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Okovango Delta, Botswana

Updated: Mar 1, 2020

Evening light on the Delta and a lone makorow heading back

Location: Okovango Delta

Country: Botswana

It had always been a place which I had been keen to see after seeing it on numerous BBC wildlife shows but I hadn’t made it that far south on the African continent before. Arriving in Maun the main staging post for journeys into the Delta with a keen group from Aberdeen we stocked up and packed kit into various dry bags ready for the journey.

One thing was evident around Maun and

that was that there was very little water in an area which should be surrounded, having crossed the Zambezi from Kazangula in Zambia the day before it was very obvious that the area was suffering from drought. The rains had not arrived here for the last two years so water levels in the Delta where at a bit of a low but we where assured that we would find some.

Loaded boats heading through the channels

Gliding through the channels

Sure enough after a few miles driving through the very dry and dusty bush we found ourselves at the waters edge. We quickly arranged the kit bags loading them into the traditional ‘makorow’ canoes which slipped silently into the water. Negotiating the narrow channels between the tall grass we weaved into large open water areas full of hippo. Given the drought it did feel at times that perhaps we where closer than we should be and there was only just enough water for all of us. Hippos are one of the main killers usually due to people getting too close. Thankfully we where able to avoid being chomped and glided for around a couple of hours to make our camp site for the night. There wasn’t an abundance of wildlife but quite a few herds of Elephants where spotted along with the usual Giraffe and Zebra. Pulling up the canoes we checked into the camp which sat on the waters edge with a band of tress behind which gave way to huge open and very dry plains behind.

Hippos resting in the water

After a nice night under the stars and some evening game walks we awoke to a misty start and a last paddle back out to dry land to continue the trip back out to Maun.

Morning mists in the Okavango Delta

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