Exploring the Okavango Delta

Okavango Delta Safari Activities

Consisting of a unique labyrinth of lagoons, fertile floodplains, papyrus-lined river channels, and islands, the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana is one of the most precious wilderness sanctuaries in Africa and should be on every traveller’s bucket list.

Spurred by seasonal flooding in the north, the arid Kalahari savannahs are transformed into this wetland paradise during Botswana’s dry months (June – August), creating a diverse ecosystem that attracts a myriad of wildlife from miles around. From water-loving lions and leopards to enormous herds of elephant and buffalo, the Okavango Delta sustains a vast variety of flora and fauna and experiencing this exceptional inland delta is undoubtedly one of the best African safari experiences on offer.

While there’s no shortage of things to do in Botswana, some of the best safari activities are based around the delta. Whether you chose to glide through the waterways in a traditional dugout canoe called a mokoro, or gallop across floodplains on a horseback safari, or opt for a thrilling guided walk, there are endless ways to explore this safari oasis.

Okavango Delta Safari Activities


Mokoro Ride Okavango Delta

Photo © Under One Botswana Sky

Carved from a sausage, sycamore fig, or jackleberry tree, a mokoro is a traditional dug-out canoe and is the most authentic way to traverse the many waterways of the Delta. Sometimes called the gondolas of Africa, mokoros usually carry up to two passengers, and are manoeuvred by skilled locals known as ‘Polers’. These men stand at the stern and use a long pole called a “ngashi” to push the mokoro forward, following paths formed by hippos and elephants. A mokoro excursion in the Okavango Delta is a wonderful opportunity for travellers to fully experience the sights, sounds and smells of nature, and is a must-do while in Botswana.

Note: In order to conserve trees, tourism in Botswana now encourages the use of fibreglass mokoros.


Boat Safari Okavango Delta

Photo © Under One Botswana Sky

For a slightly more conventional method of travelling through the Okavango Delta, boating safaris are always an option, and are also a great way to explore this safari paradise.


Horseback Safari Okavango Delta

Photo © African Horseback Safaris

While the Okavango Delta is at its most dramatic while flooded, it’s also much harder to explore during this time. However, a horseback safari allows you to venture into areas that are inaccessible to vehicles and opens up a whole a new world of wonders to travellers wishing to explore this jewel of Africa. Riding along game trails with local animals, such as giraffes and lechwe, a horseback safari allows you to truly immerse yourself in the environment.


Guided Walk Okavango Delta

Photo © Under One Botswana Sky

Exploring the wilderness on your own two feet is arguably the most thrilling and authentic safari activity one can do, and the Okavango Delta is one of the best destinations for guided walks. Ranging from shorter morning or afternoon walks, to full walking safaris that last a few days, the walks are all led by expert guides who will ensure your safety, while tracking wildlife and sharing their fascinating knowledge of the animals and local plant life with you.

Where to stay in the Okavango Delta:

The Okavango Delta is also home to some of the finest safari lodges, hotels and camps in Africa, ensuring accommodation options to suit the needs of every traveller. Here are a few of our recommendations:

Pom Pom Camp

Under One Botswana Sky Pom Pom Camp, Okavango Delta Accommodation

Situated on Pom Pom Island, on the western side of Moremi Game Reserve, Pom Pom Camp is a nine-room tented camp offering superb Okavango scenery and a true Okavango wilderness experience. The luxury, traditional safari-style tents are nestled under a grove shady trees and overlook the palm-fringed Pom Pom lagoon.

Macatoo Camp

African Horseback Safaris Macatoo Camp, Okavango Delta Accommodation

Situated in the western depths of the Okavango Delta, Macatoo Camp consists of eight spacious luxury tents that blend seamlessly into their surroundings. The en-suite tents are set on raised wooden decks and offer splendid panoramic views of the floodplains. Macatoo Camp specialised in horse riding safaris and is one of the best places to go to explore the delta on horseback.

Okuti Camp

Okuti Camp, Okavango Delta Accommodation

Okuti Camp lies beside Xakanaxa Lagoon, in the heart of the wildlife-rich Moremi Game Reserve. The camp comprises five twin-bedded en-suite mosasas (tribal word for ‘house of reeds’) situated on raised teak decks with views of the river.

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