The Okavango Delta is one of Nature’s real masterpieces. Created as the Okavango River dissipates into the parched Kalahari Desert, adventurous travellers can explore the magic of this vast eco-system by mokoro, on foot or on a game drive during an Okavango Safari.
Before we start learning amazing facts about this vast inland river, let’s start off simple…
- What is the Okavango Delta?
It is a swampy inland, a vast inland river in Northern Botswana. Doesn’t sound appealing, right? Wait until you read what this incredible grassland has to offer.
- A World Premier Wild Area
The Okavango Delta’s lush vegetation from seasonal flooding provides a safe haven to a variety of game. It is home to some of the world’s most endangered large mammals species. The wildlife includes cheetahs, black and white rhinoceros, the African wild dog and lions.
- There is a large variety of flora and fauna
The Delta’s hosts roughly 1061 plant varieties, 89 fish species, 64 various reptiles, 482 species of birds and 130 mammals.
- The Delta has over 150 000 islands
The Okavango Delta has islands scattered throughout the plains. The Chief Island is the largest, at 70km long and 14 km wide. It was once a prime hunting spot but is now the best place to spot wildlife.
- The Delta is kept wild
Botswana government has implemented restrictions on the number of tourists that are allowed to enter the Okavango Delta. This, in turn, has kept the vast plain truly wild and remote.
- It is the 1000th UNESCO World Heritage Site
This decision came on 22 June 2014, because this delta is not only one of the largest inland deltas in the world. But it is one of the new major systems that do not flow into the sea.
- The Delta is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa
In February of 2013, the Okavango Delta was officially added to the list. After reading all these facts, it’s hard to argue with the decision.
- Animals aren’t the only habitants
In and amongst all the wildlife and greenery, the Hambukushu, Dcerika, Wayeyi, Anikhwe and Bugakhwe live. They range from hunter-gathers to fisherman and farmers.
- Travelling by Mokoro
The best way to travel around the Okavango Delta is on a traditional Mokoro – a dug-out canoe. Most of the lodges in the Delta cater for Mokoro rides, where you will get up close and personal with smaller creatures that you may have missed in a vehicle.
- The Delta grows!
When the floodwaters from the Angolan Highlands in the dry winter months, the delta increases up to threefold in size! Between March and August, the Delta can reach up to 15,000km2.