Botswana’s Okavango Delta is one of the most unique and special wilderness areas in Africa. From May to October floodwaters fill up rivers, channels and lagoons to make it a watery wilderness unlike anywhere else in Africa. And it’s full of amazing wildlife! For nature and wildlife lovers it has to be one of the unmissable sights of Africa.
Here are some of the highlights of the Okavango Delta:
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You can visit the Okavango Delta all year round, though the best months are the dry season months from about May to October with peak season being July to October (when prices are at their highest).
From May to October the floodwaters from Angola are in the Delta transforming Kalahari sands to lush green waterways and lagoons which tempt animals from miles around to come and stay for months on end.
In the wet season (November to March/April) all but the permanent rivers and lagoons dry up, so whilst there is rain and the whole place seems lush and green, the iconic waterways are far fewer in number. At this time though, the wildlife can still be good, the birdlife is excellent and the clear skies make for fabulous photography. It’s also a much cheaper time to visit as many of the lodges offer very good prices in these months, especially December to March.
On Okavango safari is one of the best African safaris you can have. Most people come here on a fly-in lodge safari, but a mobile camping safari is also possible.
We generally recommend staying in a couple of different areas of the Delta for variety, and importantly, choosing both a dry camp and a wet camp (ie camp that offers mainly game drives and walks, and another which mainly offers boat and mokoro safaris), or one camp that offers both types of activities.
Maun is the place to fly into the start your safari, which you’ll usually reach by flying via Johannesburg.
Most of the lodges and camps in the Okavango Delta are very remote. This is part of the attraction. The majority are in private concession areas owned by different safari companies who then look after their concessions in terms of habitat and wildlife. This makes Botswana lodges mostly quite or very expensive. There are a very few camps we’d class as mid-range, such as one of our favourites, Sango Camp, but the choice and availability at this level is minimal.
There is however a good choice of luxury camps and lodges, many of whom we regularly use and love. Some of our favourites include Sandibe Safari Lodge, Machaba Camp, Pom Pom Camp, Footsteps Across the Delta and Little Kwara.
If you want to keep the price down for your Botswana safari, we’d recommend looking at mobile camping safaris. These offer anything from roll mats and shared loos, to large tents with beds and proper linen and en-suite facilities ”“ depending on the price you pay of course.
Abu Camp is a small and exclusive camp in the Okavango Delta overlooking a game rich lagoon.
Baines Camp is on a private concession in the Okavango Delta, offering excellent game viewing by water and land.
Set in the heart of the delta, Camp Okavango provides high quality accommodation and water-based safari activities.
A small camp on a remote island in the Okavango with sleep out platforms.
Duba Plains is a luxury camp in a private reserve in the northern Okavango Delta. Fantastic viewings of lion and huge buffalo herds.
An exclusive tented camp accommodating a maximum of 6 guests in the Okavango Delta.
Gunn's Camp is a small camp in the Okavango Delta offering a high degree of comfort and excellent game viewing opportunities.
Jacana Camp is a 5-tent camp in a remote part of the Okavango Delta offering excellent game viewing and an intimate atmosphere.
A luxury camp in the heart of the Delta with a range of activities and a spa.
Kanana Camp is in a remote location in the Okavango Delta and makes a great base from which to go game spotting and bird watching.
A lovely small tented camp on the edge of Moremi in the Khwai community area of the Okavango Delta.
Kwara Camp on the edge of Okavango Delta offers great game viewing combined with comfortable accommodation in a secluded setting.
Kwetsani Camp offers luxurious accommodation in an island setting in the Okavango Delta.
A beautiful secluded and personal camp in a game rich area of the Okavango eco-system.
Little Vumbura is small luxury camp set on a private reserve in the famous Okavango Delta.
A classic style safari camp set along the banks of the Khwai River offering exemplary service.
A lovely tented camp in the heart of delta waters on the edge of Moremi Game Reserve.
An initimate, relaxed camp offering year round safaris by land and water, with an attractive lounge, large deck and plunge pool.
A small private luxury lodge on a wooded island in the Okavango Panhandle.
Pom Pom Camp is set in the world famous Okavango Delta and offers game drives and mokoro trips combined with luxury accommodation.
A luxurious tented camp in the Qorokwe Concession, overlooking a lagoon in the south-eastern Okavango Delta.
With its strking curvaceous, pangolin-inspired design, low-key luxury and high calibre game viewing, Sandibe Okavango Delta Safari Lodge is a very special place, and one that'll you long remember.
A traditional style small safari camp in the Khwai area of Moremi offering great game viewing and a variety of activities.
A luxury camp in the Abu Concession of Okavango.
Shinde Camp in the Okavango Delta, accommodates a maximun of 16 guests at the main camp and a further 6 at a separate private site.
A small, welcoming camp set by a large pan in the private Kwara Reserve, offering land and water based activities year round.
Small luxury camp in private concession on Chief's Island bordering Moremi Game Reserve.
Tubu Tree is in a private concession in an isolated are with spectacular game viewing.
A stylish, contemporary designed camp in a private concession in the northern Okavango.
A small camp offering privacy and personal service as well as game drives and seasonal mokoro and boat safaris in the delta.
An intimate lodge consisiting of 9 suites set by a seasonal lagoon offeriing a choice of safari activities and luxurious, secluded accommodation.
Xugana Island Lodge is a small lodge set next to a lagoon in a private concession in the famous Okavango Delta.
Time: GMT +2hrs
Overnight flights to Johannesburg then connections to Maun, total flying time about 13 hours.
Language: The official language is English. Tswana is spoken widely.
Not required for British travellers (up to 90 days). EC nationals can ask us for further advice.
There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if you are coming from an infected area. Malaria prophylactics are recommended in the north.