Gliding along the waterways of the Okavango Delta is one of the best ways to experience this pristine Garden of Eden. There is nothing nicer than sitting quietly (and as still as possible so as not to rock the mokoro!) as your poler gently guides you through the reeds and hippo channels of this wetland paradise. I was invited on an agent educational trip to Botswana by Natural Selection and it included two nights at Mapula Lodge which is situated on the edge of a flood plain along the upper reaches of the Selinda Spillway.
I was there in March – which to my delight – is the best time of the year for water lilies. There are day-lilies and night-lilies. The day-lilies flower during the day and vice versa! It’s also a good time to spot the thumbnail-size reed frogs. You get such a different perspective of Botswana from this watery angle and our poler-guide had lots of interesting things to say about how the delta was formed, how the hippos are vital for keeping the channels open, what fish species there are etc. A highlight was coming across a floating African Jacana nest with two delicately speckled eggs in it. We also surprised a baby crocodile who splashed off into the reeds a nanosecond after our guide pointed it out to us.
I was in Botswana in March 2019 which is the end of the green season. It was very hot and the grass was long, but it was great for photography. At the time of writing, the annual flood waters from the Angolan highlands that flow down and fill the channels and waterways of the Okavango Delta had not quite arrived. Word on the ground is that the high water season will be late and possibly not as plentiful as usual. But that is nature! However, with less water, the game viewing is predicted to be excellent. Be aware that not every water-based camp in the Okavango will be able to offer mokoro excursions as an activity. Contact us to find out which are the best camps to book during a drier than usual season. Update on the water levels in the Okavango Delta