Okavango Delta in Botswana

Lonely Planet Travel Editor Tom Hall is on a mission to discover 52 of the most awe-inspiring places to visit across the world. This week he ponders the world's only inland Delta - the Okavango in Botswana.


Where does a river go if it doesn’t flow into the sea? The answer is into the world’s only inland delta, to be found in northeastern Botswana.

The Okavango Delta is a watery wonderland of islands, forest and lakes connected by a maze-like network of streams and channels fed by Africa’s fourth-largest river system.

Okavango water is clear and pure, supporting more than 400 species of bird and headline-grabbing animals such as lions, hippos, elephants and hyena.

What is the best way to see the Okavango Delta?

The Okavango is a great place to live out your African safari fantasies. Tented camps offer the last word in wilderness hospitality albeit at a top-end price to match. That said, the finest way to see the wetlands is from a dugout moroko (canoe), gliding silently through the reeds before coming face-to-face with the continent’s best wildlife.

Planning your trip to Botswana

September is a superb time to visit Okavango. The wetlands draw in wildlife from surrounding areas seeking reliable sources of water and sightings are almost guaranteed. A visit here is easily tied in with seeing some of South Africa or Victoria Falls).

Further information

A good introduction to the country can be found at Botswana Tourism. Safari operators can provide detailed information on wildlife and accommodation in the park.

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