Botswana

A Dream Day in the Okavango Delta

A Dream Day in the Okavango Delta

Our safari specialist, James, knows a thing or two about world-class wildlife adventures – and one place he won’t stop raving about is Botswana’s Okavango Delta:

‘It’s absolutely one of the best safari destinations in Africa. When you’re there, it’s all about getting what you pay for – a top-quality wildlife adventure. Out in the savannah, the only other vehicles you’ll come across are one or two from your camp. It’s a world away from crowded spots like the Ngorongoro Crater, where you could be surrounded by 50 vehicles at a single site. Botswana is the place to be for an exclusive, unspoiled wildlife adventure.’

Need more convincing? Read on to learn about a typical 24 hours in the Okavango Delta, from your arrival at camp to dinner under the stars. Dreamy.

 

Arrival Afternoon

2pm – Welcome to the Okavango Delta

Your 24 hours in the Okavango Delta will kick off after a short light aircraft flight lands you near your lodge, where the camp’s guide will be waiting to warmly welcome you. Grab your bags, hop into your safari vehicle and wave goodbye to the aircraft as you begin the short scenic drive to your camp. As you draw closer, you’ll be greeted by the sweet sounds of the staff singing welcome songs. Your bags will be escorted to your room, so all you’ve got to do is freshen up with an ice-cold towel, a fruity cocktail and a slice of cake while familiarising yourself with the camp... and letting your guide know your favourite tipple for sundowners.

Camp in the Okavango Delta

 

 

4pm – Safari time

It’s time to dive into the delta with this afternoon’s safari activity. Depending on where you are and the water levels, this could involve lacing up your boots for a walking safari, relaxing on the waters in a mokoro (a dugout canoe) or making waves in a motorboat. Perhaps the most popular option, however, is a game drive in an open-sided 4x4. This is where you stand the best chance of getting up close and personal with The Big Five – think rolling through plains teeming with elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos and buffalo. A tracker will be on hand to spot animal markings and increase your chances of tracking something down, which grants full bragging rights when you return to camp. If you’re lucky, you might spot some predator and prey action – but if you’re squeamish, look the other way!

Lion

 

 

6pm – Nighttime drive

As daylight fades, you’ll jump out of the 4x4 and enjoy a sundowner tipple in a carefully selected scenic spot. This will allow you to stretch your legs, discuss sightings and satisfy rumbling stomachs with some snacks. After sunset, you’ll climb back into the vehicle and begin an after-dark game drive back to camp, focusing on the nocturnal creatures that emerge when the sun goes down. Using a light, look out for the blue-tinted, reflecting eyes that signify predator species such as leopards and African wild cats that hunt at night.

Sunset

 

 

7:30pm – Drinks and dinner under the stars

With the nighttime drive conquered, it’s time to head back to camp. Staff will escort you with torches, as it’s not uncommon for curious creatures to wander into the unfenced camps (and you don’t want to surprise a buffalo). Settle by the campfire with other like-minded adventurous guests and discuss the day under the Milky Way while listening to a symphony of frogs, crickets and even lions calling to one another. Soon enough, the chef will make an appearance to announce the evening’s three-course menu, paired with carefully selected South African wines. Dining is a family affair, held around a long table where you can swap stories with guides and guests from across the globe. Post dinner, slip away to bed or chat by the campfire, keeping an eye out for animals silently passing by.

 

The Next Morning

5:30am – Early start for your morning safari

Rise bright and early for today’s adventure – fear not night owls, as a spread of coffee, juice, muffins and toast will be waiting to tempt you from your room. As the sun rises, wrap up in a thick fleece, jump in the 4x4 and snuggle up to a bush baby (a soft-covered hot water bottle), because a morning game drive can prove to be quite chilly. You’ll be searching for the sources of the sounds you heard throughout the night, with two or three vehicles communicating with each other. When one tracks down a major predator, you’ll head in that direction with cameras at the ready.

 

9:30am – Return to camp

It’s coffee o’clock, so hop out of the vehicle and stretch your legs while enjoying a brew and a biscuit. After this quick break, you’ll head out for more game spotting before returning to the camp to relax and have lunch.

Camp

 

12:00pm – Lunch and Siesta time

There’ll be no concerns over going hungry at lunchtime, with enough sausages, bacon, eggs, salads, lasagna and quiches to feed the whole Okavango Delta. With stomachs full and the sun at its strongest, it’s time for a siesta. Spend this time catching up on sleep following the early start, relaxing by the pool with a book or dozing on your shady porch. If you’re staying another night in the same camp, after your siesta you’ll start this 24-hour cycle all over again with afternoon tea. If you’re leaving for a different camp, you’ll bid farewell to your new friends and head to the airstrip, where a small aircraft will whisk you away to whatever safari excitement awaits you next.

 

Written by Evie Buller | Images by James Back.