The Okavango Delta Region
The Okavango Delta is in the country of Botswana in the southern region of Africa, and is Africa’s premier safari destination particularly the Luxury remote fly-in “private concessions” offering a very high concentration of diverse free roaming wildlife set in a pristine environment and where there is a good selection and balance between:
DRY Safaris comprising driving safaris in shared Open Sided Vehicles (scroll down to the Safari Guides & Safari Vehicles section), walking and night time safaris, off tracking safaris, elephant back and horse riding safaris etc.
WET Safaris comprising mokoros, and boats retro-fitted for safari and birdwatching. It is important to be aware of Okavango camps that are predominantly WET camps whereby the safari experience is very limited primarily focused on birding without the big game experience. Many main stream travel agencies situate their unsuspecting clients at these inferior camps however we suggest all wet camps be avoided despite the cheaper cost .
Venues in the private concessions tend to be Permanent Tented Camps. (scroll down to the Game Safari Venues section) and safaris tend to be a “tranquil” style of safari whereby guests typically stay at the same venue for 2 or more days with considerable down time in the day, between the various safari activities. Due to the remoteness of the camps, sports planes are often utilized to fly into and between the camps which adds to the experience and the cost.
For the more budget conscious that want to experience the Delta region, Bivouac Camping. (scroll down to the Game Safari Venues section) is available in the Moremi public areas of the Okavango Delta and adjoining Chobe Parks. Bivouac Camping is a dry safari experience however some wet safari activities are readily integrated into the program. It is also possible to combine a Bivouac safari experience with a Permanent Tented camp experience to keep overall costs down.
House boating safaris at the Upper Mid-Range and Luxury levels are also available in the adjacent Caprivi Strip in the country of Namibia mainly offering a WET safari experience. Refer to map on right for location(s)
Timing a Tour to the Okavango Delta
JANUARY | FEBRUARY | MARCH | APRIL
January-April is the height of rainy season; hot and humid with thunderstorms and torrential downpours days on end. Game viewing is poor at the Okavango Delta and dirt roads are impassable. Bring heavy duty rain gear if planning to visit in this period.
MAY | JUNE
May is considered to be the start of the favorable season to visit the Okavango Delta, with a paradox of events that begins to occur at this time. The flood waters from Angola start to reach the northern tip of the Okavango Delta as the vegetation starts to dry out due to a lack of precipitation. The large mammals such as the water buffalo and elephant start arriving and congregating in the Delta while the endangered Wild Dog start to den and are easy to find in certain areas of the Delta.
JULY | AUGUST
July and August are winter in these parts with temperatures reaching 27 degrees C in the day dropping to as low as 5 degrees C at night requiring warm clothes. By July the flood waters arrive in full force in the Okavango Delta as dust and dryness pervades providing great visibility to see the abundance wildlife. This is also peak season for park visitations with school out. Expect extra traffic on tour, as well as higher tour and flight costs.
SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER
October is the end of the favorable time to visit the Okavango Delta. Wildlife are more active at dawn and dusk, and this is also the best time for night drives. Lion are very busy in these months. This is also the end of the dry season and the foliage is drying up exposing more of the wildlife, and the waterholes in the bush are drying out forcing the wildlife out into the open areas along the larger bodies of water where they become more visible.
NOVEMBER | DECEMBER
This region experiences a hot muggy rainy season from November to December with highs in the mid 30’s degrees C. Many animals disperse away from the Delta and the dirt tracks become muddy and often impassable. Game viewing at Okavango Delta is mediocre however the natural lighting may be ideal for photography.
Timing a tour in combination with other locations
LDAS suggests that clients rely on our expertise to determine the best time for their custom African tour. When clients are able to go when the overall conditions are best, LDAS finds that it sends a good percentage of clients in January February, and September October, when all the variables are considered.
Between the two periods, in the southern hemisphere, the weather is generally cooler in September October than in January February when the temperatures are hottest. The only bad time to go to Africa is when the rains are heavy in the regions being considered.
Okavango Delta Tours