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 mid-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 mid-season is when the water from Angola comes filtering into the delta from April through May or June, and then on the other side, when the Delta starts drying out from November through December.
The presence of the water acts as a magnet for the surrounding wildlife. First, the grazers come: herbivores like red lechwe, tsessbe, Burchell's zebra, and springbok. Then, of course, the predators follow: lions, hyenas, leopards, and wild dogs. November can be a particularly exciting time, as the rains are just beginning. As the environment becomes more lush, the herbivores begin to give birth, which triggers a stand-off with the predators.
Even better, the fact that the Delta is not at full height leads to less expensive pricing at lodges that can be the most expensive in Africa. Staying in lodges owned by the same company for six days or more can also lead to extra discounts.
In 2014, the Okavango Delta became the 1,000th site in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. About time, we say.
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