Botswana's Okavango Delta

Botswana-Vumbura-2014-20140426-069-DSC_4626 I've just returned from time in the Okavango Delta. When I went I was prepared to be disappointed - the place has such an incredible reputation that it seemed there was no way it could live up to it. Instead I came away truly awed. This is truly one of the world's great places.

Over the next few weeks I'll be posting photos of lions, leopards, elephants, wild dogs, and more. Today's post is an overview of the delta. By way of description I can think of nothing better than the words written 20 years ago by Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom in their seminal book Okavango: Africa's Last Eden:

Spreading over 8,500 square miles, this vast wetland in the heart of the Kalahari supports an unparalleled diversity of wildlife. From it's origins in the highlands of Angola, the Okavango River descends to the near-desert of northern Botswana, where it fans out to create the world's largest inland delta; an ecosystem of a size and complexity rivaling any on earth, a rare place where desert and swamp dwellers meet. Hippos, crocodiles, zebra, impalas, buffalo, giraffe, lions, hyenas, and the continent's largest unharassed elephant population find refuge and replenishment in the seasonal ebb and flow of fresh water into the delta.

These words were true two decades ago. Amazingly they are still true today.