Northern Okavango Delta

Region explained

Outside of Moremi Game Reserve the Okavango Delta is divided into a number of unfenced concession areas, each managed by a local community or private safari operator. In north-western Botswana, the concessions are designated ‘NG’ – an acronym for the broader municipal area, known as Ngamiland. Along the Delta’s northern edge, you’ll find NG12, NG18, NG19, NG20, NG21, NG22 and NG23, each with their own lodges and tented camps, and offering a range of activities depending on their specific location, access to water, etc. NG19 is the most easterly and covered separately as the Khwai Community Concession – the rest run westwards, all the way to the Panhandle. On the whole, the concessions closer to the Panhandle receive more flood water and so have more opportunities for boat safaris, but each camp is uniquely situated, with those further back from the main channels focussing on walking safaris and game drives instead. This area offers some of the best wildlife viewing in the Delta, with more variety and greater numbers than in the south and west.

Outside of Moremi Game Reserve the Okavango Delta is divided into a number of unfenced concession areas, each managed by a local community or private safari operator. In north-western Botswana, the concessions are designated NG

Highlights

Walking safaris: The Okavango Delta is not especially well-known for walking safaris, but good walking conditions are possible, particularly in the Delta’s northern concessions. Here you’ll find a beautiful mix of lush floodplains and open woodland, and plenty of plains game as you explore back from the waterways.

Get up close and personal on a walking safari

Boat safaris: Most camps in the northern concessions have good access to deep water, with fantastic opportunities to discover the Delta by motorboat. Mokoro (canoe) safaris are also usually possible, but motorboats allow quick access to a number of wonderful open lagoons. The north’s reed beds, twisting channels and scattered palm tree islands offer some of the most spectacular landscapes anywhere in the Delta.

Boat safaris allow quick access to a number of wonderful open lagoons

Practical advice

All the camps and lodges in the Delta’s northern concessions are extremely luxurious, with high season rates usually in excess of $1000 a person a night. Discounts of up to 50% are standard during the low season (December to March), but although there can still be some very fine days, rain and overcast conditions are the norm. Each camp offers its own specialist activities according to its location so be sure to check what’s available before you make your pick. May to August is the peak flood season and the best time to visit if you want to explore the Delta by boat. And April and May are best for photography, when the atmosphere is clearer after the end of the summer rains.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Botswana Big Five Safari (7 days)

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Welcome to the safari wilderness

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Okavango Delta in November

Early November is usually hot and stifling as the Okavango holds its breath for the coming of the rains. The exact start date varies considerably from year to year, but when the clouds do break the relief is palpable. Although daily highs of over 40°C (104°F) are the norm at the beginning of the month, the temperature gradually drops as the rains become more frequent. Localised showers…

Okavango Delta in March

March is a transition period in the Okavango Delta and although it can still see some heavy rain, the change in seasons is usually apparent by the end of the month. This is most obvious in the gradual drop in night-time temperatures, down to 15°C (59°F) on the coldest mornings. Daily highs, however, are slower to move – 30°C (86°F) to 35°C (95°F) remains the norm until well into…

Family safari in the Okavango Delta

An African safari is an unforgettable experience for kids, but long transfers and hours in the car can be a real challenge, especially for younger children. One solution is to pick a single camp or more manageable area and avoid daily travel as much as possible. In the Okavango Delta, this approach is ideal because there’s such a high concentration of wildlife and activities in such a…

Okavango Delta in April

Throughout April the autumn gradually sets in, and cooler, drier weather steadily creeps across the Delta. As with March it’s the nights that cool more rapidly than the days. The coldest evenings can drop to around 12°C (54°F), but daytime highs are usually still over 30°C (86°F). Although the first few weeks of April may see some scattered showers, clearer skies are more and more…

Okavango Delta in June

Climate June is mid-winter in the Okavango Delta and one of the coldest, driest months of the year. Daily average temperatures are around 25°C (77°F), although some hot days will still get up to 30°C (86°F). It’s the nights, however, that can get particularly cold – close to freezing at times, but more usually around 5°C (41°F). Early morning excursions can be very chilly in…

Northern Okavango Delta

Region explained Outside of Moremi Game Reserve the Okavango Delta is divided into a number of unfenced concession areas, each managed by a local community or private safari operator. In north-western Botswana, the concessions are designated ‘NG’ – an acronym for the broader municipal area, known as Ngamiland. Along the Delta’s northern edge, you’ll find NG12, NG18, NG19, NG20,…

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