Seven Ways to See Southern Africa's Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2014
Hop in a mokoro
For generations, villagers have used traditional ‘mokoro’ dugout canoes to travel through the Delta, and it remains the best way to discover the wilderness up close. As you glide along channels carved out by hippos, marvel at the iridescent reed frogs and sidle up close to the Okavango’s remarkable bird life. At &Beyond Xaranna mokoro adventures depart right from the lodge’s jetty.
Take a flip
Get some perspective on this incredible landscape with a doors-off helicopter flip. From above, the filigree of channels springs to life, and it’s plain to see how this wonderland of water and palm-topped islands fits together. It’s also a fine way to spot wildlife you’d otherwise miss, from crocodiles lurking in the reeds to shy sitatunga antelope in the grasslands.
Sleep beneath the stars
Feeling adventurous? Leave your luxury suite behind for a truly wild sleep-out beneath the stars. Clad in mosquito nets, with a mopane-wood campfire for charm and a two-way radio for safety, you’ll be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the Delta and the celestial splash of the Milky Way above. A number of lodges offer sleep-outs, but the lagoon-side Tuludi Sky Suite is far and away my favourite.
Xigera Safari Lodge
There’s no doubting the luxury credentials of this glorious lodge, but alongside the 12 impressive suites and memorable game experiences, Xigera stands out for its celebration of African art, design and creativity. Across the lodge – part of the global Red Carnation Hotel Collection – you’ll find hundreds of hand-crafted works by the continent’s leading painters, sculptors, carpenters and ceramicists. It’s a living gallery, inspired by the wilderness surrounding it.
If you can’t bear to be off the water, a houseboat safari is your best bet. Typically located in the deeper waters of the north-eastern panhandle, luxury houseboats offer easy access to boat-based game-viewing and fishing excursions. Their privacy and exclusivity also make them ideal for a multi-generational escape. The latest addition to the region is the stylish Okavango Spirit, which sleeps up to 14 in seven en-suite cabins.
With more than 400 bird species recorded here, the Okavango Delta is a paradise for twitchers, and while you’ll enjoy great sightings at nearly every Delta camp, Xaro Lodge specialises in creating memorable bird safaris. Situated in the Okavango Delta’s panhandle, a region renowned for sightings of the elusive Pel’s Fishing Owl, you’re assured of water here year-round. Enjoy forest walks and boat-based birding excursions on the river, while the ancient rock art of Tsodilo Hills – another World Heritage Site – can be reached on an easy day trip.
In the salt deserts of Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Pans, Jack’s Camp has long been an icon of under-canvas luxury. This year that sense of vintage safari glamour comes to the Delta, with the opening this month of Duke’s Camp on a vast 220,000-acre concession alongside the Moremi Game Reserve.
Just eight spacious tents – filled with plush furnishings and African objets d’art – are pitched in a forest of leadwood and ebony trees, with sweeping lagoon views ensuring a front-row seat to the passing parade of wildlife. Jack’s Camp is also famous for having some of the best guides in the business, and you can expect the same immersive bush experience here too.
FIND OUT MORE
Best Nature & Wildlife Trips around the WorldThese world-class breaks will let you get up close and personal with wildlife ranging from beluga whales to buffalo, and enjoy some epic...
New Luxury Safari Camp in ZambiaAfrican Bush Camps (ABC) will open a new luxury safari camp in Zambia in June.
Africa: The Great MigrationEvery July and August thousands of animals migrate from Tanzania’s Serengeti to Kenya’s Masai Mara in search of fresh pastures. It is one of...
Top Three South African Game Reserve Lodges for Wine FansThese lodges offer not just wildlife and world-class cuisine but superlative wines, the vast majority of which are leading South African...
Ultimate Adventure: Glamping on Mount EverestMountaineering used to be about long preparation, endurance and privation, but Furtenbach Adventures now offers climbers "luxurious...
Making a trip to the Big Apple? Here are Falstaff's six favourite watering holes offering everything from old world cocktails and fabulous views to...
There's no better way to discover a city than on foot. A new study shows which European cities are best for pedestrians to explore.
Tripadvisor has announced the best destinations for food lovers in 2022. Rome claims the No.1 spot for its culinary supremacy.
The NiceRx platform has analysed 50 countries around the world and measured them on a range of happiness factors. Switzerland topped the list with the...
Fancy a trip to Italy but want to avoid the big cities? Here are some beautiful towns you have to visit.
After a two-year Covid-induced hiatus, the great British festival is back. Here are five events that will delight your stomach as well as your mind.