The Okavango Delta


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Sustainable tourism, beautiful landscapes...but where are the animals?

Written on: September 05, 2013   |   I visited in May 2012 Just getting to the Okavango is a memorable adventure. The roads cut through barren bushland and it's rare to spot another vehicle. During the peak flood times of June – August the Okavango water level turns surrounding roads into mush, and twice our truck had to be pulled out of a river by tractor. Most tours leave from Botswana's main tourist town, Maun, but I went from the small village of Sepupa on the Okavango's western edge.

Sailing in a traditional mokoro canoe we set off into the Delta. There was a stunning tranquility to the trip, the silence only broken by birdsong or the soothing whistling of our driver. Canoe trips are becoming a sustainable source of income for local fisherman, and my safari was combined with a visit to a riverside village which seemed lost in time. This is isolated rural Africa and the fisherman's enthusiasm was immensely satisfying.

But where were the animals? We found a couple of hippos beside the shore and a lot of sunbathing crocodiles, but the big wildlife was sadly missing. Still, the Okavango is a unique phenomenon and exploring the landscape and people does make up for worth it. However, after seeing the photos of travellers who went on helicopter trips I was insanely jealous that I only saw its beauty from ground level. It's a very different experience to other safaris or national parks, and if you lower your animal sighting ambitions you will be very satisfied.
Quality of wildlife
Crowdedness*
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Jul 16, 2015   |   Visited: Aug 2014.
The Okavango Delta has to be one of the most beautiful places myself and my husband have ever visited.

We stayed in 3 lodges which gave a good level of service and a mixed idea of activities from floating gently on the water to nights drives in game drive vehicles.

The area is of outstanding beauty but the highlight was being able to watch the wonderful wild ... read more
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Feb 13, 2015   |   Visited: Dec 2014.
I had the luxury of five nights in Botswana in December and discovered who the big boys of this country really are! I also smashed a lot of my own safari misconceptions...

First stop, Kalahari Plains Camp and the endless desert that I thought may not be that exciting for a safari old hat like me. Misconception number one... of many to come. It's true that you w... read more
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Nov 20, 2014   |   Visited: Aug 2014.
The Okavango Delta offers on elf the most pristine wilderness areas in Africa to explore. This unique ecosystem with the annual flood pouring into one of the driest regions creates a water wonderland in from April-October. The onset of the summer rains attract a plethora of birdlife and the lambing of many herbivores. The predators here are in abundance and the pro... read more
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Oct 03, 2014   |   Visited: Jun 2010.
The Okavango Delta is one of my most vivid and memorable African experiences. The feeling of slowly meandering around the waterways of the delta in a mokoro as wild elephant and giraffe wander by, crocodiles peer out over the water's surface and hippos play while the sun sets will stay with me forever. I took a scenic flight over the delta to put this immense lands... read more
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Jul 30, 2014   |   Visited: Feb 2014.
I think the Okavango Delta was my favorite part of my time in Botswana. There's something so rejuvenating about silently gliding down a river in a dug-out, wooden canoe slipping gently by hippos and crocodiles as if you were one of them.
It can seem a bit scary, getting in one of these canoes, but don't miss this opportunity to get so close to wildlife.
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Mar 17, 2014   |   Visited: Oct 2010.
If I had to sum up the Okavango Delta in one word, it would be stirring. If you love the feeling of isolation, in the midst of the some of the most untouched wilderness in the world, Botswana's Okavango Delta ticks all the boxes.

I was traveling on an overland safari, and the Delta was offered as a 5 day side trip. I leaped at the chance! Beginning our trip at ... read more
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(4/5 stars) Written on: Nov 14, 2013   |   Visited: May 2013.
I was there at the end of the rainy season and there was plenty of game and incredible sightings. If you are out in the remoter lodges you don't see anyone else and it has that air of exclusivity. Make sure you take a mekoro boat trip and let yourself relax as you glide through the waters brushing by water lilies and reeds. Truly magical. read more
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Sep 23, 2013   |   Visited: Mar 2012.
Magical light, water, birds and incredible colors, all that is the Okavango Delta in Botswana. As an inland delta in the Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta is a fabulous safari destination, famous for:

Birding
Big 5 sightings and especially Big Cats
Water activities for great wildlife photography
High wildlife density
Fabulous light
Great variety of camps... read more

I saw

Hippopotamus
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Sep 19, 2013   |   Visited: Jan 2013.
The Okavango Delta is stunning. Amazing wildlife sightings and a mix between African bush and Okavango Delta waterways. You are able to do boat trips and mokoro (wooden canoe) trips with professional guides at some of the lodges. The Game Reserves in Botswana are low impact, which means that unlike other countries - when you game drive, you dont have many other ... read more

I saw

Hippopotamus
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(5/5 stars) Written on: May 21, 2013   |   Visited: Feb 2009.
The Okavango is a many-headed beast, and each head is as fantastic as the other. I will focus on walking safaris. Many safaris involve taking small wooden boats called mokoros out into the Delta to camp. While there, you walk around and try to get into trouble. We succeeded in spades.
While tracking lions (this is called "fun"), using their annoyed roars every twe... read more
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Stephen Bailey saw these animals

Hippopotamus
Hippopotamus
Nile crocodile
Nile crocodile

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Boating / canoeing
Boating / canoeing
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Fishing
Fishing
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