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Okavango Delta

Okavango Delta

As the largest inland river delta on earth, Botswana’s Okavango Delta is surely one of the seven wonders of the natural world. The delta is formed as the seasonal flooding of the Okavango River, flowing from the Angola highlands, empties into the Kalahari Desert basin. The flood waters cover an area of over 35,000 square kilometers and rise and fall as the intense heat of the region cause rapid evaporation only to have the delta resupplied by newly arriving flood waters.

Landlocked and surrounded by higher altitudes, Botswana is a dry country, so the Okavango Delta truly is an oasis. However, contrary to what the foliage might indicate, this is not a tropical paradise. Rainfall is sparse most of the year and temperatures soar to about 40C during the summer. However, the winter floods (that peak from June to August) are sufficient to make permanent large swathes of lakes, channels, and lagoons.

Not surprisingly, this oasis attracts some of the world’s highest concentrations of wildlife, including all the quintessential African mammals from lion to elephant to hippo to giraffe to rhino to zebra. The delta is also the permanent or seasonal home of hundreds of bird species as well. This diversity and concentration of wildlife make the Okavango Delta an absolute must-see for any serious African visitor!

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