May 26, 2016
One of Mother Nature’s great masterpieces, and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Okavango Delta lies deep within the Kalahari Basin in Botswana. A largely untouched freshwater wetland, it is a multi-faceted spectacle, with heart-breaking natural beauty, and unparalleled game viewing.
Each year, more than 11 km spills into the Delta by way of the Okavango Delta, originating in the Angola highlands. This seasonal flooding is what makes this region so very unique, attracting a constant stream of visitors from near and far.
Regardless of the fact that you shouldn’t need very much more convincing, we have put together a list of the top 10 reasons to visit the Okavango.
A few weeks ago, we introduced reason 1 – 5 in Part One: Breath-taking aerial views, great concentrations of wildlife, mokoro trips, its UNESCO World Heritage Site status, and the largely incomparable sunsets. Following directly on, this is Part Two.
The local people within the Okavango Delta can roughly be divided up into five ethnic groups: the Hambukushu, Bugakhwe, Dceriku, and Wayeyi. Each boast their own unique language, identities, and fascinating histories, but all of them are largely reliant on, and have strong ties to the Delta itself. Learn more about the local people on one of many cultural tours offered by various safari operators in the area.
For a more intimate wildlife experience in the Okavango Delta, choose a guided walking safari. With such a diverse variety of habitats and terrains to explore, the setting is ideal for a walk in the wilderness. Not only does this provide travellers with a close-up view of game, but it also allows them to understanding animal behaviour patterns, and learn how to track wildlife.
The largest island in the Delta, the legendary Chief’s Island, is nestled in the heart of the Moremi Game Reserve. Just 15km wide and 70km long, it is home to arguably the richest concentration of wildlife in Botswana. Once the traditional hunting ground of Chief Moremi (hence, the name), it now forms part of the greater reserve. Wildlife which call this serene haven home include elephant, buffalo, lion, cheetah, leopard, white rhino, giraffe, hyenas, wildebeest, African wild dog, kudu and zebra.
The Okavango Delta is a bird-lovers Mecca, featuring over 400 migratory and non-migratory bird species. Vastly threatened, and eagerly sough-after species in the area include the Wattled Crane, Slaty Egret and the rare Pel’s Fishing Owl. Other enticing birds to spotted on a trip to the Delta include Southern Carmine Bee-eaters, African Skimmers, various Herons, the Pygmy Goose, and even the Pink-backed Pelican.
Much the same as Okavango Delta sunsets, the night-time sky is best illustrated with a photograph, or two!
To find out more about this fascinating area, or to book your accommodation at the gateway to the Okavango Delta – Maun – simply visit the Cresta Riley’s website, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call +27 11 881 1200.
Image Credits: Philip Milne, Philip Milne, Philip Milne, Ross Huggett, dutchbaby, Massimiliano Sticca, Laurie Thirion, medium.com