Okavango Delta Wildlife
The Okavango Delta is a unique natural phenomenon – rainfall in the distant Angolan highlands travels downstream, reaching the flat plains of Botswana, where the river fans out and then disappears beneath the sands, creating a lush inland delta in the midst of this otherwise arid country. By happy coincidence, the annual influx of water in the Delta occurs at the height of the Botswana dry season, when there is little other water about for animals to drink. The annually flooded grasslands of the Okavango Delta therefore attract huge populations of wildlife. In addition, as the waters rise, animals are forced in ever greater concentrations onto the islands and remaining open plains around the waterways. Lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena and large packs of African wild dog may be encountered and the area supports the continent’s largest concentration of elephant and buffalo, with huge herds lifting the dust. Hippos and crocodiles hide in the deeper channels and lagoons. In addition to plentiful plains game (zebra, giraffe, warthog and antelope such as kudu, waterbuck, reedbuck and impala) there are a number of species that have adapted to a semi-aquatic lifestyle, such as the red lechwe and sitatunga antelopes.
For avid birdwatchers, the Okavango Delta is one of the top birding destinations in Africa, with 482 recorded species. It is the largest wetland in southern Africa and has a greater range of habitats than any other wetland in the region, hence the wide range of bird species. In addition to its UNESCO World Heritage Site status, the Okavango Delta is further recognized by UNESCO as an Important Bird Area, harbouring 24 species of globally threatened birds, including among others, six species of Vulture, the Southern Ground-Hornbill, Wattled Crane and near-endemic Slaty Egret. Iconic Delta bird species such as the African Fish Eagle, Bateleur, Southern Carmine Bee-eater, Yellow-billed Hornbill, Lilac-breasted Roller, and Lesser Jacana are plentiful. A wide variety of other wetland birds also occur, notably the Great White and Pink Backed Pelican species, 18 species of heron, African Skimmer and African Pygmy Goose. Lucky birders might even spot the elusive Pel’s Fishing Owl or White-backed Night Heron.
What our guests say
We have been visiting Botswana for more than a decade, and have stayed at several camps, but Amber has been the most memorable so far. We took the short helicopter... read more
November 17, 2022