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Okavango Delta

Covering more than 6000 mi², the Okavango Delta is one of the most dynamic and stunning natural places on earth. This inland delta in Botswana is a natural mosaic of palm-fringed islands, open savannah dotted with baobab and jackalberry trees, floodplains, marshlands, flowing rivers and crystal-clear lagoons. The landscape is so dynamic because each annual “flood” (arriving in April or May, subsiding by September or October) varies. Yet the effect is still the same: the inundation causes animals to cluster among the many newly-formed islands. This is one of the main reasons the Okavango Delta is arguably Africa's best game viewing area.

Another reason for its high quality game viewing is that the Okavango Delta is divided into numerous private conservancies. Conservancies are usually uncrowded because guest numbers are strictly regulated. Plus, owing to the low density of vehicles, drivers can venture offload to get closer to a wildlife sighting.

Frequently seen wildlife includes large herds of buffalo, elephant, giraffe and a variety of antelope, along with lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena and other small predators. The Okavango Delta is also a major destination for birdwatchers. It is excellent for spotting birds of prey and has a huge variety of waterfowl.

Be sure to go on a mokoro (a traditional dugout canoe) excursion to explore the Delta’s innumerable waterways. Other available activities include day and night vehicle game drives, motorized boat safaris, canoe excursions, guided walking safaris, balloon safaris, scenic helicopter flights, fishing and even horseback safaris.

In the heart of the Okavango Delta is the Moremi Game Reserve. As a public reserve with less regulated guest numbers, night drives, off-roading (except in some cases) and guided walks are prohibited. Nevertheless, a section of the reserve called Chief's Island is considered to be the Delta's best game viewing.

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