THE OKAVANGO DELTA
The Okavango Delta is a vast and varied ecosystem created as the Okavango River flows into the Kalahari desert in Botswana. Rich in wildlife, this World Heritage Site is a sanctuary to some of the world’s most endangered animals and birds.
The Okavango Delta is a unique pulsing wetland. More correctly an alluvial fan, the delta covers between 6 and 15 000 square kilometres of Kalahari Desert in northern Botswana and owes its existence to the Okavango (Kavango) River which flows from the Angolan highlands, across Namibia’s Caprivi Strip and into the harsh Kalahari Desert.
Each year the Okavango River discharges approximately 11 cubic kilometres (1.1 × 10¹³ litres) of water into the Okavango Delta. Most of this water is lost to transpiration by plants (60%) and by evaporation (36%) with only 2% percolating into the aquifer system with the remainder finally flowing into Lake Ngami.
The Okavango Delta is affected by seasonal flooding with flood water from Angola reaching the Delta between March and June, peaking in July. This peak coincides with Botswana’s dry season resulting in great migrations of plains game from the dry hinterland.
Generally flat, with a height variation of less than two meters across its area, dry land in the Okavango Delta is predominantly comprised of numerous small islands, formed when vegetation takes root on termite mounds, however larger islands exist with Chief’s Island, the largest, having been formed on a tectonic fault line.
The 1000th site to be inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2014, the Okavango Delta is an important wildlife area protected by both the Moremi Game Reserve, on its eastern edge, and the numerous wildlife concessions within Ngamiland. An oasis in an otherwise dry environment the Okavango Delta is known for its superb wildlife, with large populations of mammals and excellent birding particularly in the breeding season.
Very much at the centre of Botswana’s safari industry, the Okavango Delta features some of Africa’s premier camps such a Mombo Camp, Duba Plains Camp, Vumbura Camp, Xigera Camp, Abu Camp, Sandibe Camp and many more.
Breathlessly captivating, this corner of Botswana has long been associated with the world’s greatest explorers, including David Livingstone. Follow in their footsteps at Savute Elephant Lodge. Head out to our unique viewing hide at dusk or dawn, overlooking the watering hole, and see elephants, hyenas and cheetahs in their element. Then find a serene welcome back at the lodge. The contemporary interiors reflects the earthy tones of the wilderness, while eco-friendly design features keep you in harmony with the stunning landscape. Read More
Camp Okavango lies on the remote Nxaragha Island at the heart of the permanent Okavango Delta, offering a year-round water wilderness experience. The experience is all in the name, this is a quintessential Okavango water safari experience with the traditional mokoro rides, boating and walking in a beautiful environment. The camp was rebuilt in 2016 and offers guests modern comforts whilst at the same time preserving the special atmosphere for which it achieved its renown. Read More
Shinde Camp is a sophisticated tented camp nestled on a lush palm island on a private concession in the north eastern Okavango Delta. Overlooking the shimmering Shinde Lagoon, this is an area which teems with animals and birds attracted to the permanent waters. The game viewing is varied and interesting, as are the activities with both land and water activities available year-round. This is a luxurious tented camp, with a classic sophisticated style and friendly atmosphere. Read More
Xugana Lagoon is widely accepted as being the most spectacular permanent water site in the entire Okavango Delta, overlooking a permanent deep water lagoon. Xugana Island Lodge is situated on a private concession and takes full advantage of this magnificent site with a full range of activities. This is a charming little Okavango camp, with plenty of character with a traditional, slightly rustic, but very comfortable style. Read More
Situated on the beautiful Abu Concession, overlooking a perennial lagoon, Seba Camp is one of the few specialist family camps in the Okavango Delta. Surrounded by riverine vegetation, Seba enjoys good game viewing and prolific birdlife and a variety of land and seasonal water activities for a classic Okavango safari experience. Two specially designed family tents make this friendly little camp a great choice for family safaris and those looking for a more relaxed safari. Read More