The Okavango is the world’s largest inland delta, formed each Spring when rainfall in the Angola highlands to the northwest swells the Cubango River. Over 9 months, the river slowly wends 450 km, dropping barely more than 60 meters in the process. But in its patient meander it ultimately will flood a 16,000 square kilometer area, creating one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of wildlife and migrating birds. This oasis of greenery in an otherwise arid land stretches in all directions, an endless, sparkling necklace of blue pools and lakes in which waves delicate green grasses. Because Botswana is south of the equator, it is during the cold winter months of June, July and August that the floods are at their height.
Cars cannot traverse the immense tracts of flooded plains and are perforce restricted to land that is dry and passable. Mokoros, dugout canoes poled by a guide who can deposit you on an island or two for a modest walkabout, are as restrictive in the opposite way. They are unable to cover major distances of dry land. The best, indeed the only way to penetrate deep into the heart of the Okavango Delta during the miraculous flood season, is to go on horseback. This is what I did for eleven days.
My dispatches from the road are full of interesting details. To sign up for my Dispatches Newsletter click HERE. If you have questions about where we went and where we stayed, post below and I will reply.