Okavango Delta mokoro safari

The Okavango Delta is the largest inland water system/delta in the world. It attracts large numbers of wildlife and birds. As a result; it is one of the best safaris regions in Botswana and indeed Africa. An Okavango Delta Safari is, therefore; a must for anyone visiting Botswana.

Millions of years ago; the Okavango River used to flow into a large inland lake called Lake Makgadikgadi; now Makgadikgadi Pans. Tectonic activity and faulting interrupted the flow of the river causing it to backup; forming what is now the Okavango Delta. This has created a unique system of waterways that supports a vast array of animal and plant life; that would have otherwise been a dry Kalahari savanna.

The waters are subject to seasonal flooding from the north (Angola). It infiltrates the Delta starting in mid-summer in the north and up to six months later in the south. During the peak of the flooding; the Delta’s area can expand to over 16,000 square kilometers; shrinking to less than 9,000 square kilometers in the low period. As the water travels through the Delta; the wildlife starts to congregate on the edge of the newly flooded areas. This obviously affects the seasons for game viewing and activities; so have a look at our Best time to visit the Okavango Delta.

The Okavango Delta is divided into concessions with the community, and then these are leased on strict conservation terms; limiting the number of visitors and preserving the environment.

Pair of leopards in Moremi, Okavango
Pair of leopards in Moremi, Okavango

Moremi Game Reserve, Xakanaxa, and Khwai region

The Moremi Game Reserve offers a year-round Botswana safari destination. It is approximately 5000km² (1,900 sq. mi) in the east corner of the Okavango Delta.

Moremi Game Reserve enjoys a wide diversity of habitats; pans, floodplains, lagoons, grasslands, forests of acacia trees, savannas, and dense Mopane woodlands. This unique ecosystem means that there is a diverse range of wildlife. Moremi is one of the best game viewing areas in Africa.

Xakanaxa Lagoon, in the heart of Moremi Game Reserve; is packed with wildlife. Leopard and cheetah sightings are excellent here as well as a good range of antelope.

The Khwai region; in the northeast tip of Moremi; boasts an excellent density of prey and predators. Leopard and lion sightings are very good. Photographic safaris are especially popular in the Khwai area.

Gunns Camp in the Okavango Delta
Gunns Camp

ACTIVITIES / SAFARI

One of the must-do activities is poling in a dugout canoe; called a mokoro (or Mekoro) through lagoons. Of course, you don’t have to do the poling; simply relax and enjoy the ride!

Walking Safaris are available from most safari camps and on mobile safaris. This is probably the most exciting way of viewing the game; stalking and tracking wildlife with an expert guide.

Birdlife is prolific and varied; ranging from water birds to shy forest dwellers (nearly 500 species). In fact; birding is fantastic all over the Delta. For more information, see our birding safaris page.

Elephants are numerous; particularly during the dry season. As well as a huge range of other wildlife species from buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, hyena, jackal; and the full range of antelope; large and small; including the red Lechwe. Plus; limited numbers of both black and white rhinos.

Wild dogs; whose numbers are so rapidly dwindling elsewhere; are regularly seen here. It is thought that the Moremi area contains about thirty percent of all living wild dogs.

It is also now possible to take a Hot Air Balloon in the Okavango Delta! This magical experience is something you don’t want to miss as you soar over the waterways and spot the wildlife below.

Hot air balloon safari in Okavango Delta
Hot air balloon safari

ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

To reduce the impact on the environment; camps and lodges are required to be non-permanent. This means, there are no large safari lodges so accommodation is limited at the camps. Consequently; there are fewer vehicles in your concession.

Accommodation is defined by the activities each camp offers. With 3 general categories: Land, water, or mixed. We highly recommend combining land with a water camp, but if you are short of time; using one mixed camp is good.

Water camps offer boating, mokoros, and walking. They focus on the unique delta ecosystem; with its distinctive waterways, birds, and aquatic creatures. Their locations do not usually support the big game or game drives, and as such; these are generally slower-paced safaris.

Land-based camps; of course; offer game drives and frequently; walking safaris. While there is water around, water activities are not offered here; as conditions are just not suitable.

Mixed camps offer both land and water activities; however, this is subject to water levels. In times of drought; some of these camps can’t offer their water activities the whole year. There are a couple of camps that can guarantee water and land activities all year, but not all of them; so it is best to check with us.

We specialize in tailor-made trips so if you don’t see what you are looking for here; contact us directly.