Where to go in the Okavango Delta

Maun is the gateway to the Okavango. Fly in via South Africa before driving several hours to your safari camp or lodge, or take a scenic flight in a light aircraft. In the delta, safari vehicles, mokoro canoes and bushwalks are the only way of getting around, with longer boat journeys common along the deep Panhandle. Most tours then follow migration routes out across the Linyanti floodplains to the magnificent Chobe National Park – famed for its enormous elephant herds and luxurious lodges. Flying is the most common way to travel, but overland adventures – camping along the way – offer lower prices and bigger adventures. Read our Okavango Delta highlights for more information.
Chobe National Park

1. Chobe National Park

Up to 50,000 elephants live in Chobe – Botswana’s first national park. An enormous transfrontier park spanning five nations enables the migration of these huge herds, and gives Chobe one of the greatest concentrations of game in Africa. Rivers, marshland, savannah and hardwood forests all offer different ecosystems, supporting leopard, hippo, hyena, giraffe and zebra, amongst others.

2. Kasane

Tucked into the border with Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia, Kasane is the gateway to both Chobe National Park – and Victoria Falls. You’re an easy drive from the wilderness and wildlife of Chobe here, but the town itself is no wilderness; however, an abundance of hotels, lodges and campsites make it appealing to travellers on a budget, and happy to take day trips into the park. There are also a number of banks and ATMs.
Moremi Game Reserve

3. Moremi Game Reserve

Moremi protects a tapestry of islands, swamps, forests, grasslands and channels – an unspoiled ecosystem providing a glimpse of the African wilderness at its best. It was the first reserve in Botswana to be established by locals, who fought back against expanding farms and uncontrolled hunting. The Big Five can be seen here, along with 400 bird species – look out for lions stalking buffalo in the reeds.

4. Panhandle

The Panhandle is a deep, wide river stretching 75km south from Mohembo, which channels the vast quantities of water into the Delta’s floodplains. The Panhandle is a fishing mecca, with tiger fish being the most popular catch – but the birdlife is equally as abundant, including rare skimmers plus egrets and kingfishers.
Savuti & Linyanti

5. Savuti & Linyanti

Between the delta and Chobe NP, the Savuti Marsh is famed for its large predators. Big cats are especially bold here; lions have been observed hunting adult elephants – a thrilling sight. Huge herds of wildebeest and zebra migrate here during the annual flooding of the Savuti River, along with 450 species of birds. The remote Linyanti Reserve is less visited, and remains one of northern Botswana’s wildest landscapes.
Tsodilo Hills

6. Tsodilo Hills

The sacred Tsodilo Hills, now a UNESCO site, offers a rare slice of ancient Kalahari culture. Huge rocks stand sentry over the surrounding flat landscape, containing some 4,000 examples of rock art; many are thousands of years old, preserved by the parched desert air. Standard itineraries rarely reach this remote spot, but it can be requested as an add-on – a guided tour reveals the rocks’ spiritual secrets.
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Travel times in the Okavango Delta

The following times give you a rough idea of the travel times between the main tourist attractions in Botswana and the Okavango Delta.

Maun – Okavango Delta: 3-4 hours by car
The Savuti – Chief’s Island: 40 minutes by small plane
Okavango Delta Panhandle – Tsodilo Hills: 1 hour 40 minutes by car
Chobe National Park – Victoria Falls: 2 hours by car

Read more about how to travel around the Okavango Delta.
Photo credits: [Page banner: Tim Copeland] [Chobe National Park: Athena Lao] [Kasane: andytime] [Moremi Game Reserve: Alessandro] [Panhandle: lwh50] [Savuti & Linyanti : Malcolm Macgregor] [Tsodilo Hills: Joachim Huber]