The Okavango Delta is the perfect destination for a luxury safari with a difference. While African safari travel usually conjures up images of the dry and dusty African plains, the amazing Okavango Delta is a vast inland area of unspoilt wetlands in Botswana, home to a huge variety of wildlife, with many species unique to the area.
Most luxury safaris here feature a mixture of 4×4 game drives on the main islands and fringes of the delta, and tranquil water safaris in the traditional mokoro, a dug out canoe which is poled through the shallow waterways by your guide. Fishing excursions are also available on power boats with a huge variety of fish species to tempt the enthusiast.
The Botswana government has sought to protect the fragile eco-system of the Okavango Delta by restricting tourism to the area. The only way to reach it is by air and flights are expensive. Lodges are also charged high concession fees, which means that most of them are aimed at the luxury market, hosting small groups in comfort in this most beautiful wilderness. If you really want to get away from it all and escape the crowds the Okavango is the place to go.
Luxury lodges might be sophisticated tented camps, with ensuite bathrooms or thatch and wood constructed suites on platforms with amazing views stretching over the wetlands and staggeringly beautiful skyscapes. Expect friendly service, knowledgeable guides and excellent pan-African cuisine, evenings sitting around a fire under the brightest of stars, sometimes even night drives to view the nocturnal wildlife in the light of the moon.
The Okavango offers safaris and is full of wildlife all year round, but pick a season according to your main interests and preferences. If you want to view big game such as lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, kudu, giraffe, crocodile in mild weather conditions then May-October, the dry, cool winter season is the best time. The vegetation will become dry and brown in the surrounding areas, but the game congregates around the flooded areas of the delta and is easier to view. Days are sunny and warm at about 25 C/75 F followed by cold, clear starry nights around 6 C/43 F.
For birding, landscape photography and flowers the hot, rainy summer season Nov-March is best as the migrant bird populations return, the whole delta becomes verdant green and the varied flowers come into bloom. Spectacular afternoon thunderstorms from Dec- Feb produce wonderful cloudscapes and, as they pass, create the most stunning Surrey Realtor light for wildlife photography. Average summer temperatures are around 35 C/95 F
Many of the luxury camps accept children and offer babysitting services, but children under the age of six are not usually allowed on the game drives, so if you are looking for a family safari, search out a camp with special activities for children, or consider booking a private safari which can be adapted to your requirements. Children under 12 are usually not permitted on the mokoro boat trips and walking safaris for safety reasons.