Next up was the highlight of my trip and Botswana’s most renown destination: the Okavango Delta. These vast floodplains are an expanse of waterways fed by rain that falls in the Angolan highlands far to the north and flows down into Botswana to create an oasis of pristine wilderness. This fertile and water-rich landscape is without question one of the most game rich areas left on Earth. Vast pods of slumbering hippos, lions prowling through the shallow floodplains and the constant cries of hunting fish eagles make this a truly superb safari destination. Our time here started at the new and refreshingly contemporary Gomoti Plains Camp. Only two years old, the camp is built on the edge of a small permanent waterway. Crisscrossed with the tracks of passing Elephants and Buffalos this lagoon was the perfect place for our first early morning Mokoro, a traditional flat bottom canoe unique to the delta that allows guests to explore the more inaccessible areas of the Okavango. The absence of any engine noise allows you to entirely switch off and just enjoy the moment. Whilst we did see elephants browsing placidly on the soft grasses that spring to life around the lagoons. The morning also allowed us to focus on the little things that are so easy to miss in the all-consuming rush to see the big 5. Stunningly beautiful Painted Reed frogs, endangered Slatey Egrets and minute Malachite Kingfishers were just some of the morning’s highlights. There are very few things more peaceful that gently poling your way through tranquil waterways in one of the last great wilderness areas left on Earth.
Our next stop, the beautiful Little Vumbura camp, showed just how diverse the delta can be. Gone were the dry plains and small waterways, Little Vumbura is an island camp in every sense, with vast waterways and deep year round channels that ensure guests staying here can experience the nature of a true water camp. With just 6 stand-alone tented rooms scattered around the island, this is one of the most in-demand camps in Botswana. Perfectly blending the best service with seclusion from the outside world, a perfect Okavango hideaway. Our days here were spent exploring the private concession by boat and by car, with game drives happening a little closer to the airstrip where higher ground ensures that the big cats and other wildlife have a refuge from rising waters. Little Vumbura is without question one of the best camps in the Delta and unforgettable for those lucky enough to visit.