The Okavango Delta, Botswana – one of Africa’s most incredible places
Even in the dry season, the Okavango Delta in Botswana’s north west, is an amazing sight. It’s the world’s largest inland delta, which, depending on the season, sprawls across some 15,000-22,000 square kilometres. For travellers, the delta starts and ends at Maun (pronounced “Mown”), a town of a few thousand people and many accommodation options, from camping to full service hotels. Maun can be reached by road or air as it has a substantial airport.
There are a few ways excellent to see this wonder of nature. Firstly, in a mokoro. Once a traditional wooden canoe, nowadays they are made out of fibreglass to save trees. This is a truly magic way to catch the landscape and wildlife – you’ll feel you are in the middle of nowhere at one with nature which, of course, you are!
A mokoro usually takes two passengers and to help you there is a “poler”. This is a local person who uses a wooden pole (hence the name) to push and steer through the reeds and channels of the delta. Given much of the delta area is a metre or less deep, the poler also ensures you don’t get too close to hippos!
If sitting in a canoe for a few hours sounds a little uncomfortable, there’s no need to worry. Each mokoro is fitted with a small seat for back support which makes them surprisingly comfortable for most. Don’t forget to tip your poler as for some, this is their only form of income. About $USD10 is considered fair.
The second way to capture the enormity of this amazing delta is by small plane. While not cheap (about USD200), it’s well worth the money. From the air, you’ll see an abundance of wildlife including hippos, elephants, crocs bathing on the riverbanks, giraffes and much more. But it’s the landscape that is most impressive from this height. However … don’t expect to take your best photos from the plane as most of the wildlife is too small to photograph from the air.
Join Blue Dot Travel’s small group tour to Botswana, Namibia, Vic Falls and Cape Town and tick this incredible destination off your bucket list … at least once but it’s certainly impressive enough to consider a return visit! Find out more here.
Words and photos by Brett Goulston