The Okavango Delta in Northern Botswana is one of the world’s rare river delta systems that floods annually but the water never reaches the ocean. Instead, the waterflow from summer rains in the Congo flood the Delta in the drier winter months, attracting large herds of animals. The resultant sprawling grassy plains are easily navigated in dugout canoes called mokoros, or in small motor boats,enabling close encounters with wildlife. The Delta is also home to endangered animals like black and white rhino, lion, cheetah and wild dogs.Large elephant herds are also abundant in the Delta, making for striking photographic opportunities for safari goers.
This water wonderland in the middle of a near desert - the Kalahari Basin – is a sought-after safari destination by wildlife enthusiasts around the world. The well-appointed lodges, many with accommodation in luxurycanvas tents, allow for a unique bush experience for couples and families alike. Daily flights via Maun, considered the ‘Gateway to the Okavango Delta’,makethis one of the most accessible game experiences for South Africans.
The Delta is worth combining with a Big 5 safari in Chobe National Park, as well as with a trip to Victoria Falls, which is one of the top destinations in Southern Africa. Browse our various Okavango Delta safari packages below. Get in touch with Thompsons Holidays for any holiday package or tour information.
Things to do
The Okavango Delta offers exceptional wildlife experiences in a truly unique landscape. Here are some suggestions on what to do and what to expect when visiting this beautiful World Heritage Site:
Look out for large herds of animals across the floodplains as you fly at low altitude to your camp.
Game drives are a unique experience, rich in varietyand can include sightings ofroan, sable, tsessebeand the rare red lechwe and semi-aquatic sitatunga antelopes.
Get close up to animals while being poled along in a traditional mokoro dugout canoe.
Hear the roar of lions and the nightly croaking chorus of tiny reed frogs as you sip sundowners in the boma.
Contact Thompsons about opening specials at the newly opened Xigera Safari Lodge (kee-jera) – a luxury experience from the owners of the famous Red Carnation Hotel Collection. This is a unique, and truly special experience in the bush.
Tap water is safe to drink in hotels. Bottled water is readily available.
Vaccinations are not currently required. Malaria is a risk - check with your travel clinic before you go.
Smoking is not permitted in public areas such as restaurants, bars and indoor work places as well as on public transport. Airports offer designated smoking rooms.
What must I pack?
Depending on when you visit, lightweight clothing for summer, warm clothing for winter, rain gear and swimwear if relevant. Choose items that can be layered as days are warm to hot and evenings cooler.
Comfortable walking shoes.
Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses.
Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
For seamless travel request return game lodge transfers are included in packages.
Most packages include daily game drives.
What can I do to be a responsible traveller?
Wherever possible, buy local food and souvenirs and support local artisans.
Avoid single-use plastic; rather take fabric shopping bags with you and use refillable water bottles (when local drinking water is available).
Respect each other's cultures and customs and avoid imposing your beliefs.
Do not support animal encounters and wildlife activities that are harmful or unethical.
Always have a map (or app) on hand, especially when travelling at night.
Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
Keep your belongings safe – use the lodge safe for passports and valuables and watch out for pickpockets and bag snatchers when out and about.
What do I do in an emergency?
If passports or valuables are stolen, report the theft to the hotel/police immediately.
Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
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