This post is about Okavango Delta as an Oasis of Wild Life Sanctuary in Africa. Some people have been searching for such scenery all their life, but they have not had the opportunity to see what other people have. Before you get attracted to such scenery, you need to understand in-depth the meaning of Okavango and then the meaning of Delta.
MEANING OF OKAVANGO
According to the Collins British Dictionary, Okavango is described as a 1,000-mile river beginning from Central Angola and flowing southeast to create a boundary between Angola and Namibia. Eventually, the river flows into Botswana along the Caprivi Strip. While in Botswana, the river forms a great marsh known as the Okavango Delta, Basin or Swamp.
While DELTA at some university campuses can refer to D – Drink; E – Eat; L – Laugh; T – Talk; A – Attend to Academic Activities, some North Americans can refer to DELTA as D – Delay; E – Every; L – Landing; T – Through; A – Atlanta.
The meaning of Okavango Delta has a slightly different meaning to that of a normal river delta. Geographically speaking, delta refers to a triangular area of alluvial deposits where a river divides before entering a larger body of water. In other words, different kinds of soil are carried by the strong a current of streams and then deposited where the stream slows down.
THE OKAVANGO DELTA
Instead of the Okavango River depositing its clay, silt or gravel into the Atlantic Ocean as other rivers have done, the river has emptied its content into the basin that borders the Kalahari Desert. This delta stretches over such a large piece of land that it can easily be identified from a satellite. The area has become a sanctuary to many wild animals including some endangered species. This is the area that also accommodates over 25 wild safari camps to receive tourists and even guide them to whatever areas they want to visit or where to find the kind of animals they want to see.
Once you visit the Okavango Delta, know that you are at home to the second biggest delta inland in the whole world.
SANCTUARY TO MANY WILD SPECIES
What kind of animals do you expect to see in the Okavango Delta? Well, you have many animals to choose from as you would have a feast of your eyes looking at different species. I am sure that you shall not miss looking at some of the following animals: Blue Wildebeest, Giraffe, Crocodile, Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Brown Hyena, Spotted Hyena, Greater Kudu, Sable Antelope, Black Rhinoceros, White Rhinoceros, Zebra, Warthog, and Rabbit. The list is almost endless.
SIGHT-SEEING FROM A 4 X 4 VEHICLE
Being driven in a 4 X 4 vehicle along non-tarred roads provides a unique experience as the vehicle drives slowly and is obstructed by various animals trying to cross the road or are standing at the roadside curiously gazing at the vehicle. If you are using a hired 4 X 4 vehicle, it is better to be on the safe side and take with you some spare wheel-tires because of the rough terrain.
Monkeys are full of curiosity and will try to draw your attention here and there.
SIGHT-SEEING FROM A BOAT ALONG THE OKAVANGO RIVER
Sight-seeing from a boat along the Okavango River is an enjoyable part of the expedition. The hippopotamuses will watch you pass by silently while you watch a crocodile or two basking in the sun by the river banks. At certain points, a big number of antelopes will be seen at the river bank drinking water. In the meantime, crocodiles silently observe different animals drinking while they think about which one of them would provide their next meal.
OVER 25 SAFARI CAMPS TO CHOOSE FROM
There are over 25 wild safari camps you can choose from as you visit the Okavango Delta. Apart from the Okavango Camp itself, some of the camps you may choose to visit include Moreni, Chobe, Sabuchi, Linyanti and Selina. In all these camps, it is possible for you to be directed to see the big 5 animals and study their behaviour.
As you look forward to the appearance of these big creatures, you are bound to see many animals such as impalas and antelopes including birds such as hawks, vultures and owls. To the untrained eyes, the leopards seem invisible when they are hunting.
Where there is tall grass, it is almost difficult to catch sight of lions. Do not be fooled because the lion population is high in the Okavango Delta. There are many prides of lions and you would be delighted to watch them attack big animals like Zebras, Giraffes, buffaloes, and even hippopotamuses when they stray too far from the river banks.
There are plenty of elephants along the banks of the river Chobe. They enjoy shuttling between the small green islands and cool themselves by dipping into the water. They allow the front legs to go into the water first before the whole body moves in slowly. Sometimes the young ones get stuck into the muddy water and then elderly elephants come to assist them by pushing them out of the mud.
One of the most dangerous animals in the bush which can attack any time and kill any predator including a lion is a buffalo. Buffaloes are even more dangerous when they have been wounded. Using its horns, the buffalo tosses a lion into the air as if it is a toy. That is why a lion thinks twice before attacking a buffalo because buffaloes have been referred to as lion killers by most game scouts.
Cheeters are a delight to watch as they identify their prey and the chase begins. Since they are the fastest animals in the wilderness, they easily outrun their prey within a short distance. However, they are always on the lookout for either the lions or the leopards which always chase them from their hunting territory.
Wild dogs are not so many in many game reserves or national parks all over the continent of Africa. However, they are plenty of them in the Okavango Delta. You will find it fascinating as a pack of them, which can be any number from ten to forty, biting a piece of flesh from their prey, big or small, and eating while they keep chasing the animal. Eventually, the prey gets exhausted due to the loss of blood where it has been bitten. Upon falling to the ground, the whole pack surrounds the animal for a sumptuous meal. The hyena will only show up to clear the bones after the wild dogs have departed from the scene.
TRIPPLE SAFARI TOUR COMBINATION OF OKAVANGO, VICTORIA FALLS BETWEEN
ZIMBABWE AND ZAMBIA
Victoria Falls is one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in the world. Apart from admiring this magnificent site, you can jump into what is known as “the devil’s pool” and just try to see how the waterfalls to about a hundred meters below. Some people get aboard the helicopter and have an excellent aerial view of this splendid waterfalls. From the “Knife Bridge” which joins Zambia into Zimbabwe, bangy jumping takes place. This is one of the deepest “jumps” in the world. You can also enjoy the sunset cruises along the river.
Walking with lions and jumping onto the back of the elephants provide a spectacular sight. If you feel like being more adventurous, wild water paddling is something you cannot overlook.
BOTSWANA’S LOW POPULATION
The current population of Botswana is 2,327,742 people. This is a low population compared to most African countries. The government should be commended for safeguarding the wild animals in the Okavango Delta and encouraging tourism which can be extended beyond its national boundaries into Zambia and Zimbabwe. When you visit the Okavango Delta, the Tswanas will welcome you warmly with their native songs and dances. It is an amazing country with many interesting places to be taken to, including visiting the Kalahari Bushmen.