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  • It is this oasis that has made Botswana known on the world map; a watery wonderland set ironically amidst the dry Kalahari Desert. 

  • The Okavango Delta has been a Ramsar site since 1996 and was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2014, making it the 1000thto receive this status – “a site that so effectively illustrates how to integrate conservation and preservation with wise and sustainable use” – Christopher Briggs, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention.

  • The delta is flooded every year by the Okavango River, which runs 1,300km in length, making it the fourth-longest river in southern Africa. 

  • The river disperses 11 billion m³ into a maze of lagoons and islands, filtered by the papyrus to crystal clarity. 

  • The delta covers an area of 15,000km² (about the size of Switzerland). 

  • It can be roughly divided into the panhandle at the top, the central and southern Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve in the east.

  • The central delta comprises huge lagoons, floating islands, narrow winding waterways and small permanent thickly wooded islands fringed by palms. 

  • In 1962, the local Batswana people set aside a third of the Okavango Delta to protect it for the future and they called this the Moremi Game Reserve.

  • The reserve encompasses a large area of the delta's floodplains and aquatic vegetation, as well as the main dry peninsula that juts into the delta, known as the Mopane Tongue.

  • It is a rich source of life to a teeming range of wildlife, including predators such as wild dog, lion, leopard, hyaena and crocodile, as well as giraffe, buffalo, impala, kudu, waterbuck, antelope, lechwe, tsessebe, wildebeest, zebra, hippo, warthog, baboon and the rare and elusive sitatunga. 

  • Animals found here are relaxed and often allow vehicles to approach closely.

  • The birdlife is truly excellent; you can expect to see 200 species in a week. The best birding is in the panhandle in the north-west.

  • Other activities include: leisurely mokoro (canoe) excursions, horse riding safaris, boating and fishing.

  • Moremi protects the core of the Okavango Delta and several safari camps are built within it. However, most of the Okavango's small safari camps and wildlife lodges lie outside Moremi in their own private wildlife reserves.

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By road
The central and south Delta are impassable due to the flooding. Obviously some of the camps and campsites on the fringes of the Delta and in the Moremi Game Reserve can be reached but depending on water levels. For more info on Moremi, see Moremi Game Reserve.

By air
A number of private charters fly from Maun into all the private lodges in the Okavango, just a 30 minute flight in most instances and the main method of transport.

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