10 Reasons to Book a Okavango Delta Botswana Safari
Botswana’s Okavango Delta is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places to be in Africa and it is really one of the most fascinating places too. Here we give you 10 reasons to book a safari to the Okavango Delta.
1. One of The World’s Largest Deltas
The Okavango Delta is one of the world’s largest inland deltas. Most river deltas lead to an ocean, but the Okavango River sprawls out onto open land, which floods the savanna creating this unique and always changing inland delta.
2. A UNESCO World Heritage Site
On 22 June 2014, Botswana’s Okavango Delta was proclaimed the 1,000th UNESCO World Heritage Site. Apparently, the decision was based on the fact that the delta is one of the few major delta systems that doesn’t flow into the ocean.
3. An Island Paradise
There are over 150,000 smallish islands in the delta, but some as big as 10km long. The largest island is Chief’s Island, a whopping 70km long and 14km wide! The delta swells to almost three times in size between the winter months of March and August when the floodwaters arrive from Angola. It fluctuates at that time from between 6,000 to approximately 15,000 square kilometers.
4. A Premier Wildlife Area
Deemed one of the world’s premier wildlife areas Botswana’s Okavango Delta is home to a range of species of African wildlife, inhabiting both the Moremi Game Reserve and the rest of the Delta. Among these are lion, buffalo, leopard, elephant, wild dog, cheetah, rhino, hippo, giraffe, spotted and brown hyaena and various types of antelope. Unique antelope species to see here include the water-adapted lechwe, sitatunga, roan and sable antelope and topi. During the dry season, around 260,000 mammals congregate in and around the delta! Around 30 amphibians have been recorded in the Delta plus 60-odd reptiles and around 70 species of fish.
5. The Birdlife is Exquisite
With more than 500 types of birds living in these wetlands this is a renowned birding paradise. Commonly spotted birds include the African fish eagle, the lilac-breasted roller and the Hamerkop. The Pel’s Fishing Owl is a favorite rarity and the world’s only fish-eating owl.
6. Unique Game-Viewing And Bird-Viewing From a Mekoro
Birds and a lot of the wildlife are best spotted whilst taking a leisurely cruise in a mekoro. Invented and used by the early Bushmen inhabitants, the mekoro is a traditional dug-out canoe. Expert guides will skirt around the pods of hippos, as you silently soak in one of the world’s last great open-air aviaries.
7. It Is Truly Wild and Free
One of the reasons for the popularity of the delta is that it is unspoiled and under-commercialized to a large extent. The numbers of tourists and camps in the area are controlled by the Botswana government, lessening the chance of over commercialization and the wildlife being disrupted by too many safari vehicles, boats and mokoros.
8. Home to Five Ethnic Tribes
The Okavango Delta is home to five ethnic groups – the Hambukushu, Dceriku, Wayeyi, Anikhwe and Bugakhwe tribes, who use the area for fishing, growing crops and hunting. They live on the eastern side of the Delta in the Moremi Game Reserve.
9. One Of The Natural Wonders Of Africa
In 2013, a year before it was declared a world heritage site, the Delta was declared one of the seven natural wonders of Africa! It stands proudly and rightfully amongst the other spectacular natural wonders like the Ngorongoro Crater, the great Serengeti migration, the River Nile, Mount Kilimanjaro, Table Mountain, the Red Sea coral reef and the Sahara Desert.
10. It Is Home to Those Threatened With Extinction
Black and white rhino, wild dogs, lions and several other species of animals are facing extinction and the Okavango delta offers one of the safest havens for them. It relies heavily on the support of international and local tourism though, so please support it and experience the vacation of a lifetime when you do.
Jewel of Africa Safaris offers client-focused Botswana and Okavango Delta itineraries, tailored to your safari specifications. We are a boutique family- run business, built on professional service and a love for Africa, its precious wildlife and its proud people and heritage.
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