The Okavango Delta: Africa’s Ultimate Water-Based Safari

Flying over Botswana’s Okavango Delta you look down on a maze of wetlands and waterways, scattered with thousands of islands. A vast, green wilderness, where a handful of tucked-away lodges offer the chance to experience Africa’s ultimate water-based safari.

Jenna recently led an incentive group on a 4-day safari in the Okavango. These are a few of their highlights.

At Home in the Heart of the Okavango

Belmond Eagle Island Lodge in the Okavango Delta

One of the rooms and the Fish Eagle Bar

One of the Okavango’s original safari lodges, Belmond Eagle Island has an excellent location on a private island deep in the Delta. The lodge’s 12 tented rooms have recently been renovated, and each opens onto a game viewing deck with its own plunge pool.

Belmond Eagle Island Lodge offers a wide choice of both land- and water-based activities. And we love the Fish Eagle Bar where you can sit, drink in hand, and take in the spectacular Delta sunsets.

Helicopter Flight: Looking Down on the Delta

Helicopter flight over the delta

Flying over giraffe and elephant

During our second day in the Okavango, we took to the skies on a scenic helicopter flight. The doors are removed from the helicopter, so we had unobstructed views as we flew low over the crisscrossing animal tracks and floodplains dipped in bright greens and blues.

The unique bird’s eye perspective is amazing! We looked down on elephants ambling along open grasslands, red lechwe leaping across the plains, monkeys bathing in the waters below, and pods of hippo snoozing the day away in a peaceful lagoon.

Mokoro Safaris: Exploring the Waterways

Mokoro ride in the Okavango Delta

Pelicans and red lechwe, seen while on a mokoro safari

The best way to explore the shallow channels of the Okavango Delta is in a mokoro or traditional dug-out canoe. Guides poled us along, punt-style, so there’s no distracting engine noise, and the only sounds we could here were insects, birds and the clear waters gurgling by.

Sitting mere centimetres above the water, we passed unsuspecting wildlife and an incredible variety of birds including the elegant African fish eagle. There’s a tranquillity in the Okavango that is almost indescribable – a truly surreal feeling.

Nature Walks: Setting Out on Foot

Walking safari from Belmond Eagle Island Lodge

Pel's fishing owl and a lion paw print

The Okavango Delta is one of the few places in Botswana where you can walk in the wild. We set off one morning, safe in the hands of our experienced guide, to experience the true spirit of Botswana.

We tracked lion paw prints and even saw the shy and rarely seen Pel’s fishing owl. These small, unexpected aspects of Delta life made a big impression!

Guided Game Drives & a Sundowner Surprise  

Game viewing in Botswana's Okavango Delta

Surprise sundowners during an evening game drive

Game drives in the Okavango Delta are remote and secluded with few safari vehicles sharing the private concession. On our drives we were lucky to spot a hyena family with cubs, as well as the rare tsessebe, elephants, hippo, zebra and water-loving red lechwe antelope.

During our evening drive, our group arrived at a beautiful clearing to find that we’d set up surprise sundowners. While tucking into the drinks and snacks, we heard loud lion roars – an unforgettable moment!

Want to know more about the one-of-a-kind safaris we can arrange to this phenomenal incentive travel destination? Drop us a message.