The Okavango Delta which runs through Botswana which borders South Africa. The Delta itself has estimated to be 60 000 years old, but before its natural formation, the Okovango river flowed directly through Botswana and mouthed out into a huge Makgadigadi pans in Botswana. The Delta was once a massive lake called the Makgadigadi Lake, what is left of this lake now is what is known as the Okovango Delta, the rest of the lake is now a dry, salt lake. It is believed that the Kwando-, Linyanti- and Chobe rivers together with the upper Zambezi river once flowed into one great river that mouthed into Limpopo river and flowed into the Indian Ocean.
The Delta sits on a fault line, when tectonic activity occurs it dictates the shape and flow of the river, this has resulted in the Delta, the Makgadgadi Pans & the Kalahari being the lowest areas is in Botswana. There are other parallel fault lines north of the Delta that direct the shape and flow of the rivers in the north. The Linyanti Swamps is where you get the best view of the wildlife in the Okovango.
The Okavango’s vegetation is largely papyrus and reed. The vegetation’s roots float above the river sandbanks when the rivers when it is flood season, and this creates a gap between the surface and the river bed for crocodiles to find shelter. The Okovango Delta is home to a variety of wildlife both permanently and seasonally. This is what attracts tourists to the Delta. You can find all of the big 5 animals here as well as giraffe, blue - Wildebeest, zebra, hippopotamus, impala, common eland, greater kudu, black-backed jackal, caracal, serval, aardvark, aardwolf, African savannah hare, honey badger, crested porcupine, common warthog, chacma baboon, vervet monkey, and Nile crocodile, just to name a few.
The Delta is also home to over 400 bird species which are just to name a few the helmeted guineafowl, African fish eagle, Pel's fishing owl, Egyptian goose, South African shelduck, African jacana, African skimmer, marabou stork, crested crane, African spoonbill, African darter, southern ground hornbill, wattled crane, lilac-breasted roller, secretary bird, and common ostrich, and manymore.
Together with the Hwange National Park, the Okavango Delta has since 2005 been a Lion Conservation unit.
What would all the wildlife be without a game Drive, and the best way to have a game drive here is by a 4x4 vehicle that is raised high off the ground to give you an excellent view of your surroundings, one can also take a guided walking safari. But one thing you must experience is the Night Drive Safaris, this will give you a glimpse of the wildlife that hides away during the day. You will also see bush babies, porcupines, and giant owls.
Many lodges are situated near the Okovango Delta and tourists are encouraged to visit the local villages, accompanies by a tour guide. Helicopter flights are another way to experience the beauty of the Delta.
Traveling to Botswana you will require a valid passport but a visa is not necessary. The local currency is Pula, 1Pula = $0.91 or R1.37.
Accommodation around the Okovango Delta is pricey as the reserve are dependent on tourism, but you can experience the luxury of a private reserve and the experience is worth the cost.
The local cuisine surrounding the Okavango Delta caters to worldly tastes from curries to steak and fine dining, there is something for everyone.