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Botswana - Okavango Delta & Moremi Game Reserve

On 22 June 2014, the Okavango Delta became the 1000th site to officially make the UNESCO World Heritage List.

This iconic inland delta was formed when the Okavango River reached a tectonic trough in the central part of the Kalahari. All water reaching the delta ultimately evaporates and never flows into any sea or ocean. The flood water that fills the delta originates as rain over the Angolan highlands and takes several months to reach Botswana from its source. Very little of the Okavango’s water levels result from local rainfall and so the peak flood levels do not coincide with rainy season.

When locals talk about the “Wet” Season they are referring to the Rainy Season or Summer months (November – April) when the water levels of the delta are usually at their lowest. The “Dry” Season refers to the Winter months (May – September) when no rain is usually received and the water levels in the delta are at their highest.

The Moremi Game Reserve

On the Eastern side of the Okavango Delta is the Moremi Game Reserve. The Moremi Game Reserve is a rich and diverse wildlife sanctuary that is unfenced and its boundaries are defined by natural water systems. The vegetation is varied, with dry land complemented by permanent and seasonal swamplands, resulting in an excellent diversity of both wildlife and birdlife.

Covering much of the eastern side of the Okavango Delta it combines permanent water and drier areas, creating some unusual and unexpected contrasts.

Many areas of the Okavango Delta are largely dry and this includes Chief's Island, one of the Okavango's most famous islands. Chief’s Island is the first part of dry land that the flood waters reach in the greater Okavango region. Most of the nutrients carried by the water are deposited here and this results in vegetation for rich grazing and browsing for wildlife. These nutritious grass plains support herbivores in large numbers and associated high population of predators.

Chief’s Island was once the royal hunting ground of Chief Moremi, traditional leader of the local tribes, who donated it as an extension to the Moremi Game Reserve. It is now one of the region's best locations for spectacular wildlife viewing.

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