Okavango Delta, Botswana
GPS: -19.315743500898, 22.927034125751
Described as “the river that never finds the sea” in the absence of a sea mouth, the Okavango Delta is one of Africa’s seven natural wonders. This enormous flood plain is the largest inland delta in the world, with a total area of 18,000 km² at the height of the rainy season. Located in northern Botswana, in the desert basin of the Kalahari, the Okavango enters flood once a year. For five months, its waters create an aquatic paradise by generating a unique wetland ecosystem, rich in wild flora and fauna. Marsh and small streams in the Okavango Delta are considered by naturalists to be the most diverse biotopes and natural environments in the world.
In shallow waters and narrow canals, the delta is fed by the powerful Okavango River. It rises in the Bié Plateau mountains of Angola, transits through Namibia’s Caprivi Strip and ends its course in the Kalahari Desert, transforming its arid plains into an oasis of lagoons, channels and islands. It serves as a natural habitat for 450 varieties of birds, 70 species of fish, 60 kinds of reptiles, 122 types of mammals and more than a thousand categories of plants including reeds, palm trees, papyrus and water lilies. Unlike most deltas that end their journey at the ocean, the Okavango River empties itself onto the Kalahari Desert, flooding the parched land with water and creating a unique inland delta.
The Okavango Delta is a labyrinth of countless permanent swamps, seasonally flooded plains, marshes, river arms and lagoons. Its lush wetlands are an indispensable food source for the many wild animals in this region of Botswana. Each year, the fertile land of the Okavango Delta hosts hordes of large animals such as wildebeest, elephants, giraffes and zebras in search of fresh pastures. This migration from the east takes place during the dry season and the animals travel several hundred kilometres. It is an incredible sight to witness tens of thousands of wild animals progressing from the desert areas of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan pan to reach the delta gates along the Boteti River.