The Okavango Delta, shaped by a great river which runs 1600 km before dying in the Kalahari desert from Botswana, is an African version of the Garden of Eden The 15,000 square kilometers of this garden, when seen from the air, seems to be a vast green area surrounded by nothing. It is, in fact, inhabited by unique fauna and is abundant in water. Flying with plane you can see branches of the river, green islands, chalets and herds of animals moving through the delta. Maun, Okavango’s capital, has experienced significant growth in recent years due to the tourism industry. Today it houses numerous hotels and restaurants, all kinds of shops offering information essential to enter the delta. The South African Laurens van der Post writes in his book The World Missed Kalahari (1960) that in those days there was only one hotel in Maun called The Riley’s. At that time Okavanga lions would approach the hotel; now the felines prefer to stay away.
Victoria Falls map
The Okavango Delta is one of those rare places where there is plenty of wild life is concentrated. There are the Big Five animals (a lion, an elephant, a leopard, a rhino and a buffalo) but also hippos, giraffes and crocodiles and many species of birds. Their population triples during the rainy season between November and April, when they can be observed fishing in the ponds and between the tall grass.
The waters of the Okavango meander through a sea of vegetation about 15,000 square kilometers before float away in the desert sands Klahari
In the eastern part of the delta, a few hours from Maun, Moremi Reserve is a paradise in which lions, buffaloes, giraffes, hippos and elephants share the same area. A small airplane, and Mokoro, a traditional canoe, are some good options for exploring the Okavango, but in Moremi it is better to follow the Big Five by the SUV (vehicle) and then spend a night in a cozy cabin. The bridges that you leave behind, mark the trail and adventure of Moremi. On the third bridge, where you can see hippos and crocodiles, you do realize that you are in a mythical Africa. Sleeping here in a lodge or in a tent beside the pool is a true luxury. If you are able to relax surrounded by the sounds of an african night – the roar of lions, the cries of hyenas, hippos splashing when they are feasting on grass- then you are one of those lucky ones who can sleep hearing these sounds.
Mokoro, a traditional canoe
The hippos on the Okavango delta
The plane flights discover the incredible biodiversity of the Okavango
Botswana’s Okavango Delta became the 1000th site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List
In the forests of Moremi, attention is attracted to the baobabs, these giants have notches in their trunk, these notches are traces of tusks of elephants, which eat the peel to remove water during the dry season.
African baobab and the elephant
On the journey from the Okavango Delta to the Chobe National Park, near the border with Namibia, you can see herds of elephants, impalas and zebras, leopards, the Khwai river meanders and savannah dotted by beautiful umbrella acacias. Chobe Park, founded in 1968 is divided into four geographic areas, is home for 15 species of animals.
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park
Going to the Mababe port, the entrance to Chobe park, you are surprised to see that the water tanks are protected by bunkers. The elephants are most abundant in this park: is estimated that there are about 50,000 of them during the dry season, and frequently you can see herds of more than 200 heads. Four countries – Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe- converge here and therefore there is plenty of opportunitiies for adventure beyond their borders. The most sought after tour is of course the Victoria Falls, roaring on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Victoria Falls, natural spectacle
A huge wall of water 1,700 feet wide drops 60 million liters of water every minute when it comes down from the height of 108 meters. So great are the falls of the river Zambezi. On November 16, 1855 this amazing scenery captivated the British explorer David Livingstone to the point that he decided that something so beautiful and unique had to bear the name of his monarch, Queen Victoria. The same name was given to a resort town situated just one kilometer away from the Victoria Falls.
A rainbow spans the column of vapor that rises 400 meters from the base of the waterfall, Mosi-oa-Tunya for natives.
Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia is an UNESCO World Heritage site along is twinned to the Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe.