Botswana’s Okavango Delta is a bucket-list experience for many travelers. This delta, more correctly called an alluvial fan, covers 15,000 square kilometers of the Kalahari Desert in northern Botswana. Each year, the Okavango River, which flows into Botswana from the Angolan highlands, discharges roughly 11 cubic kilometers of water into the Okavango Delta.
Between the months of March and June, with a peak in July, the Okavango Delta is completely flooded. This also coincides with the dry season in Botswana, and results in great migrations of wildlife that come to the flooded areas in search of fresh water and ample food.
Thanks to this impressive concentration of wildlife and a unique, water-based safari setting, the Okavango Delta plays the starring role in many of our Botswana family safari itineraries. If you’re considering heading to Botswana with kids, don’t miss these four fun things to do on an Okavango Delta Family Safari.
GLIDE THROUGH THE WATER IN A MOKORO
A Mokoro is a traditional dugout canoe. Traveling by Mokoro allows travelers to slow down and explore the bush from a unique, eye-level vantage point.
You’ll love listening to the gentle splashing of the water as you glide through the reeds and channels that make up the Okavango Delta ecosystem. And children love peering into the water to look for life below, and helping guides identify birds and plants while keeping a watchful eye open for bigger game around every corner.
EXPLORE CHIEF’S ISLAND ON FOOT
The Moremi Reserve, arguably the top wildlife destination in Botswana, protects about one third of the Okavango Delta, including the famed Chief’s Island.
Chief’s Island is the largest of the islands in the Okavango Delta. While there are some accommodations on the island, this is also a popular place to stop during a game drive or mokoro ride and explore the terrain on foot.
Wandering around Chief’s Island kids will love marveling at termite mounds, checking out the tracks on the ground, and if you’re lucky you’ll coming face to face with some wildlife on foot.
HOP ON A HORSE FOR A UNIQUE VIEW OF THE OKAVANGO DELTA
There are a few horseback safari operators in the Okavango Delta. If you are an experienced rider, there is no better way to experience the bush than on horseback. Horseback safaris have been operating in the Delta since 1986, and the experience is safe and well defined.
Horseback rides in the Okavango Delta are tailored to the movement of game in the area, water levels and the guests’ preferences. Experienced riders enjoy long canters alongside zebra, lechwe and giraffe. It’s also possible to track elephant and buffalo across the open plains surrounding the delta.
BUILD EDUCATION INTO YOUR FAMILY SAFARI
One of the most important parts of the safari experience for kids is the opportunity to learn about Africa’s wildlife. Safari guides and rangers play a very important role in this education. Many of our preferred properties and guides specialize in “training” kids to be “guides” while on safari.
Many of our preferred camps have teams of specially trained family safari guides. These guides help children record game drive observations in Bush Journals, teach kids special skills like tracking, archery or even woodcarving! These activities also give Mom and Dad a chance to relax while the kids are happily entertained.
Interested in learning more about an Okavango Delta Family Safari? We’d love to chat! Speak with one of our safari experts by calling today, or tell us more about your family using this form and we’ll reach out to you right away.