A Snapshot of Botswana
The Okavango Delta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to a massive concentration of animals and birdlife. Thousands of elephant and buffalo roam the area, often in large herds, while several thousands hippos navigate their way through the existing channels, or create new ones.
There is an abundance of antelope, including the shy sitatunga, creeping through the thickets. Such a mass of herbivores encourages large numbers of predators - from big lion prides and noisy family packs of hyena, to the ever cunning crocodile.
Cheetah and wild dog are a common sight on the larger grasslands while leopard are often seen stalking through the dense bush or lazing on a riverine tree branch.
The Okavango Delta experiences its highest water levels from May to September every year, and during these months, water based activities become the primary activity at most lodges. Exploring the waterways in a mokoro is one of the main and unique attractions of a safari in the Delta during this time. Traditionally hand-carved from an ebony or sausage tree log, these shallow canoes are perfect for gliding through the reeds and calm waters in search of wildlife. A 'poler' stands at one end of the canoe, and guides it silently through the channels, while up to 2 guests sit comfortably at the front and wait eagerly for the animals or birds to show themselves.
The water levels start to recede around late October and November, at which point water based activities are still available in some camps but primarily only at those located by the main water channels. Activities then available from the other camps will include game drives in 4x4 vehicles, fishing and guided walks.
Maun is the 'gateway' to the Delta, and with direct flights now from Cape Town and Johannesburg, this makes adding a 2 night stay here very plausible indeed.
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