Botswana’s Okavango. No blues in this Delta
Sitting at the geographical heart of southern Africa, Botswana’s Okavango Delta is the closest thing to Eden left on the planet. Gazetted as UNESCO’s thousandth World Heritage Site in 2014, the Delta, with its vast and diverse wildlife species, is one of Africa’s premier safari destinations, providing a truly unique wilderness experience.
Each year Botswana’s swollen Okavango River disappears into the vast sponge of the Kalahari Desert to create the Okavango Delta, the world’s largest wetland wildernesses. Forming part of the Kalahari Basin, situated at the southern periphery of the Great Rift Valley, it covers a staggering 22,000 square kilometres. And while the periphery is semi-arid, the Delta itself is a patchwork of cool clear streams, lagoons, floodplains and forested islands. The result is one of the world’s most diverse wildlife habitats, home to over 200,000 large mammals, 400 bird species and 70 species of fish, most spectacularly on display in the dry winter season as vast numbers of wildlife flock to where the floodwaters infiltrate the surrounding plains.
At the heart of the Okavango Delta lies the world-renowned Moremi Game Reserve, providing a peaceful haven where animals have been protected for decades. Known as the ‘predator capital of Africa’, the Moremi is famed for its big cat and bird populations, and also for large herds of elephant and buffalo, giraffe and other plains game – and occasionally Africa’s rare wild dogs, that roam the savannah.
But no visit to the Okavango Delta is complete without a mokoro ride. One of the most iconic symbols of the Delta, the mokoro was originally the only form of transport for fishing or transporting people and goods around its channels. Still used by the ‘river bushmen’ or BaYeipeople, these canoe-like vessels offer up a unique way to explore the Delta’s waterways.
For much of each year the Okavango Delta is a labyrinth of lagoons and streams where hippos fight for bathing rights and crocodiles wait for unwary antelope to linger too long over a drink. Poling through the byways created by the floodwaters is an unforgettable, serene experience that allows passengers to get breathtakingly close to big game and to see the world from a totally different angle. It’s a chance to sit back and relax as you glide through lily ponds, seeing eye-to-eye with a buffalo as it laps water from the river, watching crocodiles sunbathe on the banks or cruising past a pod of hippos as they lie in a pool.
Specialist safari operator, Sanctuary Retreats, operates three unique luxury boutique properties in exclusive private concessions in the Okavango Delta – Sanctuary Baines Camp, Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp and Sanctuary Chief’s Camp. Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp is normally priced from US$550 per person per night twin share, Sanctuary Baines Camp from USD860 per person per night twin and Sanctuary Chiefs Camp from USD1925 per person per night twin share, for 1 – 3 nights, based on two people sharing, including all meals and drinks (excluding premium brands), scheduled game activities, and transfers to and from Livingstone Airport.
But for even better savings, take advantage of Sanctuary Retreats’ extended stay offer 2019, when you stay at one or more of Sanctuary Retreats’ properties including any of the three Okavango Delta properties, depending on your season of travel.
Stay 4 – 6 nights and save up to 30%.
Stay 7+ nights and save up to 40%.
For more information, please visit: www.sanctuaryretreats.com