The Okavango Delta is one off Mother Nature’s marvelous masterpieces. Far away, in the highlands off Angola, the Okavango River meanders it’s way south. Being fed by many other side streams and rivers, it is Africa’s third largest river. Following the so called ‘panhandle’ and being cut off by the ‘Thamalakane fold’, it eventually floods the Kalahari plains in Botswana. Central Africa is a platonic hotspot, that shapes the terrain. Eventually, the Okavango river will change its flow.
It takes about 5 months for the flood waters to arrive, right in the height off the dry season. Nature’s genius. 6000 square kilometers are permanently covered with water. In the flood season, the size triples to up 18000 square kilometers. It is the only inland river delta in the world, creating one off the most prolific wildlife bonanzas. In the dry season, animals emerge from the Kalahari and Namib desert. Wandering grazers like wilderbeast return on their annual migration in the wet season.
A lifeline for animals migrating from thousands of miles far away, whilst stationary animals adopted to these challenging conditions.
Human kind adopted to tourism meanwhile.
Claudio accidentally overbooked his convoy by one person months ago, that is exactly were I fitted in. Being slightly horrified joining a 13 car convoy, there were some beneficial aspects. Having booked campsites and travel through National Park permissions was a bonus. These are often booked out in advance and hard to come by. As we found out, most are booked in advance by travel agents to keep a spot open for possible business. The fact that most campgrounds were empty speaks for itself.
Traversing the Okavango Delta from the northern edge in Kasane through ‘Chobe’ and ‘Moremi National Parks’, to arrive in Maun 4 days and 3 nights later.
Too much sand and
too much water in various places made this adventure a real test for human and mechanical endurance.
A challenge with unforgettable memories of Mother Nature’s spectacular display and friendship within families and a stranger.
This is personally my biggest challenge so far – to describe my experience with this Italian convoy, as well as on how to describe and select many spectacular wildlife and landscape photos. I was somewhat surprised on how well this large group of fiery Italians interacted, expecting the odd argument to break out. That never happened.
Even when car issues arises, the ones that could helped, other patiently waited for the problem to be solved.
On camping spots, they always grouped together as tight as possible.
There were always group alternatives found. I set up camp a little bit further away if possible. Another astonishing fact was that wildlife is rather placid and are used to human interactions. These gave way to some incredible close up encounters and photo opportunities. Add water, mud or dry, dusty sand to the picture, the scenes unfolded were just spectacular. I was lucky enough to be at the right spot at the right time many times.
Elephants again showed up plentiful in different and playful scenarios.
A leopard finally appeared in front off my lens.
I got up close and personal with playful Giraffes,
plenty off Monkeying around
and Zebra crossings, off course.
The bird life here is just as plenty full.
From stalking waders to excited wild chickens.
Not to mention the unforgettable cry off the fish eagle.
As were breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. Made even better with an elephant in the picture.
Made even better with an elephant in the picture.
The landscape changed quickly and dramatically. Driving along a green riverbed or lagoon, just a few kilometres onwards,
I was in dry and dusty territory once more. So many impressions, so many photos, quite outstanding. Watching and taking photos of these fairly tame but wild animals, I noticed some interesting facts on behaviour. I therefore will describe each day as well as add a special feature on my favourite animal shots.