Okavango Delta

Africa's Lush Oasis

The Okavango Delta was always a dream destination and experience for me. It’s a magnificent natural wonder that some people wait a lifetime to see and many don’t get to visit at all. So what is the Okavango Delta all about and why is it so special?

First, we must begin in Angola. Every year rain falls in the mountains of Angola (northwest of Botswana) from November through April. Over several months that fallen water eventually makes its way down to the Okavango Delta in Botswana and brings a slow flood of water that gradually disperses among a vast network of pools and channels. This rejuvenates the thirsty land into a lush oasis. This flood is a good thing!

Water begins to arrive in May, and the Delta is at its peak flood in July. This is actually the “dry season” as there is no rainfall at this time but the landscape is flooded. The water levels during the flood of the Okavango Delta are dependent upon the amount of rain that falls in Angola earlier in the year, so if the rains are good the Delta is more lush. If the rains are not as plentiful then the Delta will be drier and some areas might not see any water. Not to worry, though. There is permanent water in the Delta in case you’re worried about the possibility of water levels being low due to modest rainfall.

Hippos are the architects of the Delta. Their movements through the tall grasses and reeds form channels in all different directions, but they’re not the only ones moving through these waters. Aquatic antelope such as red lechwe and the shy sitatunga, crocodiles, frogs, birds, elephants and even lions and leopards get their feet wet.

One of the great things about the Okavango Delta is that it offers many different activities and ways to experience it. One of the most unique ways is to take a ride on a mokoro (dug-out canoe). You sit back and relax as your guide agilely navigates through shallow channels and points out the smaller things that often are missed on your more typical safari game drives such as reed frogs, aquatic birds, insects, lily pads, lotus flowers and you may even get to see some of the larger animals on the grassy banks. Mokoro rides are a peaceful and calming way to explore the Delta and take your senses on a different kind of safari.

Boat rides, land game drives, safari walks and even helicopter rides give you so many options to survey the Okavango and its collection of colors, textures and wildlife. It is so uniquely special and so different from the rest of Africa that if you have the opportunity to go you’ve got to seize it!

When to Go

May and November (shoulder season): May is great, the floodwaters are starting to arrive and the weather is perfect.  November is hot but still a great time to visit.  Water levels have receded but are similar to the water levels in May.  November brings afternoon thunderstorms but they don’t last long and create dramatic skies.  Prices are lower.

June – October (peak season): The Delta reaches its peak flood in July and the landscape is transformed into a lush oasis.  Prices are much, much higher during this time.

Ready to start planning your journey?