Botswana, a small country in Africa, lies north of South Africa and is bordered by Namibia to the west and Zambia to the east. Much of Botswana is low lying with the Kalahari Desert, in the south, making up nearly 70 percent of the land mass. In the northern region is the Okavango Delta, a vast tract of land of waterways and islands that seasonally floods and ebbs and draws one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife in Africa.
In the 1970s a great many East African safari firms moved to Botswana to escape the political unrest and a great tourist industry took hold that has shifted its focus from hunting to photo safaris and nature observation. Safaris are outfitted in Maun and travel to the Okavango to see the real Africa in its primal state.
It is estimated that there are over 200,000 large mammals that migrate in and out of the delta between the rainy season and the dry and elephant and buffalo herds make up nearly 30,000. The African elephant
is well represented in the Okavango and these behemoths are impressive reaching 13 feet at the shoulder and weighing upwards to 30,000 pounds. The African buffalo
with their black coats and their huge curling horns can spark an atavistic memory of nature's power and menace.
The Okavango hosts both species of rhinoceros, both black and white and herbivores are well represented. Lechwe
, topis and wildebeest are abundant, many antelope inhabit the grasslands, sable the forests and giraffe
can be observed reaching for tender leaves high in the Acacia trees. There are herds of zebra, packs of African Wild Dogs
and a variety of primates including baboons.
Prides of African lions make the delta their home amidst a plentiful smorgasbord of lion's favorite fare and, although elusive, the beautiful leopard can often be caught napping high in a crook of a tree; a sight of Africa in the raw. Birdlife is plentiful with Crested cranes, ibis, fish eagles and the ungainly ostrich
and the waters hold catfish
and fierce tigerfish
The Okavango Delta is the real Africa.