National Parks

Okavango Delta in Botswana

The Okavango Delta’s mere existence is so miraculous that it has been deemed one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Africa, alongside other destinations such as the Victoria Falls and Mount Kilimanjaro.

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Everything you need to know about the Okavango Delta

The delta’s mere existence is so miraculous that it has been deemed one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Africa, alongside other epic destinations such as the Victoria Falls and Mount Kilimanjaro. Having explored this region extensively ourselves, we’re not surprised in the least – it’s simply astounding. Consisting of channels, tributaries and lagoons as well as floodplains, islands and mainland areas, the water that overflows from the high-rainfall region of Southern Angola into the rift basin of the delta transforms a bone-dry savannah into a lush wetland.

Once the transformation is complete, visitors encounter deep, still pools, papyrus-lined channels and secret waterways that encircle palm-fringed islands before feeding into natural lagoons. The best way to around is by mokoro (a dugout canoe that dates back to the 18th century) with a skilled poler at the helm; or by powerboat in deeper waters.

Where is the reserve located?

Tuli Block is a narrow slice of Botswana on its eastern border, nestled between Zimbabwe to the north and east and South Africa to the south. Tuli is approximately 120 square kilometres and it includes the meeting point of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers and the Tuli Circle conservancy area. The Tuli Block is quite unlike most of Botswana, with rocky outcrops and red sandy areas dominating the landscape. The baobab, yellow barked fever, and huge nyala trees are bound by the Motloutse and Limpopo rivers, and countless small lakes and flowing streams scattered across the block. The Solomon’s Wall basalt cliff and Tswapong and Lepokole Hills cast shadows over the landscape.

About the reserve

What type of wildlife will we see?

There is no better place to get up close and personal with Africa’s famed Big Five and a whole lot of other amazing creatures besides. Best of all – you’ll do so in a completely unique setting. Lions are impressive, yes, but have you ever seen a pride of these big cats traverse a floodplain by swimming from one island to the next? Or how about a Red Lechwe – an antelope endemic to the wetlands that has adapted to its environment to such an extent that its coat is greasy and water-repellent, allowing it to sprint through knee-deep water when threatened?

Naturally, the other must-see species also abound. When the lush grasslands spring up in the wake of the floodwaters, birds, antelope, elephants, zebra, buffalo and wildebeest migrate to its ample reaches from the arid north. Predators follow, bringing lions, leopards, cheetahs and wild dogs into the fold. The rare aquatic Sitatunga antelope which has made this pristine wetland ecosystem its home is also more prevalent at this time.

Top experiences to enjoy in the Okavango Delta

Aside from taking to the wetlands in a mokoro or by speedboat, there are plenty of other ways to get in on this incredible wildlife action. Guests can enjoy guided walking safaris on the islands to learn how to track wildlife and understand animal movement, patterns and behaviour; or take a scenic helicopter ride over the delta to appreciate its magnificence from a different vantage point. Those who are feeling particularly daring could even try their hand at tiger-fishing next to the hippos! These hard-fighting freshwater fish is renowned for its escape tactics and will attack prey as big as itself on its hunting expeditions, so bringing one down is the thrill of a lifetime.

When to visit

The best time to visit is between July and September. By then, most of the wildlife have made their way down to the wetland, and water levels are optimal for mokoro safaris along the riverways. In your traditional dugout canoe, navigated by your ‘poler’ using his ‘ngashi’ you will be able to come face to face with elephants and hippos in the waterways.

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