One of the most sought after wilderness destinations in the world, the Okavango Delta gives entrance to the spectacle of wild Africa such as dreams are made of – the heart-stopping excitement of big game viewing, the supreme tranquility and serenity of an untouched delta, and evocative scenes of extraordinary natural beauty.
A journey to the Okavango Delta – deep into Africa’s untouched interior – is like no other. Moving from wetland to dryland – traversing the meandering palm and papyrus fringed waterways, passing palm-fringed islands, and thick woodland, resplendent with lush vegetation, and rich in wildlife – reveals the many facets of this unique ecosystem, the largest intact inland delta in the world.
The Okavango Delta is situated deep within the Kalahari Basin, and is often referred to as the ‘jewel’ of the Kalahari.
That the Okavango exists at all – deep within this thirstland – seems remarkable. Shaped like a fan, the Delta is fed by the Okavango River, the third largest in southern Africa. It has been steadily developed over the millennia by millions of tonnes of sand carried down the river from Angola.
Major species to be seen include:
elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, hippo,crocodile, rhino, red lechwe, waterbuck, reedbuck, duiker, impala, kudu, steenbok, wildebeest, hartebeest, sable, roan, tsessebe, lion, leopard, cheetah, genet, serval and caracal along with an immense variety of birds – land and water, resident and migratory, some of which are rare and endangered.
It should be noted, however, that game viewing very much depends on season, and water and food availability.
The Okavango is a proposed World Heritage Site. Its long-term conservation is ensured through government policy and regulations (though only Moremi Game Reserve has an official protected status), the efforts and initiatives of camps and lodges in its concessions, the recently launched Okavango Development Management Plan (ODMP) and its status as a Ramsar site, under IUCN, an agreement that limits its utilisation and development.