Okavango Delta and the Linyanti
The Okavango Delta is one of the great natural wonders of the world. Situated in the north of the country and surrounded by the Kalahari this verdant and massive oasiss is the largest inland delta in the world covering a 15 000 square kilometres. The landscapes and sweeping waters are spectacular and so is the wildlife. To the north lies a separate network of miraculous rivers called the Linyanti which are also influenced greatly by floods and rainfall. In all these parts Botswana has opted for high paying, low impact tourism so it’s an expensive but exceptional experience.
How to get there
The Delta airstrips are dirt and are reached from Kasane or Maun by light aircraft (usually Cessna 206 or Caravan).
Best time to visit
Most people visit here during winter from May to October and try to plan their visit according to the flood which usually starts pushing in from Angolan highlands towards May or June. At this time of the year the rain has stopped and the water is eagerly awaited. It gets increasingly hot and dry until the start of the rains from November into December and this is also an exciting time to visit with newborn calves prolific, large thunderclouds and great predator action. It is also when the first summer migrants begin to arrive. As a photographer this are plenty of good reasons for going in the green season.
Species you will see
The Okavango has lions, leopards, cheetah, wild dog, serval in abundance. It is also a good place to see wild dogs especially the Linyanti region which lies to the north. This is also one of the best areas for bird-watching with more than 600 species occurring. Fish eagles, Pel’s fishing owls, herons, kingfishers and endangered wattled crane are among the birds found in abundance. The habitat is diverse with papyrus and islands of palms, figs, jackalberries and timeless baobabs. Purple day lilies and cream coloured night lillies bob above the crystal clear waters. The reeds are alive with dragonflies and painted reedfrogs.
Great add ons
From December to March the Kalahari is a great add on. You can also consider Victoria Falls and the Chobe areas.
When visiting the Okavango make sure that you plan your itinerary to include camps with a wet and a dry focus of activities. This way you can be sure of capturing the full extent of photographic opportunities. Arranging a helicopter flip in the early morning can provide fascinating new angles. The best camps to visit are outside the national parks where you are afforded freedoms not permitted in government areas including walking trails, off road drives and night drives