One of the most sought after wilderness destinations in the world, the Okavango Delta gives entrance to the spectacle of wild Africa such as dreams are made of – the heart-stopping excitement of big game viewing, the supreme tranquility and serenity of an untouched delta, and evocative scenes of extraordinary natural beauty.
A journey to the Okavango Delta – deep into Africa’s untouched interior – is like no other. Moving from wetland to dryland – traversing the meandering palm and papyrus fringed waterways, passing palm-fringed islands, and thick woodland, resplendent with lush vegetation, and rich in wildlife – reveals the many facets of this unique ecosystem, the largest intact inland delta in the world.
The Okavango Delta is situated deep within the Kalahari Basin, and is often referred to as the ‘jewel’ of the Kalahari.
That the Okavango exists at all – deep within this thirst land – seems remarkable. Shaped like a fan, the Delta is fed by the Okavango River, the third largest in southern Africa. It has been steadily developed over the millennia by millions of tons of sand carried down the river from Angola.
MOREMI GAME RESERVE
Moremi game reserve was named after the late chief Moremi the lll of the Batawana tribe of Ngamiland. It is one of the most beautiful reserves in Africa, situated in the central and eastern areas of the Okavango. It is known for its best game viewing and bird watching, including all herbivore and carnivores species in the region and over 460 species of birds, many migratory and some endangered. Both black and white Rhino have been recently re introduced now making the reserve a big five destination. Moremi is very popular for the self –drive camper and often combined with Chobe National park to the north east. Third bridge campsite is situated near the pretty Sekiri river, flanked with thick stands of papyrus is a favourite creating lasting memories of pleasant Okavango sun set.
Khwai is a small village located between Moremi and Chobe national park, most of the people found here are the san people who run and manage their own community trust. Khwai is a good area to see Roan and sable antelope which are very rare, on your safari trips animals like kudu, Tshesebe, wildebeest and zebra are found here large numbers of elephants migrating, while eating the common mophane tree. There are also large numbers of predators such as lions, spotted hyena and African wild dogs. Khwai area has a good mixed number of bird species for birders.
CHOBE NATIONAL PARK
Chobe national park is the second largest park in the country, second from Central Kalahari Game reserve, it is known by being occupied by hundreds of elephants and Cape buffalo as some of the main roads like Serondela may become impossible to pass, scores of family herds cross the main road to make their way to the river to drink. The Chobe river front, the Ngwezumba pans, Savute and Linyanti. On a river cruise you will experience the park and the animals from another side of the park. You will come across with hippos, crocodiles, and a mind-boggling array of water birds. Over 460 bird species have been recorded in the park, making it one of Africa’s premier venues for bird safaris. Common species to be seen include ibis Egyptian geese, the ubiquitous cormorant and darters, spur-winged Geese,pel’s fishing owl, carmine bee-eaters, most members of the king fisher family all the rollers, the unmistakable fish eagle and many members of the stork family.
The Ngwenzumba pans lie 70 km south of the Chobe River and comprise of a large complex of clay pans surrounded by mophane wood-land and grass plains. During the raining season, the plains fill with water then attracting wildlife that moves away from the permanent water sources of the Linyanti and Chobe Rivers.
Game viewing can be very excellent at the permanent water of Linyanti, during winter time/months. The area that falls within the Chobe national park which has a public campsite is sandwiched between photographic concessions to the west and to the east.
At the interior of the park, Savute boasts most of the Chobe species except for water-loving antelope. It is best known for its predators particularly lions, cheetah and hyena of which there are large resident populations. The Savute channel from Linyanti River for about 100 km, carry water away from the river and releasing it into a vast swampland called the Savute marsh and further south onto the Mababe depression which is also fed by Ngwenzumba River from the north east. The Mababe immense and flat and fringed by thickets of trees was once the part of Makgadikgadi super lake. When filled with water it becomes the venue for thousands of migratory birds and animals, particularly large herds of zebra.
Geographically Savute is an area of many curiosities. One of its mysteries is the Savute channel itself which has over the past 100 years inexplicably dried up and recommenced its flows several times. This irregular water flows explains the numerous dead trees that line the channel, for they have germinated and grown when the channel was dry and drowned when the channel flowed again.
NXAI PAN NATIONAL PARK
Nxai pan national park covers the area of 2100 sq kms, this large pan is grassed and scattered with islands of acacia trees and smaller pans that fill with water during raining season –thus providing rich resources for wild life. Wildlife viewing is seasonal and depends on if and when the rains come and when animals migrate. There are several artificial watering points. If the rains have been good, December to April is the best time to visit. Common species to be sighted are zebras, wildebeest, springbok, Impala, gemsbok, hartebeest, giraffe, lion, cheetah, wild dogs, brown hyena, bate eared fox and sometimes elephants and buffalos.
MAKGADIKGADI NATIONAL PARK
The Makgadikgadi covers an area of 12000 Sq kms, part of the Kalahari basin, yet unique to it, is one of the largest salt pans in the world. Most of the year, this desolate area remains waterless and extremely arid and large mammals is thus absent. But during and following years of good rains the two largest pans –Sowa to the east and Ntwetwe to the west flood attracting wildlife such as zebra and wildebeest on the grassy plains and most spectacularly flamingos, and at Sowa and Nata Sanctuary. Flamingo numbers can run into tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands and the spectacle can be completely over whelming. Other species are Gemsbok,eland,and red hartebeest as well as kudu, bush buck,duicker,giraffe,springbok,steenbok and even elephants with all the accompany predators, as well as the rare brown hyena.
CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE (C.K.G.R)
The central Kalahari game reserve (C.K.G.R) is the largest game reserve in Southern Africa and the second wildlife reserve in the world, encompassing 52 800 sq kms. During and shortly after summer rains the flat grass land of the reserves northern reaches teem with wildlife which gather at the best grazing areas, these include large herds of springbok, and gemsbok as well as wildebeest,hartebeest,eland and giraffe.C.K.G.R. Is unique in that, it was originally established in 1980s and 1990s, both self-drive and organized tours were allowed in controlled numbers. Deception valley is one of the highlights, principally because of the dense concentrations of herbivores its sweet grass attract during and after raining season, and of course the accompanying predators. It is also the most travelled area of the reserve, with a number of public campsites and proximity to the eastern Mats were gate. The other two gates are completely at the other side of the reserve, at Xade and Tau where public campsites are also available. The other worth area to drive to are Sunday and Leopard Pans, north Deception valley, Passage valley and Piper Pan further south.
KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER NATIONAL PARK
Botswana's part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was formerly known as Gemsbok National Park, (28,400 square km) and lies in the extreme southwest of Botswana. The South African section was formerly known as Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and is 9,591 square kms in extent. There is no physical barrier between the two countries within the park. This allows wildlife to move freely and for many years there has been informal co-operation between the two authorities. This co-operation was formalized by the creation of the "Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park" on 12th May 2000 and the two former parks are now managed as a single entity, whilst still recognizing the territorial integrity of each country. On the Botswana side, the park can be divided into three areas of focus as far as tourists are concerned - the Two Rivers section, the Wilderness Trail and the Mabuasehube section. Tourists entering from the Botswana side may travel around the South African part of the park at no extra cost and without any immigration formalities. Tourists wishing to leave the park into South Africa will find that there are immigration facilities in Two Rivers/Twee Rivieren Camping facilities:Two Rivers, which faces the Twee Rivieren Rest Camp on the South African side of the border, has a camping ground with hot and cold showers and flush toilets. From Two Rivers visitors join the border road up the Nossob Valley, which is jointly used by South Africa and Botswana. Some 25 kilometres up this road on the Botswana side is the Rooiputs public camping ground, with rustic showers, pit latrines and shade shelters. For those visitors wishing to get away from the more frequently used areas, a further camping ground is situated on the Botswana side some 223 kilometres up the Nossob Valley road turning off at a place called Grootbrak. A short distance further, past a water trough, lies the Polentswa camping ground; just before which is the grave of a German diamond prospector whose remains were found after his vehicle broke down in 1958. Polentswa has a pleasant view and a good resident population of wildlife, and has the same type of rustic facilities as Rooiputs, though you need to bring all your own water.
The pretty Mabuasehube section of the park is reached separately, either from Tsabong in the south or Tshane in the north or Kokotsha in the East. The route from the south will be described first. The turnoff in Tsabong is sign posted "Tshane, 240 km". Soon afterwards you take the major fork to the right. The first part of the road is gravelled and then becomes a sandy track. You cannot miss the new park entrance gate, about 116 km north of Tsabong. If you are coming from Gaborone an interesting alternative is to take a cut line from Kokotsha. When you reach the large red-and-white telecommunications tower, turn right. Where the road does a sharp left turn you go straight on, due west on a track that widens out into a firebreak after about 30 km. After another 77 km you meet the Tshane to Tsabong road where you should turn left (south) and reach Mabuasehube entrance after a further 17 km. The nearest fuel supplies to Mabuasehube are in Tsabong.
Leisure and Travelling Booking Agents
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