Unexpected Africa: Water! The Okavango Delta, Botswana

 Sunset at Xaranna Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Sunset at Xaranna Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

On Susan's trip to southern Africa in October 2016, she experienced a new side of Africa - water!  Having been on the continent 7 times before, she was used to the dry and often dusty landscape of Africa.  But the Okavango Delta of Botswana affords safari goers a water based safari experience unlike any other place in Africa.

 Trade in a land rover for a motorboat to get around the river ways of the Okavango Delta.

Trade in a land rover for a motorboat to get around the river ways of the Okavango Delta.

SAFARI IN THE OKAVANGO DELTA. The Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of Africa's most incredible wilderness sanctuaries. The Delta has nearly 6,000 square miles (bigger than the state of Connecticut!) of water channels, lagoons and islands. Each year, floodwaters flow from the central African highlands over 600 miles away into the Delta to create a wondrous wetland within a desert. The Delta has birdlife not often seen elsewhere, making it a prime destination for birders. With such a profusion of life, predators in the form of lion, leopard, cheetah, hyaena and wild dog abound.

 Afternoon tea with the elephants of Abu Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Afternoon tea with the elephants of Abu Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

WHY GO.  Botswana provides clients with a low impact, high value experience.  Botswana’s long-standing commitment to conservation and carefully managed tourism ensures an African wildlife experience unlike few other places in Africa. The only crowds you’ll encounter are those that have been here for centuries – the animals.

GETTING THERE.  Maun and Kasane are the 2 key entry points to the Okavango Delta.  Maun is south of the Okavango Delta.  Kasane is near the borders of Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. King & Whitson works with trusted ground partners in Africa to coordinate all ground logistics with scheduled flights and ground transportation.  For multi camp safaris, King & Whitson can arrange private air charters to maximize time on the ground.

WHO SHOULD GO. Botswana is great for those who love outdoor adventure.  While Botswana provides a wonderful family experience, we advise families with children under 12 have another wilderness travel experience (US national parks, Galapagos, etc.) before coming to Africa.  Families with children under 12 must be in a private vehicle while in Botswana.  Clients should be in good physical health with no mobility issues.

WHEN TO GO. May, June and July are all great months to travel.  However, because camps in the Okavango are small and flights are limited, we advise clients plan at least one year in advance.  Christmas bookings require 2-3 years planning.

SUSAN'S FAVORITE EXPERIENCES IN THE OKAVANGO DELTA. Excursions in mokoros (dug out wooden canoes) offer an up close and peaceful introduction to the Delta....getting around on boats and land rovers for game drives....birdwatching and having the opportunity to see the Pel's fishing owl...excellent guides and service at the many luxury camps in the Delta.

 Plunge pool at Vumbura Plains Camp in Botswana.  During the wet season, the entire plain is flooded and rich with wildlife, including hippos, elephants and incredible birds.

Plunge pool at Vumbura Plains Camp in Botswana.  During the wet season, the entire plain is flooded and rich with wildlife, including hippos, elephants and incredible birds.

 Susan and her Brownell colleagues stayed hydrated with mango smoothies at Vumbura Plains Camp.

Susan and her Brownell colleagues stayed hydrated with mango smoothies at Vumbura Plains Camp.

 The perfect ending to a day safari in the Okavango Delta - sundowner cocktails at the water's edge with friends and incredible guides.

The perfect ending to a day safari in the Okavango Delta - sundowner cocktails at the water's edge with friends and incredible guides.