Okavango Delta Safaris
The Okavango Delta is a must-visit safari destination for those seeking a unique eco-system and unforgettable game viewing experiences. Located in northern Botswana, the delta is home to an astonishing variety of wildlife and is famous for its excellent safaris, which can be enjoyed by 4x4, on foot, or by traditional canoe, called a mokoro.
More About the Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest wetland wilderness area on the planet when flooded. It is home to over 164 mammal species, 157 reptile species, and around 540 bird species. During the seasonal floods, which occur from July to September, an estimated 200,000 animals migrate to the delta, including half of the elephants in southern Africa.
The delta spans across the eastern side of the Moremi Game Reserve, as well as several private concessions. The region is a blanket of fresh, shallow water dotted with islands during the flooded season, offering tourists the chance to see wildlife in a unique and unforgettable setting.
Wildlife in the Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta in Botswana is a unique and stunning ecosystem that is home to an incredibly diverse range of wildlife. Known as one of the best safari destinations in Africa, the Okavango Delta is home to a vast array of animal and bird species, making it a must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts.
Visitors to the Okavango Delta can expect to see a variety of large mammals, such as elephants, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, and hippos, among others. The delta is also home to the Big Five, including lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffaloes. However, it's important to note that rhinos are not commonly found in the delta due to poaching.
In addition to large mammals, the Okavango Delta is a birding paradise, with over 400 bird species being recorded in the area. Some of the rare and unique bird species found in the delta include the African skimmer, the wattled crane, and the Pel's fishing owl, among others.
Another unique feature of the Okavango Delta is the presence of aquatic wildlife, such as crocodiles and various species of fish. Visitors can take a boat ride or a mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) trip to get up close to these fascinating creatures.
When Does the Delta Flood?
If you want to experience the Okavango Delta in Botswana while it is flooded, the best time to visit is from June to October. During these months, the delta is at its fullest, and the water levels are high, creating a unique and breathtaking landscape.
June and July are the peak flood months, and it is an excellent time for water-based activities such as mokoro (traditional canoe) safaris and boat cruises. This is also a great time for birdwatching, as many migratory species are present in the delta.
As the floodwaters begin to recede, from August to October, game viewing on land becomes more accessible, and wildlife congregates around the remaining water sources. This is also the best time for walking safaris as the water levels have lowered, and it is easier to traverse the terrain.
It is important to note that the Okavango Delta experiences a semi-arid climate, with dry and rainy seasons. The rainy season is from November to March, and while it brings lush greenery and newborn wildlife, the delta is not flooded during this time. The dry season from May to September is also a popular time to visit as game viewing is excellent, but the delta is not as flooded.
Best Time to Visit
While the delta is a year-round destination, the best time to visit for a wildlife safari is during the dry season from May to October. During Botswana's dry season, the Okavango Delta floods due to the heavy rains that fall in the highlands of Angola. The flooding of the delta creates a unique ecosystem that supports an incredible diversity of wildlife.
While the dry season is the best time for a wildlife safari in the Okavango Delta, the rest of the year offers its own unique experiences. From November to April, the delta experiences its rainy season, which brings lush green landscapes, birdwatching opportunities, and newborn wildlife. The delta is also quieter during this time, making it a more peaceful and secluded experience.
Month-by-Month Guide to Weather
The rainy season is in full swing, with temperatures averaging around 26°C (79°F) and high humidity. The average rainfall is around 90mm, with 15 rainy days. The delta is not yet flooded.
The rainy season continues with temperatures ranging from 25-27°C (77-81°F). The average rainfall is around 120mm, with 14 rainy days. The delta is still not flooded.
Temperatures continue to be high, ranging from 24-28°C (75-82°F). The average rainfall is around 100mm, with 13 rainy days. The delta is still not flooded.
The rainy season starts to subside, with temperatures averaging around 23°C (73°F). The average rainfall is around 40mm, with 6 rainy days. The delta is still not flooded.
The weather becomes cooler and drier, with temperatures ranging from 20-25°C (68-77°F). The average rainfall is around 10mm, with 2 rainy days. The delta is still not flooded.
Temperatures are cool, ranging from 16-24°C (61-75°F), and the delta begins to flood. The average rainfall is around 5mm, with 1 rainy day.
Temperatures continue to be cool, ranging from 15-24°C (59-75°F), and the delta is fully flooded. There is virtually no rainfall during this month.
Temperatures start to rise, ranging from 17-28°C (63-82°F). The delta is still flooded, and there is almost no rainfall.
The weather becomes hot, with temperatures ranging from 21-33°C (70-91°F). The delta is still flooded, and there is almost no rainfall.
Temperatures continue to be hot, ranging from 23-35°C (73-95°F). The delta is still flooded, but the water levels start to recede. There is almost no rainfall during this month.
Temperatures remain hot, ranging from 24-35°C (75-95°F). The delta is still flooded at the beginning of the month but starts to dry up towards the end. The average rainfall is around 30mm, with 4 rainy days.
Temperatures start to cool down again, ranging from 23-32°C (73-90°F). The average rainfall is around 80mm, with 10 rainy days. The delta is not flooded during this month.