Okavango Delta Travel Guide

Print our full travel guide to Botswana

Okavango Delta

Okavango © lwh50
The Okavango Delta in northwest Botswana is unique. The annual flood of fresh water that gathers here from Angola's western highlands slowly spreads for more than 5,800 square miles (15,000 sq km) over the Kalahari Desert forming a maze of lagoons and channels. The thousands of islands that arise sustain several diverse ecosystems, which are home to vast numbers of game and a myriad of birds, while the champagne-coloured waters support a varied array of aquatic life.

The height of the flood occurs in August each year, and as it recedes in its constant cycle, the delta shrinks. At its lowest level the delta covers about 2,300 square miles (6,000 sq km).

As the flood increases, so does the wildlife that congregates in huge numbers between May and October each year. The delta draws large numbers of animal populations that are rare, such as crocodile, red lechwe, sitatunga, wild dogs, buffalo and wattled crane. The familiar favourites are there in force too - various antelope, elephants, giraffe, hippos, lions, and leopards.

Numerous game camps and lodges are located in the Delta catering to the range of visitors who come to enjoy the teeming flora and fauna. The favoured way to travel through the Delta's channels is on a mokoro, a dugout canoe, paddled by a local guide.




Attractions

Baby Elephant © Ian Sewell

Chobe National Park

The second largest game park in Botswana, Chobe comprises four regions; the river floodplains and teak forest, the Savute marshes, the Linyanti swamp, and the dry hinterland. Chobe is especially well known for its immense elephant population, counting more than 70,000, and it is...  see full details



Salt Pans © tboothhk

Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

The Makgadikgadi Pans are located in the north-east of the country and are among the largest salt flats on earth, covering 6,200 square miles (16,000km²) of the Kalahari basin. During the annual rains, the pans become a source of fresh water and grass for...  see full details



Leopard 7 © Jim Frost

Moremi Wildlife Reserve

Moremi, about 37 miles (60km) from Maun, is a 1,160 square mile (3,000 sq km) reserve in the middle of the Okavango Delta, in one of the world's most pristine wilderness areas. Accessible by air or road from Maun, self-driving is recommended for...  see full details



Tsodilo Hills © Wildlife Wanderer

Tsodilo Hills

To the west of the Okavango Delta area, about 33 miles (53km) from the town of Shakawe, is a mysterious site shrouded in myth, legend and spiritual significance for the local San people, who have inhabited the area for 35,000 years or more....  see full details