From exciting Big Five game drives to tranquil Mokroro trips in the lagoons to scenic helicopter flights, there are plenty of activities on offer in the Okavango.
There are many different activities on offer on an Okavango Delta safari
in Botswana. They will change depending on what area of the Delta your camp is situated - whether it is in an area of permanent or seasonal Delta, it will change the activities that the camps can offer.
The Delta is probably best known for its Mokoro rides. These are boating trips through the maze like channels and shallow lagoons of the Delta. They are conducted in traditional boats
which are called Mokoros. These sturdy boats used to be hand crafted out of large Delta trees. Today most of the boats used in the Delta are fiber glass replicas, to prevent the cutting down and depletion of the Delta's magnificent trees.
Mokoros are a great way to go game viewing. As they are not motorized, they allow you to glide silently through the channels. This allows you to approach the wildlife
silently and you will see more, as they are not scared off by a motor. You will see many animals that feed on the grass and reeds on the palm islands such as Lechwe, Sitatunga, Elephant, Hippo and Crocodile as well as many others.
Read more about Mokoro excursions in the Okavango Delta
Guided walks in the Okavango Delta are a fantastic way to see the many picturesque scenes and islands. These walks usually take place in the early morning before the day gets hot. The walks are led by expert guides
who will ensure your safety and help you track animals and offer a wealth of information about the animals and local plant life.
The guides will help you track animals - you may even come across Elephant and Lion
, although you will not approach them too closely. These guided walks are a great way to spot the many birds that find sanctuary in the Okavango Delta.
Read more about Island Walks in the Okavango Delta
The availability of game drives at the different camps in the Okavango Delta depends on many factors. The two most influential are where the camp is situated and what season it is. People talk of wet and dry experiences in the Okavango. Some camps are situated in dry areas, such as Khwai and Kwara, these camps focus on game drives.
Most of the camps that are situated in a private concession will offer game drives at night as well as during the day. These are a great opportunity to see the many animals that are more active at night
than during the day such as Aardvarks, Aardwolves, Leopards and Servals. Lions also hunt at night and it is a good chance to come upon them when they are feeding on a kill.
Game drives are led by knowledgeable guides who will tell you about the flora of the region and the behavior of the animals
you come across. Some of the animals might even be known to the rangers and they can tell you something about their particular habits.
Horse Back Safaris
Horse Back safaris at Macatoo Camp
are a wonderful way to see the Okavango Delta as you can go where the safari vehicle can't. You need to be an experienced rider to do these safaris as the terrain can be rough and you need to be able to control your horse should they spook and bolt.
The horseback safaris take you over a varied terrain
which means that sometimes your horses will be walking along with a herd of Zebra or Lechwe or cantering through the water meadows along with galloping Giraffe. This is possible because the animals perceive you as part of a four legged animal when riding and as such, less of a threat. Some caution is necessary when riding in the Delta, as the predators will also be less afraid of approaching you, and you will need to follow your guide's directions carefully.
These trips are led by experienced guides, who will lead you through the many beautiful Delta pathways
past many scenic vistas. Horseback safaris usually take place on the seasonal floodplains in the south western areas of the Delta.
Read more about Horse Riding Safari in the Okavango Delta
Elephant back safaris were pioneered in the Abu region of the Okavango Delta in the 1980's. However these Elephant back safaris have been phased out in Botswana due to concerns over animal welfare. Lodges now offer elephant interaction and education including immersive walking-based experience. This is a stunning experience that allows you to learn about these huge, gentle animals. It is a wonderful opportunity to physically and intimately engage with the Elephants
. You will also learn about their natural behavior, through watching them feed, play and interact with one another.
Read more about Elephant Safaris in Okavango Delta
Many of the "water camps" in the Delta offer game viewing by motor boat. These trips allow you to see the Okavango from a different perspective, although some of the wildlife may occasionally be scared off by sound of the motor. The boats are also be used to get you to other camps, or to specific destinations such as a visit the Gcodikwe heronry near Xakanaka.
Try your hand at catching the fierce Tiger Fish, or Tilapia on your Botswana safari in the Okavango. Not all water based camps in the Okavango allow fishing, but some camps do allow fishing on a catch and release basis
. Most of the fishing however takes place in the Panhandle region where the Okavango River enters the Delta. Deeper into the Delta, the camps may offer fishing seasonally such as at Gunn's camp and Xugana and Moremi Crossing.
Read more about Fishing in the Okavango Delta
The spectacle of the Okavango Delta is probably best viewed from the air. Scenic helicopter flights are a wonderful way to see the beautiful Palm fringed Islands and myriad of water ways
that form the Okavango Delta. You may see some of the Delta on scheduled flight to and from your Lodge, but to truly see the Delta and gaze down at the many animals below, you should go on a scenic helicopter flight. Many of these flights leave from Maun and are a great option when going to or returning from your camp.