Down in the Delta: walking safaris, hippos and endless stars
Written on: March 17, 2014
I visited in October 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 the mouth of the Delta, my party's trip began with a fury of backpacks, tents, gargantuan water jugs, and food. Our porters helped us load everything into the Mokoros (narrow canoes), and for the next four hours, we were poled deep into the Delta. The rhythmic sound of the pole cutting the tranquil water, the gentle hush of cicadas, and the nearby (sometimes too near) groan of hippos, and the trumpeting of elephants, is an experience, I can't do justice with words.
Upon arrival, we discovered a series of fresh tracks that had been left by a large lion pride. That certainly gets your heart going! Setting up camp, night fell quickly, and the Delta floor came to life! Armies of ants (not army ants), walking sticks, dung beadles, and arachnids scurried about our feet, the cool soil a welcome relief after a scorching day. And in the inky blackness, the sky was alight with the most spectacular display of star power I'd ever seen.
Over the course of the next few days, we went out on walking tours, managed to almost get stampeded by a frightened herd of water buffalo, followed a honey-seeker to a beehive, wandered mere feet from herds of Zebra and Springbok, watched crocs slither on and off the muddy banks...and the birds. The kaleidoscope of bird life is so astounding, you'll soon realize there are colors in nature you never realized existed.
I'm a feet first traveller, I throw myself into the experience and like to feel fully immersed in a place. It's the way for me to really relax in the environment and learn about the beauty of where I am and what I am seeing and doing.
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...
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...
I am definitely an adventure traveller. I like to trek mountains, dive reefs and explore cultures in depth. I like to camp out in the wilds under the stars or live amongst the local communities and absorb as much as possible. I think if you open your heart and mind w...
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...
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. read more
I am an independent traveller with a passion for getting off the beaten track and away from mass tourism. I have been spoilt with all the safaris that I have had the opportunity to go on and have had some extraordinary wildlife sightings. I can often be found sittin...
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.
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:
Big 5 sightings and especially Big Cats
Water activities for great wildlife photography
High wildlife density
Great variety of camps...
I own a business specialising in booking various safaris, activities and tours within Botswana. I am a Zimbabwean that has travelled extensively. I teach Scuba Diving, Fitness and First Aid courses and am an avid wildlife and macro photographer. Visit Botswana with me!
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 ...
Written on: Sep 05, 2013
| Visited: 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 we...
I like to drive. I've driven everywhere from remote Australian deserts to the South Pole to Madagascar.
I've been to Africa twice now for a total of around 7 months, completing an overland trip from Cape Town to Addis Ababa and north-to-south drive of Madagascar.
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...