The Okavango Delta is a unique wetland system in the middle of the Kalahari Desert and one of the largest inland deltas on earth. The Okavango Delta is also something of a showcase for Africa’s Aquatic bird-life.
The Okavango Delta is one of the world’s largest inland delta’s which lies in the North West of the country. Southern Africas third longest river, the Kavango River originates in Angola and flows South via Namibia’s Caprivi Strip then fans out into the vast Northern Kalahari to form a vast inland Delta before it vanishes into thin air (95% of the water which forms the Okavango Delta is lost to evaporation).
A highlight of any visit to Botswana honestly has to be the Okavango Delta which boasts a rich array of wetlands and vast, varied ecosystems. The Okavango Delta is a unique wetland system in the middle of the Kalahari Desert and one of the largest inland deltas on earth, a world of glittering water and palm islands that are criss-crossed with animal tracks. Each summer seasonal floods surge 1,200 km in approx one month down from the Angolan highlands into Botswana’s Okavango River and then spread through a vast network of narrow waterways, lagoons and out over the floodplains over a period of four months (March – June) until the waters are soaked up by the sands of the Kalahari Desert. All the water that eventually does reach the Delta evaporates and does not flow into the ocean. The Delta swells to 3 times its permanent size thus attracting a myriad of animals and birds, making it one of Africa’s greatest seasonal concentrations of animals.
A fantastic way of exploring the Delta is on Makoros or traditional dug-out canoes as you are ‘poled’ through the mysterious reed banks, gliding silently past crocodiles and other wildlife at eye level.The various channels and islets play host to a number of aquatic and non-aquatic creatures. Hippos and Crocs are abundant in the lily-covered channels. The islands support a large number of mammals and a wide variety of carnivores can be found in & around the Delta.
Safaris activities in the Okavango Delta are probably more diverse than in most areas of Africa.