The magic of river Okawango started ages ago, when a prehistoric earthquake or eruption changed its course keeping it off the coast. It headed to the desert of Kalahari, so, and still does. Which means, this river has no outlet to the ocean and it just … stagnates and then evaporates. Before evaporating river Okawango creates a huge alluvial plain, the most beautiful environment in Botswana. But it will not be the same if you admire it by walking, or by boat. You should fly to understand the magic. And … you can!
About river Okawango and its inner delta
River Okawango starts in Angola and then runs towards the coast for a while, before suddenly changing direction and heading to inner Botswana. Very rich in water during the rain season – March and April – it spreads through its endless delta which enters the desert of Kalahari. From July to November the heat makes water evaporate thoroughly and Okawango turns into a long dry line. But, during the rain months, before entering the desert, the Okawango delta creates a spectacle of colours and nature worth to see. And you can only see it from an airplane. Or a balloon.
Flight safari over Okawango delta
Most travel agencies and tour operators organize flight safaris over the Okawango delta, in Botswana, in order to let tourists enjoy the beauty of nature of this environment. They mainly organize them during the rain season – or in the short dry mid seasons inbetween. Because in those months animals migrate to the Okawango shores looking for water and new partners. So if you fly over the delta of river Okawango you shall admire landscape but also groups of elephants, buffalos, rhinoceros, wildebeests, zebras and many others. Just imagine them running free through the plains… ! What a show!
A large part of flight safaris over Okawango leave from the small town of Maun. But there are tour operators or private pilots who also organize additional scenic flights from smaller airstrips near the tourist lodges. Sometimes they organize balloon flights for tourists too. Airplanes fly over the delta region at particular times of the day: at sunset, especially. You will have the chance to admire the stunning colours of lagoons, wetlands, grassy islands and plains. From above you will spot crocodiles, lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas but also monkeys and baboons. It is also possible to meet some of the many birds that find a shelter on the shores and the islands of this delta, during their journeys to and from the north.
To get to the flight safari area: your international flights will certainly land at the capital’s airport, in Gaborone, or arrive with a coincidence from Johannesburg or Capetown. From Gaborone you will take a national flight to Maun, in the far northern region of Botswana. We recommend you book your flight safari at Maun, where the most reliable tour operator work.
Remember these flight safari are considered “luxury safari” so they are quite expensive. But … worth the money!