Okavango Delta Travel Guide

posted 17th October 2017 by Danica Wilson in Destinations


One of the world’s greatest wildlife habitats

The Okavango Delta spans some 15,000 square kilometres. It is protected within Moremi National Park and a network of private concessions that offer small exclusive, top quality accommodation and wildlife safaris. Predominantly you travel in light aircraft to get between the concessions and national parks and nothing beats seeing the Delta waterways and wildlife residents from the air. Away from the water you can discover abundant mammal species like lion, leopard, African wild dog, sable antelope, eland and more.


Explore magical expanses of water and forested islands on foot, in 4×4 and mokoro (dugout canoes). An Okavango Delta Botswana safari is ideal for everyone, from the first time safari holiday goer to the more experienced safari connoisseurs.

There really is so much to experience on an Okavango Delta safari and no visit is complete without a thrilling doors off scenic helicopter flight over the waterways. Why not top it off with a surprise champagne stop on a remote island within the Delta? Other activities we’ll delve into below so we can really wet your appetite.

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Mokoro Safari

The Okavango’s original inhabitants used dug out canoes as transport, known as mokoro. These days you can be taken on a mokoro safari with a local ‘poler’ who pushes the canoe through the reeds and waterways. You glide through picturesque waterways and get close to the smaller things like birds, frogs and sunbathing terrapins (tiny turtles).

It is a very relaxing experience, just keep in mind it’s not offered at all Delta camps, is weather dependent (water levels and conditions) and the emphasis is on relaxing and immersing in the experience not getting close to crocodiles and hippo. The ‘polers’ try to avoid the wildlife that may put you in danger of course.

Delta Boating Safaris

Motorboats are used in the Okavango Delta channels that are too deep to pole, giving guests access to huge expanses of water and greater wildlife sightings. Guides go slowly to avoid disruption of habitat and animals.

Our favourite boating safari is on an electric vessel so it is tranquil with no noise pollution. Some camps have double decker boats so you can see above the grasses and papyrus that line the shores.

It’s a great way to see the Delta waterway system and really relaxing. Some guests feel safer on a boat than in the Mokoro / canoe.

Jonathon is pictured here on the double decker boat owned by Unchartered Africa. It’s a brilliant mobile camping safari with walking, boating and fly camping!

Delta Horseriding Safari

Horseriding safaris are also available in a stretch of the Okavango Delta for the very experienced horse riders amongst you.  Reason being is lion and other predators are here so you need to confidently gallop out of danger. The Delta’s terrain is flat with floodplains and channels to cross so horseriding safaris in the Okavango Delta are outstanding.

Think fast pace, land, water, wilderness and wildlife. Does it get any better? Oh plus some of the best horse guides in the business worldwide.

Delta Walking Safaris

Some properties in the Delta are water based only which means you don’t head out in the 4×4 vehicles and game drive. You are in an area surrounded by water and focus on , the mokoro safaris, boating safaris and walking safaris.

You can walk in the land based camps too often times.

Keep in mind walking safaris are subject to weather conditions, wildlife locations and the emphasis is keeping you safe whilst immersed and on foot. You get close to flora and fauna with some fantastic guides teaching you everything about the bush. It’s a real sensory experience being on foot.

If you are wondering, guides do usually carry a gun as a precautionary measure. This photograph was taken by Danica on a Delta walking safari.  Danica got close to a waterhole with hippo, a tower of giraffe drinking, impala herds, lone hyena and a safe distance to elephants retreating across the plains.

Accommodation in the Delta

Where you stay in the Okavango Delta will depend on your preferred mode of travel and style of accommodation. To get to the fantastic private concession areas light aircraft flights are required. If you battle the bumps of Botswana roads, you can reach Khwai and Moremi just keep in mind there are more people including self drivers and campers.

Our favourite Okavango Delta accommodation is a mobile camping safari where you fly in, meet your private guide and vehicle and traverse off through the wilderness to your private camp set up somewhere in the wild. Stay under canvas falling asleep to the sounds of the wild around you.

When it comes to accommodation there are water based properties where you predominantly explore by waterways with mokoro and boats. Some of these properties also offer walking.

Land based camps offer primarily game drives and walks. Depending on access to water and water levels, you may be able to experience a mokoro. So chat with your specialist so we can ensure to get the best camp for your style safari holiday.

Land and water camps range from budget end to uber luxury, exclusive use and the mobile camping option.

Best time to visit the Delta

During the rainy season, landscapes turn lush green, wildlife have their babies and predators abound. It’s slightly harder to track animals as the bush thickens, yet it makes for a greater sense of adventure.

Dry season sees the animals congregate around water sources. High season is July to October and prices increase. November to March is low season or green season. It heralds rains and cheaper prices, quieter camps and greener landscapes.

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