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“Agreeing with Thowdies "Really close to nature"” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Okavango Delta

Okavango Delta
Delta, Maun, Botswana
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Ranked #1 of 10 attractions in Maun
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas
Activities: Four-wheeling
Attraction Details
Cambridge, United Kingdom
1 review
“Agreeing with Thowdies "Really close to nature"”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2013

The Letaka website says the safari will include "Spacious and comfortable tented accommodation, including beds and bed linen, with a private bathroom en-suite." In reality, the tents were just big enough to fit 2 narrow single camp beds + 2 small bedside tables, plus 1 metre of space between the beds. The "private bathroom en-suite" was an adjacent pit latrine and bucket shower within tent walls (but no roof) for privacy. Warm water was provided. As with Thowdies' review, this level of amenity was below our expectations and was not easy to get used to, especially on the hottest of days (around 38c). There was no form of cooling such as an electric fan, let alone any air conditioning. Sheets and towels were not changed at all during the 9 nights camping, despite some very hot and sweaty evenings. More minor problems were a broken loo seat (replaced after arrival) and a malfunctioning tent door zip (that still needs fixing).

The Letaka website needs to make it very clear that these are _mobile_ camps with basic facilities, and are not as comfortable that the more well known _permanant_ tented camps

On the positive side, the Okavango delta itself lived up to our expectations, and the guide and the camp staff did their jobs well.

Visited November 2013
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Lancashire
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Really close to Nature”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2013

We have just completed a tented Safari in Botswana with Letaka Safaris. We are well into pensionable age and had something of a shock when first confronted with our accommodation for the next 9 nights. Compact would be the kindest description of the tent with very basic facilities. Did we get used to it? - not really! Did we enjoy the Safari experience with Letaka? - immensely. The very, VERY close proximity to the game and the profusion of it soon made us accept the privations of tented life. We may have reached a ripe age but we have never camped before.
Our guide, Nkosi Sibanda, was a real gentleman in every sense of the word. He helped us in every way he could and his incredible knowledge of birds, game, stars, geology made this a wonderful experience. We were also extremely fortunate to have very friendly companions on the trip. We visited 3 different areas of the Okavango Delta, 3 days in each. Moremi, Khwai and Savuti are quite different from one another which added to the interest of the holiday.
We have visited Game Reserves in South Africa but this is quite different. There are no fences for 100's of Kilometres and the game is not controlled by human hand but rather by nature itself

Visited October 2013
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
313 reviews 313 reviews
169 attraction reviews
Reviews in 94 cities Reviews in 94 cities
334 helpful votes 334 helpful votes
“World's (2nd) Largest Inland Delta”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

Background: Okavango Delta, otherwise known as the "Okavango Swamp," is formed when water from the Angolan highlands flows onto the Okavango river, reaches a tectonic trough in the central Kalahari Desert, where it empties and evaporates without ever reaching the ocean. Thus, it is referred to as an inland delta. The Moremi Game Reserve NP is at the SE end of this delta. Our overland tour group visited this UNESCO Heritage Site via the south gate, took a motorized boat and encamped for two nights on Chief Island.

PROS: The delta's diverse wildlife and lush vegetation is not due to its tropical clime but to the annual seasonal flooding that comes between December to March in the form of torrential heavy afternoon thunderstorms. It is essentially an oasis in the middle of the Kalahari desert. Its various animals include the African Bush Elephant, African Buffalo, Hippopotamus, Lechwe, Tsessebe, Sitatunga, Blue Wildebeest, Giraffe, Nile crocodile, Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Brown Hyena, Spotted Hyena, Springbok, Greater Kudu, Sable Antelope, Black Rhinoceros, White Rhinoceros, Plains Zebra, Warthog and Chacma Baboon. Notably, the endangered African Wild Dog also survives here. The delta also includes over 400 species of birds, including African Fish Eagle, Pel's Fishing Owl, Crested Crane, Lilac-breasted Roller, Hammerkop, Ostrich, and Sacred Ibis. The delta is also unique in that it forms a freshwater body of water. Hence, freshwater fish such as Tilapia, catfish and Tigerfish thrive here. Local vegetation is dominated by the reed-like papyrus as well as some kind of palm tree. Many private lodges have set up camp all over the delta.

CONS: Unfortunately, there is very little land access throughout the delta. Most of the lodges or campsites can only be accessible by small plane or by "mokoro" (small dugout canoe). Also, it is difficult to appreciate the vast scale and beauty of the swamp at ground level. It is good that a few local companies (Kavango Air, Blue Air based in Maun Airport) offer flights over the delta. Lastly, reportedly, Bilharzia is a snail-borne parasitical disease which is usually spread by swimming in contaminated swamp water. Note that it can also occur at lakeside showers if the bath water is unfiltered. These parasites can bore through human skin, migrate to the liver where they feed on blood and multiply.

Verdict: Although, technically, it is not exactly the largest inland delta (That distinction belongs to the Sudd in the Nile in Southern Sudan.), the Okavango Delta holds its own as a natural wonder, good enough to be named one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World in February 2013. Nothing beats the exhilarating experience of quietly gliding through the papyrus reeds on a mokoro to encounter wildlife up close and personal. It is certainly worth a visit for this reason -- if nothing else. Grade A-minus.

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Visited December 2012
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Ipswich, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
199 reviews 199 reviews
47 attraction reviews
Reviews in 93 cities Reviews in 93 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
“A natural wonder.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

Diverse natural wildlife. Mokoro's (dug out canoe excursions) into the Delta with night camps on sand bars make for a different and unique travelling experience. Short flights over the delta are also available from the local Airport at Maun.

Visited October 2013
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Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“I Enjoyed my Second Trip to the Delta as much as my First”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013

I went in September and the Okavango Delta wasn't as green from the air. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed flying into the Delta. I did see wildlife from the air. Despite my exhaustion, I did go on a mokoro trip and a boat trio in the Delta both of which I highly recommend for first time visitors to the Delta. I saw plenty of leopards, kudu, red red lechwe, hyenas,hippos, baboons, as well as some elephants. The brdlife was superb, I'll visit the Okavango Delta again.

Visited August 2013
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