Welcome to Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta in northwest Botswana is unique. The annual
flood of fresh water that gathers here from Angola's western
highlands slowly spreads for more than 5,800 square miles (15,000
sq km) over the Kalahari Desert forming a maze of lagoons and
channels. The thousands of islands that arise sustain several
diverse ecosystems, which are home to vast numbers of game and a
myriad of birds, while the champagne-coloured waters support a
varied array of aquatic life.
The height of the flood occurs in August each year, and as it
recedes in its constant cycle, the delta shrinks. At its lowest
level the delta covers about 2,300 square miles (6,000 sq km).
As the flood increases, so does the wildlife that congregates in
huge numbers between May and October each year. The delta draws
large numbers of animal populations that are rare, such as
crocodile, red lechwe, sitatunga, wild dogs, buffalo and wattled
crane. The familiar favourites are there in force too - various
antelope, elephant, giraffe, hippo, lion, leopard and the like.
Numerous game camps and lodges are located in the Delta catering
to the range of visitors who come to enjoy the teeming flora and
fauna and admire the lush green beauty of the waterways. The
favoured way to travel through the Delta's channels is on a
makoro, a dugout canoe, poled by a local guide.
The town of Maun is the administrative centre of the Delta
region and has an airstrip which serves as landing point for most
incoming visitors to the Okavango. Countless safari and air charter
companies operate in the town, which has been transformed from a
rural outpost by the advent of tourism, although it is still a
little rough around the edges. It extends along the Thamalakane
River, and now boasts good shopping centres, hotels, banks and
Information & Facts
The Okavango Delta experiences heavy afternoon thunderstorms
during the months between December and March, accounting for most
of the annual rainfall. The hottest months are December to February
where average daytime temperatures can soar as high as 104°F (40°C)
and humidity is high. March to June are the most pleasant months to
visit as the temperature cools down and average temperatures reach
around 86°F (30°C) and nights are cooler. The winter months of June
to September are dry and cold with night-time temperate dropping to
close to freezing.
English is the official language but Setswana is widely
The unit of currency is the Botswana Pula (BWP), which is
divided into 100 Thebe. The word 'Pula' means rain and 'Thebe'
means shield. The shield appears on the national coat of arms.
Major credit cards are widely accepted, and travellers cheques and
foreign currency are accepted at most large hotels and lodges.
There are banks and exchange bureaux in all the main towns, as well
as ATM machines. Surcharges are often high on travellers cheques,
and it is best to carry cheques in US Dollars or Pounds