world's largest inland delta as it hits the thirsty Kalahari. The water fans out to cover a huge area of mazy waterways, islands and lagoons, creating a quite unique habitat that is home to large numbers of wildlife.
A large area of the central and eastern Okavango Delta is government protected in the form of the Moremi Game Reserve, but there are a series of smaller reserves running to the south, west and north of the Moremi that have been created to protect the full area of the delta. These concessions typically contain only one or two lodges in each, and are not bound by the legislation governing the Moremi Reserve that forbids walking, night driving and driving off-road. This means a safari in the non-Moremi Okavango Delta generally offers a greater choice of exciting activity, better game driving (cont.)
due to being able to get off road and up close to the animals, and more isolation from other travellers.
The wildlife in the Okavango is exceptional in terms of variety and numbers, with the big five present plus cheetah, hyena, wild dog (particularly in the northern concessions), elephant, giraffe, zebra and wildebeest. Although many of the private concessions cannot match the Moremi for absolute numbers, a safari there will still yield fantastic sightings. When combined with wonderfully peaceful mokoro trips on the waterways, motorboat cruises, walking safaris and night drives, the appeal of a safari here is undeniable.
Generally, the best time of year to visit the Okavango is July - September, when the weather is dry, the skies clear and the water levels fairly high (the waters start to rise here in March/ April as the flood waters from the Angolan source make their way through the delta). This allows excellent access to the most interesting areas by motorboat or mokoro.
The main attraction of most safaris is the wildlife - find out what to expect here.
A great way to explore the bush is at dusk when nocturnal wildlife begins to emerge.
The only way to get truly acquainted with the African bush is to see it on foot. Walking safaris offer a unique insight into an amazing habitat.
Unique to a Botswana safari, mokoro (dug-out canoe) trips are essential for those visiting the Okavango Delta.
Africa is home to many thousands of species of birds, so don't forget your binoculars and spotting guide.
Just because it may rain doesn't mean you can't enjoy a magical safari at a time with few visitors and stunning scenery.
A safari in Botswana offers the perfect solution for adventurous newlyweds looking for something a bit different.
A safari in Botswana is an ideal place to brush up on your skills and get some amazing shots, whether you are a professional or amateur.
River cruises offer a different perspective on the bush and can be the only means of transport during rainy season!
There are many lodges and hotels in Botswana that positively encourage families with young children to stay - find out more by clicking here.