The Okavango Delta is called Africa’s Last Eden for a reason. The lush oasis of life in the heart of the Kalahari has much to offer visitors, with plant, animal and cultural experiences that are truly African. Here are some of the unmissable things to see.
Wildlife on the water
Amid the reed and papyrus rafts, birds dive into the water, snatching out fish. Crocodiles bask on the salt islands and swim through the channels looking to catch a meal, while hippopotamuses stay submerged in the cool waters, only the tops of their heads visible. Seeing the life on and in the waters of the Okavango Delta is an essential experience for any visitor.
Big Game at Moremi Game Reserve
On dry land, at Moremi Game Reserve to the east of the delta, large game animals roam the savannah. Elephants, giraffes, zebra and wildebeest are commonly seen, along with hyenas and springbok. Lions, wild dogs and leopards can be observed too, but very lucky visitors might catch a glimpse of the southern white rhinoceros and black rhino.
Traditional life on the Delta
The people of the Okavango Delta have adapted to life there over centuries and millennia. From the native bushmen, to the later settlers, all have found a home in the delta. Watch the Wayeyi watermen pole their mokoro boats through the channels between islands and see the Hambukushu women weave fish traps, then use them to bring home a bounty of food for their family.
One creature that you will not be able to miss is the lechwe antelope, the most abundant animal in the delta, with a population of over 60,000. The lechwe is perfectly adapted to life on the Okavango Delta, with elongated hooves and a water-repellent substance on their legs that allows them to move rapidly through knee-deep water. Grazing on aquatic plants, they take to the water when threatened by predators.
Image credits: hippopotamuses © Shutterstock.com | Red Carnation Hotels.