Magical light, water, birds and incredible colors, all that is the Okavango Delta in Botswana. As an inland delta in the Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta is a fabulous safari destination, famous for:
Birding Big 5 sightings and especially Big Cats Water activities for great wildlife photography High wildlife density Fabulous light Great variety of camps and lodges Self-drive possible, but better sightings on private game reserves with professional guides Great opportunities for team incentives Great for wildlife photography courses Excellent safari destination for all photography lovers and hobby snappers
The best time to visit the Okavango Delta is between June and November. International flights do not go directly to Maun, but need to go via Johannesburg. He best concessions in the Delta are by air accessible.
The Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. It is an inland delta, formed by the Okavango River in the Kalahari. Every year approximately 11 cubic kilometers of water are spreading over the 6,000-15,000 square kilometers of the Delta. The water is coming from the highlands in Angola. The floods arrive by the end of March/beginning of April and reach their peak between June and August. Most of the water is consumed through transpiration by plants and evaporation. Towards November the Okavango Delta goes back to its permanent shape, while during the flood it inundates the so-called flood plains.
For the Okavango safari planning one should keep in mind the rhythm of the floods, because they influence the activities on game drives. During the floods some areas are not accessible by car and on the other hand during the dry season in some areas are no water activities possible.
The Okavango Delta is fantastic for birding and also all other game viewing, yet especially wildlife photography courses will often focus on birds and use special boats to get close and photograph them.
Team building incentives often use the water activities to create a special experience and include for example fishing. Yet the water activities are something special for every safari, exploring the delta in the traditional Mokoro (canoe) or on a motorboat is just magical. One gets very close to the animals and the colors are a photographers dream.
Just ask yourself what you would like to experience and then inform about the best time and the best place in the delta to make sure you get what you are looking for.
“The Okavango Delta (or Okavango Swamp), in Botswana, is a large inland delta, formed where the Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough in the central part of the endorheic basin of the Kalahari. All the water reaching the Delta is ultimately evaporated and transpired, and does not flow into any sea or ocean. Each year approximately 11 cubic kilometres of water spread over the 6,000-15,000 km² area.” (Wikipedia)
These are the dry facts of an amazing photographic safari destination with the most beautiful light one can wish for a wildlife photography course or just to watch and snap. The Okavango Delta’s best places cannot be reached by car, because they are surrounded by water for most of the time. The combination of water with bush gives the Okavango Delta a very own magic. One has game drives by 4x4 jeep and game drives by canoe or boat. Both open a very own beautiful world of nature with plenty of wildlife and especially birds.
There are also self-drive safaris possible, but they are limited to the accessible areas and these do vary during the year, depending on the water level. The best thing to do are fly in safaris. They provide access to all areas and one can move quickly between the camps. For team building photo safaris it is nice to include water activities that request team effort. Water game drives can be done with electrical powered eco-boats or mokoros, the local canoes.
The best time to visit is from June to November with regards to accessibility, but anytime of the year is great in the delta with beautiful light and great wildlife sightings.
The Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of the most beautiful destinations for photographic safaris. The light is just sensational and even with an entry level photography equipment one can take the most amazing pictures.
Images from photo safaris to the Okavango Delta can always be identified easily, the light is different from any other place and photographers heaven.
The images of this book were not taken during a photography course, just when traveling for photo fun to the delta.