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Okavango Delta

Size

6,000 to 15,000 sq. km

Founded

50,000 years old

Best time to visit

July to October

A UNESCO World Heritage Site

One of the biggest inland deltas in the world, the Okavango Delta can spread out over an area between 6,000 to 15,000 sq. km (2,300–5,800 sq. mi) depending on the time of year. Forming a “mere” 50 000 years ago, it is quite young in terms of geology.

The sun setting over a lagoon in the Okavango Delta

The world’s biggest inland delta

It sparkles like a gem in the middle of the desert, providing an oasis to the animals of the region. With its enormous size and pristine scenery, the Okavango Delta provides one of our planets last true wildernesses. Its landscapes make up several diverse habitats, partitioned into numerous private concessions. Of these the Moremi Game Reserve is often the most recognised. No matter where or even when you go, you always can enjoy spectacular wildlife moments in the Okavango Delta.

The Okavango Delta is in fact, one of the very few inland deltas of the world. As the waters of the Okavango River flow into the Kalahari Basin, they form the many lagoons, rivers, swamps, grasslands, and of course, the many islands the delta is famous for – its waters never reaching the ocean. Elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, hyenas, hippos, crocodiles, and various antelope species are all home to the delta and can be seen on Okavango Delta safaris. Not least the Red Lechwe, uniquely adapted to the wetlands and found in high numbers here. The delta also serves as a refuge to some of the more endangered species of Africa such as the African wild hunting dog, rhinos (both black and white) and cheetahs all of which can still be seen here.

Located to the east of the delta, the Moremi Game Reserve delivers you further safari inspiration. Here the magnificence of nature rules over the land and you can observe predators and prey alike in high numbers. The reserve also boasts spectacular bird life with numerous species including the African fish eagle, Saddle-billed storks, kingfisher and crested crane to name only a couple. There are few places which can make the heart of an ornithologist flutter more than the Moremi Game Reserve.

Due to the delta’s tremendous size and the region itself being difficult to navigate, the delta is densely populated with wildlife, but not with tourists. This is further aided by the fact that the inner delta’s private concessions contain only a small number of intimate tented camps, many of which can only be reached by air, providing you with an exclusive and an immaculate safari setting.

Choosing your perfect time to visit the Okavango Delta depends on what you wish to see and how you want to experience it. During the wet season (November to April), game viewing remains remarkable due to the large amount of resident wildlife. As the water levels are at their lowest point at this time (November to December), designated water camps are best suited should you wish to undertake water-based activities. Temperatures are usually warm to hot during the wet season, with the odd rain shower in the afternoon to cool things down. It is during this time, where the delta’s bird life is at its most spectacular. May to September is the perfect time to witness the wildlife of the Okavango Delta in its fullest numbers. Furthermore, water levels are at their highest point, making water-based activities easily accessible. Temperatures are also pleasant before heating up in October again.

The Okavango Delta will reward your visit year-round with amazing wildlife in the most beautiful scenery. This natural oasis serves as the perfect safari destination, unique in its most stunning aspects, and justifiably regarded as the jewel of Botswana.

Botswana Okavango Delta
Mokoro experience Okavango

Experience a Mokoro

You can explore the Okavango Delta in a traditional dug-out canoe called “mokoro”. You will feel closer to nature from this unique perspective.

Birdlife Okavango

Abundant Birdlife

You can witness phenomenal birdlife on a Okavango Delta safari. You will be amongst more than 400 different bird species and the delta is excellent for birding all year round.

Okavango Lillies

A Natural Wonder

You can travel through one of Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders. You will be amazed at the pristine beauty of the Okavango Delta.

Elephants bathing in the Okavango Delta

Watch large herds of the gentle giants take a splash bath in the mighty Okavango.

Water lilies in the Okavango Delta in Botswana

Return to nature and immerse yourself in the untouched wilderness of water ways and lagoons.

A river boat cruise on the Okavango Delta

From boat rides, mokoro trips, and helicopter flights, there are many safari activities on offer.

An African Fish Eagle flying with wings spread wide

The bird life in the Okavango Delta is impressive, you will see water-based birds like the African Fish Eagle.

A lookout deck at sunset at the Setari Camp in the Okavango Delta

Some accommodations are only accessible by small aircraft, others by 4x4 vehicle. All have stunning views, like the Setari Camp.

WHEN TO GO

Best time to go to the Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta offers you something special at any time of year. The ideal time to go depends on what you wish to see and experience. Ironically, the dry season has the highest water levels and is ideal for game viewing, canoeing and boat safaris. The wet season still offers excellent game viewing and is the best for bird watching opportunities.

Botswana dry season for Kgalagadi safari tours

Dry Season

July to September

Best for wildlife sightings & water activities

Botswana wet season for Kgalagadi safari tours

Green Season

November to April

Best for birding

Why to go

The Okavango Delta is in fact, one of the very few inland deltas of the world.

You experience a supreme natural wilderness and an abundance of wildlife to go with it. The sheer size of the delta and the remoteness of its camps and lodges means you can experience all this without any large crowds of people. It is just you, your guide, and the nature around you.

Water lilies in the Okavango Delta
Holger, expert for Kgalagadi safari tours
I still remember my first flight into the delta. I have travelled Africa extensively, but I will never forget this experience. Flying to one of the remote camps you can only reach by small aircraft and immersing yourself in this untouched wilderness far away from everything and everyone else – it’s a great privilege to experience.
Holger | Founder Botswana-Experience
Looking at a wildlife book whilst on a safari game drive
Classic Game Drives

Your experienced guide will share their local knowledge about flora and fauna with you

Two men in a mokoro canoe in the Okavango Delta
Mokoro Trips

Explore the labyrinth of waterways on this traditional dug-out canoe

An aerial view from a fly-in safari to the Okavango Delta
Fly-In Safaris

Reach remote and secluded camps in the middle of the delta by small aircraft

Things to do

An abundance of wildlife and activities

Glide down the rivers of the Okavango Delta in a traditional mokoro dug-out canoe. You are surrounded by the sounds and smells and colours of the natural world and the gentle splash of your boatman’s pole as you drift along the water.

A large hippo with its mouth wide open in the Okavango Delta
Hippopotamus

Best observed from a distance this territorial vegetarian relaxes in water bodies by day and comes out to graze by night

A close-up of a crocodile in the Okavango Delta
Crocodile

The impressive Nile crocodile feeds on fish and unlucky antelopes and can grow up to 6m long

An african wild hunting dog seen in the Okavango Delta
African Wild Hunting Dogs

Seeing these endangered animals is a highlight on any safari. The Okavango Delta is one of the best places to spot them.

An elephant in the water of the Okavango Delta
Elephants

By the size of their body and size of their herds, they engineer new paths through swamps and forests which benefit other species as well

WILDLIFE IN THE OKAVANGO DELTA

Home to the Big 5 and some of Africa’s most impressive wildlife, there’s a lot to see in the reserve

Wildlife sightings on Okavango Delta safaris are great all year round, but best in the dry winter months as large animals return from the arid surrounds to the ever lush ecosystem of the delta. From hippos and crocodiles in the lagoons and swamps to lions, leopards and elephants on the open plains and dense woodlands. The stunningly varied landscapes are home to a likewise varied number of wildlife species.

Where to stay Okavango Delta

People sitting on the deck of the Setari Camp during the sunset

Setari Camp

Cape buffalo standing in front of the Rra Dinare Camp in the Moremi Region

Rra Dinare Camp

View of a room at the Mogogelo Camp in Botswana

Mogogelo Camp

An outside view of a bungalow at the Thamalakne River Lodge near Maun, Botswana

Thamalakane River Lodge

Mobile Camp setup with guest tent campfire mess tent

Mobile Camps

Location

The Okavango Delta is located in Northern Botswana. You can reach the Eastern area of the delta including the wildlife-rich Moremi Game Reserve by 4×4 vehicle on a guided safari or self-drive trip coming from Maun. To reach more remote areas and camps in the Okavango Delta, you can make use of scheduled charter flights in a small aircraft departing form Maun airport.

Experience the Okavango Delta

giraffe
travel expert
water lily

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