"The tapestry of islands and waterways that make up the Okavango Delta is up there in any top ten of the world’s top wildlife destinations. It is home both to resident wetland species, such as hippos and red lechwe, and prolific seasonal big game, including elephant and buffalo. Predators are legion, while special attractions include sitatunga and Pel’s fishing owl. The landscape changes with the floods from year to year. At its heart lies Moremi Game Reserve, where much of the game concentrates. Abutting this public reserve, a number of private concessions offer exclusive fly-in safaris, while, to the west, the Panhandle region is known for its fishing and birding.”

- Mike Unwin

Okavango Delta & Moremi Game Reserve

The Okavango Delta is a unique natural phenomenon: an inland delta formed where the waters of the Okavango river meet the sands of the Kalahari and spread out into a maze of waterways, dry islands and lagoons. Covering some 15,000 sq kms at peak flood, this vast wetland extends its influence far across the region, its seasonal flooding and new growth drawing wildlife in great numbers from its hinterland ­– notably the endless mopane woodlands of Chobe National Park to the northeast.

At the heart of the Okavango lies Moremi Game Reserve, set aside as a protected area in 1962 by the Batwana people. Its mosaic of habitats support large permanent game populations, as well as luring seasonal herds from further afield. Top spots include Chief’s island, home to large packs of wild dog and a rhino reintroduction project, and the Khwai riverfront, to the east, where lion prides stalk the buffalo herds and elephant are ubiquitous. Game drives through the open floodplains and woodlands can turn up a spectacular array of big game, while poling a dugout mokoro along the waterways might produce a shy sitatunga or otter. Hippos frequent permanent water bodies, while rarities such as wild dog, roan antelope and cheetah occur across the region and birding is exceptional, with wattled crane, Pel’s fishing owl and slaty egret among the local highlights.  For birders, the Panhandle region in the northwest – the river before it meets the delta – is excellent. From here you can also explore the little-known Tsodilo Hills, daubed with ancient San rock art and made famous in Van Der Post’s Lost World of the Kalahari.

North and west of Moremi, the same terrain extends into a cluster of large private concessions. Each has its wildlife specialities – Duba, for example is famed for its buffalo-hunting lion prides – but all offer a similar selection. These concessions are the domain of the exclusive, fly-in safari, and offer activities, such as night drives and walking safaris, that are not available in the public reserve.

The Okavango as a whole is a spectacular but potentially confusing area. Its geography fluctuates and its attractions are very seasonal, but the wildlife experience is always a rich one: whether traditional big game viewing or the more discreet delights of reed-frogs and pygmy geese along lily-lined waterways. Take careful advice about exactly where and when to go.

When to go

Find out when is best to visit

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WET SEASON – ‘EMERALD SEASON’

Many animals give birth to their young during this period, bringing a new lease of life to the area. This is also a great time of year to see migratory bird species. Water levels are low, not ideal for water-based actives.

Wettest time of the year, with rain falling most days of the month, although rarely prolonged in nature. Temperatures are quite hot, averaging 31°C/88°F midday, while the nights average 20°C/68°F.

Like the rest of Botswana, the Okavango Delta and Moremi areas have very distinct wet and dry seasons; rain occurs sporadically usually in the form of sharp thunderstorms from late October through to April, the rest of the year clear skies dominate. Although the region offers fantastic game viewing throughout the year, the best period to visit is during the floods which conversely corresponds to the dry season. The annual flooding of the delta acts like a magnet drawing in huge concentrations of wildlife, it is simply unlike anything else in Africa!
Once the rains arrive wildlife tends to move outside of the delta to graze on the fresh grass in areas such as the Kalahari. Game viewings can still be good, birding fantastic and prices significantly less than the dry season.

WET SEASON – ‘EMERALD SEASON’

Many animals give birth to their young during this period, bringing a new lease of life to the area. This is also a great time of year to see migratory bird species. Water levels are low, not ideal for water-based actives.

Wettest time of the year, with rain falling most days of the month, although rarely prolonged in nature. Temperatures are quite hot, averaging 31°C/88°F midday, while the nights average 20°C/68°F.

Like the rest of Botswana, the Okavango Delta and Moremi areas have very distinct wet and dry seasons; rain occurs sporadically usually in the form of sharp thunderstorms from late October through to April, the rest of the year clear skies dominate. Although the region offers fantastic game viewing throughout the year, the best period to visit is during the floods which conversely corresponds to the dry season. The annual flooding of the delta acts like a magnet drawing in huge concentrations of wildlife, it is simply unlike anything else in Africa!
Once the rains arrive wildlife tends to move outside of the delta to graze on the fresh grass in areas such as the Kalahari. Game viewings can still be good, birding fantastic and prices significantly less than the dry season.

WET SEASON – ‘EMERALD SEASON’

Many animals give birth to their young during this period, bringing a new lease of life to the area. This is also a great time of year to see migratory bird species. Water levels are low, not ideal for water-based actives.

Wettest time of the year, with rain falling most days of the month, although rarely prolonged in nature. Temperatures are quite hot, averaging 31°C/88°F midday, while the nights average 20°C/68°F.

Like the rest of Botswana, the Okavango Delta and Moremi areas have very distinct wet and dry seasons; rain occurs sporadically usually in the form of sharp thunderstorms from late October through to April, the rest of the year clear skies dominate. Although the region offers fantastic game viewing throughout the year, the best period to visit is during the floods which conversely corresponds to the dry season. The annual flooding of the delta acts like a magnet drawing in huge concentrations of wildlife, it is simply unlike anything else in Africa!
Once the rains arrive wildlife tends to move outside of the delta to graze on the fresh grass in areas such as the Kalahari. Game viewings can still be good, birding fantastic and prices significantly less than the dry season.

DRY SEASON

The Okavango River begins to flood the delta, gradually from north to south, drawing in wildlife from surrounding areas as the dry season progresses.

Midday temperatures are more pleasant, falling to an average high of 31°C/88°F by May. Mornings can be surprisingly cool, so it is advisable to pack some warm clothes.

Like the rest of Botswana, the Okavango Delta and Moremi areas have very distinct wet and dry seasons; rain occurs sporadically usually in the form of sharp thunderstorms from late October through to April, the rest of the year clear skies dominate. Although the region offers fantastic game viewing throughout the year, the best period to visit is during the floods which conversely corresponds to the dry season. The annual flooding of the delta acts like a magnet drawing in huge concentrations of wildlife, it is simply unlike anything else in Africa!
Once the rains arrive wildlife tends to move outside of the delta to graze on the fresh grass in areas such as the Kalahari. Game viewings can still be good, birding fantastic and prices significantly less than the dry season.

DRY SEASON – START OF THE DELTA FLOODS

The Okavango River begins to flood the delta, gradually from north to south, drawing in wildlife from surrounding areas as the dry season progresses.

Midday temperatures are more pleasant, falling to an average high of 31°C/88°F by May. Mornings can be surprisingly cool, so it is advisable to pack some warm clothes.

Like the rest of Botswana, the Okavango Delta and Moremi areas have very distinct wet and dry seasons; rain occurs sporadically usually in the form of sharp thunderstorms from late October through to April, the rest of the year clear skies dominate. Although the region offers fantastic game viewing throughout the year, the best period to visit is during the floods which conversely corresponds to the dry season. The annual flooding of the delta acts like a magnet drawing in huge concentrations of wildlife, it is simply unlike anything else in Africa!
Once the rains arrive wildlife tends to move outside of the delta to graze on the fresh grass in areas such as the Kalahari. Game viewings can still be good, birding fantastic and prices significantly less than the dry season.

DRY SEASON – DELTA IN FLOOD

The landscape continues to dry up around Botswana, with the exception of the Okavango Delta which continues to flood – this stark difference pulls in huge volumes of wildlife, offering spectacular game viewing opportunities.

Midday temperatures are rather cool averaging around 25°C/77°F, mornings are cold, occasionally sub-zero, so be sure to pack warm clothes!

Like the rest of Botswana, the Okavango Delta and Moremi areas have very distinct wet and dry seasons; rain occurs sporadically usually in the form of sharp thunderstorms from late October through to April, the rest of the year clear skies dominate. Although the region offers fantastic game viewing throughout the year, the best period to visit is during the floods which conversely corresponds to the dry season. The annual flooding of the delta acts like a magnet drawing in huge concentrations of wildlife, it is simply unlike anything else in Africa!
Once the rains arrive wildlife tends to move outside of the delta to graze on the fresh grass in areas such as the Kalahari. Game viewings can still be good, birding fantastic and prices significantly less than the dry season.

DRY SEASON – DELTA IN FLOOD

The landscape continues to dry up around Botswana, with the exception of the Okavango Delta which continues to flood – this stark difference pulls in huge volumes of wildlife, offering spectacular game viewing opportunities.

Midday temperatures are rather cool averaging around 25°C/77°F, mornings are cold, occasionally sub-zero, so be sure to pack warm clothes!

Like the rest of Botswana, the Okavango Delta and Moremi areas have very distinct wet and dry seasons; rain occurs sporadically usually in the form of sharp thunderstorms from late October through to April, the rest of the year clear skies dominate. Although the region offers fantastic game viewing throughout the year, the best period to visit is during the floods which conversely corresponds to the dry season. The annual flooding of the delta acts like a magnet drawing in huge concentrations of wildlife, it is simply unlike anything else in Africa!
Once the rains arrive wildlife tends to move outside of the delta to graze on the fresh grass in areas such as the Kalahari. Game viewings can still be good, birding fantastic and prices significantly less than the dry season.

DRY SEASON

Clear skies still dominate. Midday temperatures begin to rise and can at times be hot. Morning remain surprisingly cool.

Botswana has very distinct wet and dry seasons; rain is common, usually in the form of sharp thunderstorms from October through to early May, the rest of the year clear skies dominate. As Botswana is predominately a safari destination we would generally recommend visiting during the peak of the dry season; as the landscape dries up, wildlife becomes more concentrated around the rivers and watercourse while at the same time thinner/ drier vegetation improves visibility.

Having said this, there is a lot to be said for the ‘emerald season’; beautiful green scenery, fantastic birding, large flowing rivers and fewer tourists can make for a wonderful and unique experience.

There are also two significant exceptions to the above rule of thumb; Kalahari Desert and the Makgadikgadi which come into their own during the wet season as wildlife moves in to take advantage of the fresh, lush grass.

Temperatures can be very high in and around the wet season; when the sunlight is at its strongest, however nights can be cool to sub-freezing throughout the year. So, don’t forget to pack warm clothing!

DRY SEASON – DELTA IN FLOOD

The landscape continues to dry up around Botswana, with the exception of the Okavango Delta which is now in full flood – this stark difference pulls in huge volumes of wildlife, offering spectacular game viewing opportunities.

Midday temperatures are a pleasant to hot averaging between 28°C/82°F and 32°C/77°F. Mornings are cool, so be sure to pack a warm fleece.

Like the rest of Botswana, the Okavango Delta and Moremi areas have very distinct wet and dry seasons; rain occurs sporadically usually in the form of sharp thunderstorms from late October through to April, the rest of the year clear skies dominate. Although the region offers fantastic game viewing throughout the year, the best period to visit is during the floods which conversely corresponds to the dry season. The annual flooding of the delta acts like a magnet drawing in huge concentrations of wildlife, it is simply unlike anything else in Africa!
Once the rains arrive wildlife tends to move outside of the delta to graze on the fresh grass in areas such as the Kalahari. Game viewings can still be good, birding fantastic and prices significantly less than the dry season.

DRY SEASON

It has been months since the initial flooding of the Okavango River, leading ultimately to the flooding of the vast Okavango Delta; the flood waters now gradually recede as time moves on.

Game viewing remains spectacular during October; however, temperatures continue to rise before the start of the rains, with midday temperatures over 40°C/104°F not uncommon. We suggest early morning starts during this time to make the most of the cool temperatures!

Like the rest of Botswana, the Okavango Delta and Moremi areas have very distinct wet and dry seasons; rain occurs sporadically usually in the form of sharp thunderstorms from late October through to April, the rest of the year clear skies dominate. Although the region offers fantastic game viewing throughout the year, the best period to visit is during the floods which conversely corresponds to the dry season. The annual flooding of the delta acts like a magnet drawing in huge concentrations of wildlife, it is simply unlike anything else in Africa!
Once the rains arrive wildlife tends to move outside of the delta to graze on the fresh grass in areas such as the Kalahari. Game viewings can still be good, birding fantastic and prices significantly less than the dry season.

WET SEASON

The first rains arrive, usually in the form of sharp afternoon showers, at the same time the delta levels continue to drop; ultimately this disperses wildlife out of the delta.

The temperatures remain hot, while the humidity adds level of discomfort. Game viewing can still be good, but just be prepared for a little heat.

Like the rest of Botswana, the Okavango Delta and Moremi areas have very distinct wet and dry seasons; rain occurs sporadically usually in the form of sharp thunderstorms from late October through to April, the rest of the year clear skies dominate. Although the region offers fantastic game viewing throughout the year, the best period to visit is during the floods which conversely corresponds to the dry season. The annual flooding of the delta acts like a magnet drawing in huge concentrations of wildlife, it is simply unlike anything else in Africa!
Once the rains arrive wildlife tends to move outside of the delta to graze on the fresh grass in areas such as the Kalahari. Game viewings can still be good, birding fantastic and prices significantly less than the dry season.

WET SEASON – ‘EMERALD SEASON’

Many animals give birth to their young during this period, bringing a new lease of life to the area. This is also a great time of year to see migratory bird species. Water levels are low, not ideal for water-based actives.

Like the rest of Botswana, the Okavango Delta and Moremi areas have very distinct wet and dry seasons; rain occurs sporadically usually in the form of sharp thunderstorms from late October through to April, the rest of the year clear skies dominate. Although the region offers fantastic game viewing throughout the year, the best period to visit is during the floods which conversely corresponds to the dry season. The annual flooding of the delta acts like a magnet drawing in huge concentrations of wildlife, it is simply unlike anything else in Africa!
Once the rains arrive wildlife tends to move outside of the delta to graze on the fresh grass in areas such as the Kalahari. Game viewings can still be good, birding fantastic and prices significantly less than the dry season.

Explore Okavango Delta & Moremi Game Reserve Properties

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