The Okavango Delta is perhaps the most popular attraction in Botswana. The breathtaking wildlife refuge, variety of plant life, and option to take a guided Botswana safari attracts travelers from all over the world. The area is easily reached through the town of Maun, which is called the Gateway to the Delta. Air Botswana, the government airline, runs daily flights to the area from the major hubs around the country. There are various lodges and safari camps scattered around the Okavango for those wishing to be immersed in the nature and beauty the delta has to offer. But keep in mind potential costs before you book your safari in Okavango—some prices can be astronomical as the government of Botswana is attempting to keep the number of tourists low to ensure the delta remains as unspoiled as possible.
The unspoiled Okavango Delta is located in the northeast region of Botswana, where the Okavango River meets the Kalahari Desert. Sometimes referred to as the Okavango Swamp, this refuge is anything but. It is one of the world's largest inland water systems as the headwaters to the delta start flowing from Angola, continue down through Namibia, and finally reach Botswana. It floods each year during the rainy season, and the delta can almost double in size, making the area resemble a small lake. The best time to book your Botswana safari for watching wildlife in the Okavango Delta is during the dry season, which goes roughly from May through October. If you are looking to go bird-watching and explore the vegetation, the best time of season to go is between November and April, when the rains bring out the best of the many varieties of flora.
The Okavango Delta is famous for its huge wildlife population. It is home to some rare species such as wattled cranes and red lechwe, and in addition to these unusual finds, visitors can view more than 400 types of birds, hyenas, zebras, hippos, antelope, monkeys, elephants, and crocodiles. The lush vegetation and clean water attract these animals and provide them with a perfect environment. The Okavango Delta is also home to native African tribes, and there are five ethnic groups that make their home in this rich landscape: the Hambukushu, Dceriku, Wayeyi, Bugakhwe, and Ilanikwe. These peoples have inhabited the area for hundreds of years and still engage in traditional economies, such as agriculture, fishing, and hunting.
The Moremi Game Reserve, popular for its huge concentration of wildlife, covers the eastern part of the Okavango Delta and is recognized as one of the most beautiful reserves in Africa. It has a varied landscape that features lagoons, acacia forests, savanna woodlands, and floodplains. This unforgettable landscape is home to a large variety of plants and animals, and it is a great starting point for a Botswana safari. Visitors to the Moremi Game Reserve will see lions, elephants, cheetahs, and wild dogs. Just like the rest of the delta, the wildlife in the reserve is most easily viewed during the dry season, and the peak time for tourism is between July and October.
Visitors are offered numerous opportunities to they can explore the vast area of the Okavango and the Moremi Game Reserve. The specialty of the reserve is safari activities via water, and the mokoro is the most popular option. It is a dug out canoe that is poled along by the guide, and it's a great choice as it is able to explore the small tributaries and rivers that larger motorized boats can not enter. (Those boats travel on the main waterways and lagoons but are not able to reach all areas of the delta.) If exploring by water isn't your preference, then you can also embark on a 4-by-4 safari on the main islands of the delta or a game-viewing flight in either a helicopter or small aircraft. You can also opt to take a guided walking tour with a wildlife expert.
For nature-lovers and animal-lovers, a trip to the Okavango Delta is a must during your holiday in Botswana. It provides a refreshing getaway from the hustle of everyday life, and it allows visitors to connect with a unique and unforgettable part of the natural world that they won't find elsewhere.