A GUIDE TO VISITING THE OKAVANGO DELTA
Where is the Okavango Delta? How do I get there?
The Okavango Delta is to the north-west of Botswana. It is a short hop away from ZImbabwe and Zambia's Victoria Falls to the east, and to the west is Namibia, and the south sits South Africa. As such, The Okavango Delta is a prime Southern Africa location for a varied holiday. It is a fly-on park, and you can get there via light aircraft from Maun (which we would integrate into your itinerary for you!). For further details, please scroll down for our detailed safari map of Botswana.
Okavango Delta Activities
- The Okavango really does have it all - here is a list of safari activities to choose from;
- Boating - Take a relaxing Mykoro ride through the Delta with wildlife all around... There really is nothing like it!
- Horse Riding - Because of the huge concentrations of predators in Okavango, you do have to be a very experienced rider... But if you are, no ride around home will ever be the same again!
- Game drives - The classic safari activity; but some of the absolute best!
- Walking - There is nowhere more beautiful or interesting in Southern Africa.
- Sleep-outs - Romantic, wild, adventurous and perfect for honeymooners.
Camps in Okavango Delta Botswana
Safari camps in the Delta are classified as wet, dry or mixed. The range of habitat and game viewing, and the overall safari experience on offer, vary considerably from one type of camp to the next.
To maximise your safari experience, we would recommend including a variety of types of camp in your itinerary. The ideal itinerary will vary throughout the season, and care should be taken to achieve the best combination for any particular travel dates.
Where to stay in the Okavango Delta - Wet Camps:
The wet camps, usually set in stunning locations close to the Okavango’s main river channels, are not flood-dependent and can offer the famous mokoro boating safaris throughout the year. However, as a general rule the game around the wet camps is relatively poor (most of Africa's big animals, particularly predators, are not comfortable in water) and when the Okavango is in full flood, the game driving circuits become completely submerged and these camps can then offer only water based, boating safaris. This significantly reduces the quality of the big game viewing on offer. On the other hand, these camps offer beautiful scenery and exceptional bird life.
Wilderness Safaris' Jacana Campis a beautiful camp that sits on its own private island in the middle of the Okavango. The camp is surrounded on all sides by water and is quite simply stunning. Xigera, albeit actually located in the Moremi Game Reserve, is another great wet camp run by Wilderness Safaris. Little Vumbura in the Vumbura concession is surrounded by water during high flood and so for these months can be viewed as a wet camp but on the whole offers surprisingly good game throughout the year.
&Beyond's Xudum and Xaranna Campsare in an area of the Okavango that gets very wet during the high season months and as a result can be viewed as mixed and wet camps! These are certainly not the best camps for big game viewing when the floods are in.
Where to stay in the Okavango Delta - Dry Camps:The dry camps, by contrast, do not offer any mokoro or boating safaris and tend to focus on big game viewing. They offer game drives all year round. These camps are usually located in some of the Okavango's prime wildlife areas, and are particularly good for predators.
The Chitabe/Sandibeconcession in the Southern Delta, close to Maun, is consistently regarded as one of the best areas for game in the whole of the Delta. Wilderness Safaris run the spectacular Chitabe and the three-roomed Chitabe Lediba Camp, while &Beyond run Sandibe. All three camps effectively share the same game and can guarantee good and diverse viewing, with the added bonus of frequent wild dog sightings.
Where to stay in the Okavango Delta - Mixed Camps:The Okavango Delta's mixed camps offer the best of both worlds. Game driving and walking safaris are available throughout the year, along with traditional mokoro boating in shallow water and also, for camps located close to the main Okavango channels, larger boat safaris. (Many of the wet camps cannot offer game driving when the Okavango is in full flood.)
Kwando's Kwaraconcession, one of the Okavango's largest reserves, is home to Kwara and Little Kwara. These are outstanding camps and have one of the best wildlife-viewing locations in the entire Delta. The Kwara reserve is the ultimate mixed camp option and its situation north of the Delta gives guests a chance to game drive north, effectively out of the Delta, whilst also being close to a main river channel - providing big river boating safari opportunities as well as the standard mokoro trips.
Wilderness Safaris' Vumbura and Jao Concessionsare exceptional reserves with some of the most luxurious camps. Tubu Tree, Kwetsani, Jao and Vumbura Plains are what we define as mixed camps, whereas the remaining camps in these concessions (Little Vumbura and Jacana) are primarily wet camps.
&Beyond's Nxabega Campand their new Xudum and Xaranna, Sanctuary Lodges (A&K's) Baines and Stanley's; but the game viewing from these camps is not so good. Rather than these we prefer Pom Pom, a superb and very well-priced camp that offers a range of activities and has a great vibe.
For a summary of the Best places to stay in Okavango Delta, please follow this link
Little Vumbura - Reviews
Little Vumbura where we took part in a wild dog hunt, and then later, watched the aftermath of a wild dog kill and a fight with a
scavenging hyena. We had a marvellous guide in Little Vumbura too –
easily the best of the trip.
Vumbura Plains - Reviews
I wanted to drop you a note and tell you what an absolutely fantastic trip I had to Mombo and Vumbura Plains. I walked away with 2900 photos and am, by no means, a serious photographer. Thank you again for all your wonderful suggestions. They really paid off for me. You can be certain this is not my last trip there.
Chitabe - Reviews
Chitabe was a real surprise . If you remember it was a sort of last minute addition because of flights or camp availability I can’t remember. If anything this was the best and we would have liked to have stayed longer. Perhaps our view was distorted by the 22 wild dogs which I believe are the same pack as the recent documentary.
Jao - Reviews
The third Camp, Jao, was probably-maybe for being the last one- the most special to us. The location by the delta was incredible, but the best there was truly the staff, they made us feel as we were HOME, always so pleasant, nice, helpful and funny. There was something really magical around Jao, we also made the safari day+picnic which was really amazing.
Kwara - Reviews
Kwara was a good place to start off. We were fortunate in having George as our driver/guide - mature, very well informed about all the wildlife and with a good sense of humour. As there were four of us we mostly went on drives on our own with George and a spotter, although the camp was full. The rest of the staff were very helpful and friendly. The accommodation was very adequate and certainly a far cry from our first safari experience in 1985, with electric light, running water and flushing loos now! The food was fine - although the Christmas turkey was the size of an average chicken and meant to feed about 20 of us! Plentiful wine and all sorts of spirits though.
We enjoyed the dance/singing routine before dinner (twice), which was just as much for the staff's benefit as the punters'.
There were plenty of animals to see - lots of lion, elephants, giraffe etc. at close range to the camp and, of course, loads of birds. The river safari was good once they had got the boat working and fortunately the punters at little Kwara (friends of Matthew's) came to our rescue several times when the boat stalled!