Okavango Delta Safaris, Botswana

The Okavango Delta is one of Africa’s most impressive wildlife areas. As famous as Tanzania's Serengeti or Kenya's Masai Mara, the Okavango is the world's only inland delta and is an area of exceptional natural beauty. Its lily-scattered flood plains and palm-fringed islands have exceptionally high concentrations of Africa’s big game in one of the continent's most beautiful settings. The Okavango is an area that exceeds expectations and would certainly stake its claim as the world's best safari destination.

What is the Okavango Delta? 

The Delta area has been split up into private reserves where the game viewing is available only to resident guests.  As a result, the Okavango offers some of the most exclusive game viewing area in Africa. The heart of the Okavango is the Moremi, a public park that is particularly busy in areas but is also home to the Mombo concession, a wildlife area regarded by many as the best in the world. Not only is the location one of the most beautiful, and the wildlife so rich, but it is also home to some of the most exclusive and sought after safari lodges on the continent.

When does the Okavango Delta flood? The seasons explained: 

The Okavango water influxes can be categorised into two main events. The first supply of water in the Delta is not from the water from the Angola Highlands (which creates the seasonal flood plains, and what we know as the Delta) but is from the annual rains in Botswana itself. The peak rainfall is usually in February. After February, as the rains become lighter, this rainwater begins to dry out making way for the second influx of water in the Delta which arrives in May time.

The second wave of water is in May when the water comes down from the Angola Highlands and flows into Botswana. They first flow through the pan handle (at the north-west of the Delta) and pulsate out across the flat Okavango Plains, creating the famous fan image and what we know as The Okavango Delta.

The water from Angola steadily creeps its way through the Delta, and the seasonal flood plains are at their fullest by July. By July the far corners of the Delta channels should have water, but before July, you need to take into account where you stay in the Delta if you are wishing to do water activities -  some “mixed camps” may not yet have water in May if they are further from the pan handle. From July onwards the water begins to evaporate in the high daytime temperatures, so from the end of July through to October, the water levels slowly begin to decline.

How do the seasonal floods effect the wildlife and endangered species of the Okavango Delta?

As the Okavango plains flood with water, wildlife migrates here from all parts of the Kalahari, creating a focal point for a phenomenal migration of millions of mammals. From May onwards the Okavango comes into its peak season, offering some of the best game viewing in the whole of Africa and dreamy water-based safaris. 

From July, as the water evaporates in the heat of the day, it does not mean however that the wildlife viewing is bad at all… Quite the contrary – in October, the hottest month and at the bitter end of dry season, the wildlife viewing is excellent. It is hot and so dry everywhere so the water from Angola in the Delta (although slowly evaporating) is still the main source of life for all the surrounding wildlife. So they do not leave, but stick around and hang on to the watery Eden that is the Delta until the very end of dry season, until the Botswana long rains come, and they begin to happily disperse again.

What is unique about the Okavango Delta? 

  • Privacy – The Delta operates on a low volume, high quality approach to tourism meaning all the reserves are private, giving you a slice of paradise and magnificent wildlife all to yourself. It is the polar opposit to it's neighbor, Chobe, which is a national park. 
  • Off-roading – Contrary to the strict national park rules, the Delta’s private concessions allow for off-road driving, meaning you can get closer to the animals and generally enjoy a freer safari experience.
  • Activity variety – The private concessions also have the freedom to offer more diverse safari activities such as boating, horse riding and walking safaris – a real luxury.The Delta is also easy to combine with other unique African attractions such as the mighty Victoria Falls and the buzz of Cape Town.
  • Wildlife and flora – Nowhere quite compares or competes with the wildlife and natural beauty of the Okavango Delta. Being the only inland Delta on earth, it is utterly dream-like and bewitching, even without the Noah’s ark procession of wildlife which calls its watery channels home.

  • Scroll down for everything you need to know about the Okavango Delta. 


    • Lion, Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Rhino, Wild Dog and Cheetah. This park has 6 out of our Big 7 icon
    • Boating safari icon
    • Mokoro safaris icon
    • Night game drives icon
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    Okavango Delta Flood Map

    Okavango Delta Safari Lodges

    Hand Picked Delta Itineraries



    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 Camp

    is 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 Camps

    are 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/Sandibe

    concession 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.

    Duba Plains

    in the Northern Okavango, adjacent to Vumbura, is one of Africa's most famous camps.  The concentration of lion up here was made famous by Derek and Beverley Joubert's fantastic wildlife film 'Relentless Enemies', set in the Duba Concession. The 1,200 strong buffalo herd is in a constant duel with the lion prides and provides for some of the most explosive game viewing in Africa.

    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 Kwara

    concession, 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 Concessions

    are 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 Camp

    and 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.
    Client Reviews
    [100% based on 5 reviews]

    Okavango Delta Safaris - Reviews

    Little Vumbura: 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.

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    Map of Botswana Botswana - Okavango Delta Botswana - Moremi Botswana - Linyanti Botswana - Chobe Botswana - The Pans Botswana - Central Kalahari
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