Considered one of Nature’s masterpieces, the Okavango Delta offers its visitors an insight into one of Africa’s truly great wildernesses.
A World Heritage Site, this vast and virtually untouched freshwater wetland lies at the heart of Botswana’s arid Kalahari yet supports an abundance of wildlife within a setting of dazzling natural beauty. Protected by the Moremi Game Reserve and numerous private wildlife concessions, the Okavango Delta is home to huge numbers of elephant, buffalo, lion, hippo, giraffe and zebra plus every kind of antelope you can think of.
A predator paradise, the Okavango is a world-famous stronghold for leopard and wild dog as well as many rare and unusual mammal and bird species – if it’s wildlife you want, an Okavango Delta safari will deliver. Yet despite its wild nature, the Okavango Delta is surprisingly accessible and you’ll certainly get to see it close up: go on guided game drives, bush walks, mokoro (canoe) and boat trips during your safari in the Okavango Delta – it’s a destination with Botswana’s widest range of safari activities and features some of Africa’s most luxurious wilderness accommodation.
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The future of the Okavango Delta depends on her people and how they choose to preserve this unique environment, balancing the needs of the wild with theirs as they transition from a traditional lifestyle to one associated with modern economics and commodities. Many of those living in this region are recent immigrants from elsewhere in Botswana leading to a population that is diverse in both character and origin. Very few people live within the wetlands themselves with most living in towns and villages on the outskirts. Demographic information is thus aggregated for Ngamiland.
Early human association with the Okavango Delta is shrouded in legend, much of from the oral record. Sites such as the Tsodilo Hill, adorned with over 4 000 rock paintings, are claimed by several peoples, including the Hambukushu, Bugakhwe and Xanikwe, for example. It is clear from archaeological records that northern Botswana has been occupied for the past 100 000 years at least and most probably for much longer before that. Evidence of this early occupation has been found at many sites around the Okavango Delta and it can be assumed that all areas between these sites were occupied at various times. The Delta’s natural resources, game, fish and indeed water, would have been vital to those that lived here with people who lived further away making excursions to gather food from the wetland.