Okavango Delta Guide Botswana

Information about the Okavango Delta reigon of Botswana. Guide to the different areas and how to get to the Okavango Delta, what type of accommodation is available and details of food, fuel and supplies in the delta area of Botswana.


Okavango Delta Botswana

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Okavango Delta Botswana

A unique water based eco-system in the middle of the largest stretch of sand in the world (the Kalahari basin). Crystal clear flowing channels of water wending their way through reeds, papyrus and water lilies, lagoons bursting with life including hippos, crocodiles, elephants, birds, fish and amphibians, palm studded islands sticking out from this remarkable landscape and clear star studded night skies over this unpolluted tapestry of life.
Welcome to the Okavango Delta of Botswana, where the lush vegetation and vast waterways are home to possibly the best game viewing in the world.
Covering between 16,000 to 18, 000 Sq Kms (water levels depending) this amazing area can be split into four distinct areas:

1/ Central Okavango Delta – for the ultimate wildlife experience.

Some describe this as the most beautiful place in Africa and indeed it does capture the soul with its combination of vastness and remoteness, with small palm tree islands protruding from the deep water channels that criss cross this floodplain. The only way into this area is by boat or small plane, it is possible to do day trips from Maun on local boats called mokoros to the edges of the Delta but the real scenery can only be appreciated from the central areas.
There are lodges in this central area but due to the difficulty of having a lodge in such a remote and inaccessible area you will need to pay more than the lodges surrounding the delta, however these luxury delta lodges will superbly cater for all your needs and leave you with treasured memories that will never be forgotten.

Accommodation in the Central Okavango Delta

2/ Western Delta panhandle – A more budget trip to the delta

Running up the left side of the Delta is this lovely and quite accessible area, with a tar road running all the way to the Namibian border you can visit this area in a normal 2 wheel drive car. The animal life is not as abundant as in the central delta or Moremi but the bird life is fantastic and fishing is very good. Many lodges and camping places along this route are easy to get to and reasonably priced while others are a short boat trip to quiet island retreats. It is also the route to visit the Tsodilo Hills and a great route for making a trip to Botswana – Namibia – Victoria Falls.

Accommodation along the Western Panhandle

3/ Moremi – Protected game reserve in the Delta.

Making up one third of the Okavango Delta is the Moremi Game Reserve, offering some of the best game viewing in Africa, with sand tracks wending their way among (and sometimes across) floodplains, mopane forests, pans and waterholes punctuate the landscape and the animals and birdlife move freely around one of the worlds last real wildernesses. Access into the park is by 4wd only as all the roads are sandy and often waterlogged, there are several luxury lodges on the north river of the park, several unfenced camping grounds in the park (with very restricted numbers) and a handful of places just outside the park from where you can make daytrips into the park.

Accommodation in and near Moremi

4/ Maun – Delta Gateway town Delta – supplies and showers

Maun is the gateway to the Okavango Delta and despite being one of Botswanas fastest growing towns still has a pleasant frontier village charm atmosphere.
Situated south-east of the Delta it is accessible by tar roads approx 1210km from Johannesburg and 932km from Gaberone. All the roads in Maun are tar and the two main routes into Maun are from the Transkalahari (coming from Namibia and South Africa) and the road from Nata (tar route to Chobe, Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls and Limpopo). It lies on a stretch of the Thamalekane River.
To go north of Maun - to get to the Moremi National Park, Savuti and Southern Chobe - is a 4w drive route only and gets very interesting in the wet season.
The whole town revolves around tourism, bustling with 4 Wheel drive vehicles, khaki clad safari guides, tourists buying supplies for the next part of the journey, cafes and bars where people meet and catch up on the previous trip, giving an exciting buzz to the place.
There are now several supermarkets, vehicle spare part suppliers, fuel stations and fast food shops in town and everything is clustered around the main town centre.

Like all busy tourist towns though petty theft can be a problem so do not leave valuables lying around and do not leave your car doors unlocked while you pop into a shop! Botswana has a very safe atmosphere and once out of the towns there is very little to cause concern however this lovely safe feeling can sometimes make you relax a little too much in the towns.

Accommodation around Maun

History of Maun

Maun was originally established in 1915 by the Batwana a splinter group of the Bangwato tribe. The name 'Maun' means place of reeds as the abundance of water provided vast areas of reedy land that was used for loccal thatch. From 1920 to 1950 it was a little known frontier town where expeditions and traders rested before crossing the Kalahari desert or heading to central Africa (via Victoria falls). Then in 1960 hunting was banned in East Africa many hunters moved to Maun and started up business but as the years passed there was less hunting and more tourists with cameras helping Maun develop into a staging post for safaris into the Okavango Delta. The completion of the Transkalahari Highway in the late 90s made it possible to get to Maun on tar roads from all over Southern Africa and the boom continued with lodges, hotels, camping sites, supermarkets, fuel stations all quickly setting up shop in what used to be a one street village surrounded by river reeds.

Map of the Okavango Delta

western panhandle of the botswana delta okavango delta botswana moremi game reserve botswana maun hotels