Okavango Delta – Botswana

An Incomparable Wildlife Oasis

This inland delta, where the Okavango River meets the Kalahari Desert, has been called the world’s largest oasis. The Okavango, a tributary of the mighty Zambezi, creates a unique “water in the desert” ecosystem the size of Switzerland, forming floodplains, lagoons, channels, and islands where, as a local brochure says, “if you see 10 percent of what sees you, it’s an exceptional day.”

A magnet for wildlife since time immemorial, it is also a magnet for safari connoisseurs who – like the European explorer David Livingstone in 1849 – come for the chance to travel deep into the continent in search of untamed Africa. The bird life is second to none, and there are legions of elephants, zebras, buffalos, giraffes, and hippos.

As you glide through a labyrinth of papyrus-fringed and lily-covered waterways in the traditional mokoro dugout canoe or explore its islands and islets on foot, you’re immersed in a lush, otherworldly environment of teeming colors and sounds.

On the delta’s eastern fringes is the Moremi Wildlife Reserve, whose remarkable landscapes are some of the most scenic in southern Africa. Together they are a magical environment, understood by no one so well as Soren Lindstrom, the area’s safari guide extraordinaire. His comfortable mobile camp stays one step ahead of you (moving to strategic sites with names like Xaxanaxa, over­looking a hippo pool) as you float, walk, and jeep around one of the leading wildlife areas of southern Africa.

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