It is the world’s largest inland delta and is a must see during your Botswana Safari. It is fed by the Okavango River whose source lies in the highlands of Angola over 1,280 kilometres away. The delta’s size is therefore governed by the rainfall in Angola and reaches its peak during June and August. This coincides with Botswana’s dry winter months and therefore animals from miles around travel to the area creating one of Africa’s largest concentrations of wildlife. The Okavango covers an area of approximately 17,000 square kilometres and is a network of lakes, lagoons and channels.
Dotted around the delta are palms and tall trees which provide shelter for animals and some much needed shade for you during your Botswana Safari. Strictly speaking the Okavango Delta is not actually a delta but is instead an alluvial fan of sediment and debris. This sediment has filled a large trough created by the sinking of the earth’s crust between a series of parallel faults along the Okavango River. Those with an interest in geology are sure to find the delta just as fascinating as wildlife lovers.
Wildlife of the Okavango Delta on a Botswana Safari
The best time to see wildlife during your Botswana Safari is during the winter in Botswana as most animals leave the delta during the summer rains. There are more than 200,000 large mammals in Okavango Delta during the year as well as fish and birds. Huge herds of zebra, buffalo, antelopes and elephants can be seen and where these animals roam you are also sure to see lions, leopards and cheetahs. Normally overlooked during a Botswana Safari, the Okavango Delta also offers the chance to go fishing with 71 species of fish to be found in the waters including Tiger fish, Tilapia and Catfish. There are also more than 400 species of birds in the area including the African Fish Eagle and the Ostrich. The most commonly seen animal in the region is the Lechwe antelope with a population of more than 60,000. These antelope are slightly larger than an impala and are able to move through the water due to specially adapted fur which repels water. If you visit the Okavango you may also spot the endangered African Wild Dog
Getting to the Okavango Delta during a Botswana Safari
Some of the camps and lodges in the area can be reached by road but the majority of camps are only reachable by air. Your tour operator will most likely arrange for a light aircraft to take you to the camp of your choice. This will afford you the opportunity to view the delta from the sky and will add an extra dimension to your Botswana Safari.