Botswana – The Months Less Travelled

Okavango Delta, Botswana

May 04 2009

During March and April, water is nearing its peak in the Okavango Delta and this year’s run-off from Angola has been particularly high. Naturally you would expect game sightings to be limited as there is plenty of food and water to go around, however you might just be pleasantly surprised.This is one of the biggest floods in many, many years.

I recently returned from a magnificent trip into the Delta: Travelling at this time of year one is privy to a different Africa – the wildlife is not as desperate or combative for food, which makes for a more relaxed game viewing experience. The Delta at its most beautiful, with plenty of animals to peacefully observe. Game aside, the greenery stretched for miles as we took to the air to transit between camps. Some hops were short and I wished for longer air time to further imprint this unique world image into my mind.

Being at the end of the official “wet” (rainy) season meant that we were graced with several sightings of young game. Delta animals will wait for the first rains to drop their young, to ensure that there is enough food and water to see them through their first tough months. Breeding herds of elephants instinctively gathered around the newest addition when they heard our boat or Land Cruiser put-put by. Gangly young giraffe stayed glued to their mother’s side in search of the next tasty acacia thorn tree, baby hippo found their footing in the muddy banks. Just delightful.

After enjoying the water-based activities of Xigera camp, we were also blessed with quite a show. Right beside the airstrip, a female leopard sprung atop a termite mound and sat, carefully changing position as she thoroughly surveyed her environs.

The ‘moral’ of this letter is that it doesn’t have to be middle of the dry season for you to visit Botswana. Whether a first time visitor or a returning traveller, you will be just as impressed by this ever-changing wilderness. Either way, I am sure that you will depart, like me, with the desire to return again and again.