Okavango Delta. Waterworld in the Desert | Botswana Travel Guide

Guests enjoying sundowners at the Okavango BarGuests enjoying sundowners at the Okavango Bar
Much has been written about the spectacular wildlife of the Okavango Delta in Botswana but there is a side to this special place that is mostly overlooked - the ways of the light.

By Leigh Kemp

Okavango Moments

There are many aspects to the Okavango but it is in the permanent waters where channels and lagoons showcase an often overlooked part of this unique ecosystem - the constantly changing light and moods of the waterways.'A shaft of the late afternoon light catches the tiny kingfisher in silhouette against the dark shadows on the reeds in the channel, a perfect moment in time. In the permanent delta these moments are fleeting in a particular place, but are occurring constantly somewhere along the channels.'As the sun sinks towards the horizon the channels of the Okavango begin to portray a range of moods in their serpentine meanderings. With every turn the tightly vegetated sides of the channels exhibit different moods and lighting, from golden exuberance to dark foreboding'.

A sense of place

Racing through the channels in a motorboat does not allow visitors the opportunity to experience the sense of place of the permanent channels of the delta, and when the boat does come to a standstill to have a closer look at something that has been spotted this sense of the place still does not come into play.It is only when the boat is drifting silently on the water or when your senses are opened to the experience that the play of light takes over the moods. There is a sense of peace here in the winding channels and lagoons but it is a peace that is tempered by the constantly changing light.Even in the dark and brooding corners where the light has disappeared is a peace that comes from the knowledge that around the corner the light displays an exuberance that is often enhanced by the flight of a kingfisher or egret. The senses are constantly under attack by a beauty that changes with each passing moment.

Food for poets

Although the Okavango Delta is visited by guests who are looking for the thrills of big game and wildlife action, few will be unaffected by the unexpected experience the permanent delta offers.Ideal for poets and dreamers the light and moods of this amazing place will leave a lasting impression on everybody and allows for the soul to be shaken and slowly restored.

Discover the Okavango Delta your way

Picnic on Eagle IslandWhether it is by mobile safari or luxury lodge fly-in, you will learn why this is one of Botswana's most sought-after safari destinations:

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Journey Through Botswana Series

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Chobe River Journey
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