Okavango Delta in Botswana

Accommodation in Okavango Delta

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KANA KARA CAMP Luxury Tent from: USD 390

Okavango Delta

An inland delta where the waters of the Okavango River disappear into the sands of the Kalahari. Each summer, floods pour down from the highlands of Angola into the  Okavango River and flow on through a vast network of narrow waterways, lagoons and broad expanses of the Okavango Delta. The water courses through this huge, 10 000 square kilometres of flood plain and dissipates in the sands of the Kalahari.. Okavango is frequently called a swamp, but mostly its waters are beautifully clear and blue. Most of the Okavango waters are soaked up by the desert, or evaporate. In good years, a fraction may remain to flood Lake Ngami in the south and feed the  Boteti River, which runs into Lake Xau in the west and eventually into the huge depression of the  Makgadikgadi Pans.The floods reach their peak in May, covering vast grass flats and making thousands of islands out of tree-covered ridges of land. Thick papyrus grows everywhere, and in the northern parts of the delta, chokes the waterways so that they are impenetrable except by canoe. This wilderness is uninhabited, except for a few river Bushmen who roam there. They still work iron with primitive bellows, making knives, axes and spears. Their canoes, called mokoros, are hand-hewn from logs.

The Okavango Delta in northern Botswana (near Maun) incorporates the Moremi Game Reserve and is a unique wildlife paradise - one of the finest in the world. It is also one of the largest inland river deltas in the world. This unsurpassed natural environment is a maze of waterways, islands and reed banks creating a perfect habitat for lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, giraffe, hyena, wild dog, kudu, impala, roan, zebra, lechwe, hippo and crocodile, amongst others. There are approx 440 bird species in the delta and fish species are also abundant, including tiger fish, sharp-toothed catfish, barbell and bream. Travel through the swamps and surrounding areas is generally done by open 4x4 game viewing vehicle or a peaceful meander in a ‘Mokoro’, a flat-bottomed dugout canoe. The Delta is hot throughout the year with temperatures ranging from approx 14°C in January to 24°C in July. Rainfall averages 525 mm annually, but varies greatly from year to year. Water levels and flooding reach a maximum between March and July, after rains at the source and the usual 15 000 km2 can expand to approximately 22 000 km2 in high-rainfall years.