• Katie

The Okavango River Delta, Botswana

You can be one with nature at your local park, but that's not quite the same as being one with nature in one of the most beautiful deltas on the planet. Traveling to the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Africa, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that truly immerses you in an extraordinarily unique habitat few can see. The ecosystem co-exists in harmony, and you can enter into that world- but it's not for the fainthearted. Visiting the delta would mean testing your strength and resilience as you take on parts of the world that have never been touched and see things only natives see. It would be the biggest adventure of your life.


The Delta And The Creatures Are Synched


Visiting Okavango Delta isn't like visiting your local zoo or even Disney World's Kilimanjaro Safaris. The UNESCO World Heritage Site comprises permanent marshlands and seasonally flooded plains, but there's something special about them. Okavango Delta is one of the only deltas that doesn't flow into a sea or ocean and has a virtually untouched wetland system.


The wetlands are even more unique because of their harmonious, symbiotic connection with the wildlife of the area. Every year, there's flooding from the River Okavango, which interestingly occurs during the dry season. It's almost like nature's way of giving the area a drink in the part of the year when it needs it the most. The result is that the native plants and animals have "synchronized their biological cycles with these seasonal rains and floods." Hence, they're able to live through the drought. That adaptation makes it "an exceptional example of the interaction between climatic, hydrological and biological processes."


There Are Many Ways To Experience The Oasis


If you travel to the delta, you'll be able to see some of the most endangered species, such as the cheetah, white and black rhinoceros, African wild dogs, and lions. Between June to October, they descend in a great migration to the delta that's pretty much their own huge watering hole in the dry winter months. When the flooding occurs, teeny tiny waterways and vein-like channels are created, giving visitors a chance to travel through on little boats.


Taking a Mokoro ride through the crystal clear waters is essential in seeing some of the islands and hidden places in the area that would be inaccessible the rest of the year. Suppose you want something faster and bigger that can also protect you from the eager crocodiles. In that case, you can take a motorboat safari instead. If the water is not your cup of tea, you can opt to stay on land and take a game drive. You can choose anything from vehicles to horseback or elephants as your mode of transportation. You could even embrace the environment head-on by taking a walking safari through the bush with a skilled tour guide.


If you're not able to visit during the wet months, the Savuti and Linyanti camps on the borders of Chobe National Park offer a chance to see the lions and other creatures year-round. Either way, you're definitely going to need sunscreen, bug repellant, and well-fitted hiking boots. Call your travel advisor, and then start making a list of all the animals you want to see.


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