The Okavango Delta in Botswana is really three different, equally spectacular places: it's one place during the rainy season, another place in the mid-season, when the flood waters begin to arrive from Angola, and then another place again a few months later during high season, when the waters are at their peak. Because of this -- and because we love the place -- we've made three different entries for the Okavango Delta here on WanderFinder. This is the entry for the rainy season in the Delta.
The Okavango Delta is one of the world's great inland waterways. Every year, from around May through October, water floods in from Angola, which is slightly uphill from Botswana. This water never makes it to the ocean -- it is stopped by the Kalahari Desert, and it forms a unique Delta surrounded by land.
Reading about the Delta can be a little confusing, as water in the delta comes from two sources: a little from the rain, of course, and then much more from the flooding from neighboring Angola. The rainy season is opposite to the flooding season, which means that, counter-intuitively, during the rainy season, camps may have fewer boating activities available. The rainy season is also, as you might expect, rainy.
These two factors, the somewhat lower water levels in the delta and the rain, lead to one terrific result: bargains. Lodges in Botswana, which can rank among the most expensive in Africa due to their remote location, suddenly become half price or even less. And even though the rain means that larger animals aren't pushed to the delta as they are in dryer times, you can still find excellent sightings. Birding is a particular delight in the rainy season, when, for instance, the Pel's fishing owl does its nesting.
In 2014, the Okavango Delta became the 1,000th site in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. About time, we say.