10-Day Trip to Okavango Delta in Botswana

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Kim Chwalek

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Botswana blew me away. In August 2023, I went camping in the Okavango Delta with Early Kingfisher Safaris, a local tour group founded by Sam Mopalo, who has worked as a Botswana guide since 1999. My 10-day trip to the Okavango Delta started in Chobe National Park, took me through Savuti to the Moremi Game Reserve (world-renowned for its wildlife diversity), and ended in Maun.

The highlights of the trip? Spotting eight lion cubs, a momma cheetah and her five babies, a leopard named “Big Boy,” 100+ elephants at a watering hole, and plenty of lilac-breasted rollers! I want to give a big shout-out to my mom, Dr. Deb Robertson, for capturing their beautiful photographs in this blog post. Keep reading for a breakdown of my 10-day trip to the Okavango Delta.

Okavango Delta


What to Know Before You Visit the Okavango Delta

What is the best month to go to the Okavango Delta?

The peak tourist season is during the dry winter months, which typically starts around May or June and ends around September. The Okavango Delta floods annually during this period, leading to an abundance of wildlife by the waterways.


How many days do you need in the Okavango Delta?

Definitely visit for longer than a week, ideally closer to two or three weeks. A longer trip allows you to explore multiple national parks, go on more game drives, and even take a mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) trip.


What shots do I need for the Okavango Delta?

The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Botswana: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, and influenza. For all the information, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.


Why is the Okavango Delta so special?

Unique Ecosystem: It’s the world’s largest inland delta and one of the few that doesn’t flow into a sea or ocean. The flooding is caused by rains in the highlands of Angola, which flow down the Okavango River.

Diverse Wildlife: The delta supports a remarkable amount of wildlife, including elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, and various antelope species. It’s also a haven for birdwatchers, with over 400 species of birds.

Amazing People: The locals are wonderful! I loved the relationships I formed while I traveled through Botswana.


Trip to Okavango Delta (3)


My Experience Camping in the Okavango Delta

Early Kingfisher Safaris set up some fantastic tent accommodations in the Okavango Delta for our group of nine women. I hesitate to say we “camped” because it was more like glamping. The staff was incredible and attended to our every need.

The Campground

Sam’s Cafe

Sam set up a snack area during game viewings, where we had tea, coffee, chips, nuts, and cookies between game viewings. After leaving camp around 6:15 am, we could expect a pick-up meal around 11 a.m.

The Dining Room

Chef PK went all out to ensure we loved every single meal! She catered to all food restrictions, including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free. The food was incredible.


My 10-Day Trip Itinerary for Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta in Botswana is a world heritage site, which offers the best wildlife viewing, especially in and around Chobe National Park. Here’s a day-by-day breakdown of my 10-day trip to the Okavango Delta.


Day 1 & 2: Chobe National Park

On August 10th, 2023, we flew into Kasane and arrived at our camp at Chobe National Park. Chobe National Park is Botswana’s first national park located in the country’s northern area. It’s also the most biologically diverse, meaning it has the most game in Africa! The motto of Early Kingfisher Safari is “The early bird catches the fattest worm,” so we started most of our game drives before sunrise. That’s when the wildlife is out and about! We spent two days in Chobe National Park, enjoying large amounts of elephants, zebra, giraffes, water buffalo, and lions crossing the Chobe River from Botswana to Namibia.

Favorite Moments

  • Spotted a rare brown hyena
  • Saw a variety of storks: maribu, white, and black
  • Watched three lionesses stalk a herd of water buffalo


Day 3–5: Savuti

On August 12th, 2023, we relocated to Savuti for three nights. The Savuti area borders the Delta to the west and Chobe National Park to the east. It’s one of Africa’s best-known game areas, known for its water channel, which runs 100 kilometers from the Chobe River. This channel has been dry for 18 years but will occasionally reflood.

Favorite Moments

  • Watched two male lions (2 1/2 years old) guard their elephant carcass
  • Saw a family of lions and lionesses with eight cubs
  • Listened to our tour guide, Sam, share his passion for Savtui. He knows every inch of the land and it brings him joy when the delta is filled. When the water returns, flamingos and aquatic life return as well.
  • Listened to our tour guide, Ossie, tell us about his life growing up in the Bangwato Tribe. As a young man (aged 7), he had to wake up at 5 a.m. and walk to a pole to pee to learn the importance of waking up early, as well as the requirements of manhood.
  • Learned the Junxoansi Tribe’s tradition is to run after (and catch) stenbock to present to women for marriage.
  • Practiced saying “Areye Bomma,” which means “Let’s go ladies!”
  • Visited the Baobab Tree!


Day 6–7: Moremi North

On August 15th, 2023, we relocated to Moremi North for two nights for more wildlife sightings. The Moremi Game Reserve is home to over 400 species of birds, including the African Fish Eagle and the Sacred Ibis. We couldn’t do the Mokoro dugout canoe since the water levels were low, but I highly recommend doing that activity if you’re here! I’ll try to come back when the water levels rise.

Favorite Moments

  • Found “Big Boy” the Leopard. He’s handsome. Need I say more?
  • Crossed a rickety bridge in the town of Khwai
  • Witnessed a male lion kill a honey badger (a true Nat Geo moment)


Day 8–10: Moremi South

On August 17th, 2023, we ventured into Moremi South, which had extraordinary wildlife: impala, tsessebe, buffalo, wildebeest, elephants, cheetahs, ostriches, and zebra.

Favorite Moments

  • Found a momma cheetah and her five babies
  • Watched two female ostriches go out on a walk
  • Captured a herd of zebras in perfect synchrony at the river


Start Planning Your Safari

All in all, I had an incredible trip to the Okavango Delta. I loved seeing the wildlife, eating homemade food, and meeting the locals. If you want to travel to the Okavango Delta, contact Early Kingfisher Safaris! They offer a range of safari types, experiences, and wilderness areas. Plus, you’ll get 1:1 access to Sam, who told the BEST stories before the campfire and made me feel incredibly safe, even when lions roared outside my tent at night! It was unforgettable!

Website: earlykingfisher.com | Email: info@earlykingfisher.com

Whatsapp: +267 71 806 794

After our last day, we said goodbye and drove to Maun airport. It was such a bittersweet ending to our fantastic trip to the Okavango Delta! But we know it’s not goodbye. We’ll be back again soon…

Love, Kim

Comments +

  1. D Robertson says:

    What a marvelous diary of our wonderful trip! (my second time to Botswana with our wonderful guide Sam and Early Kingfisher’s safari)

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