Reasons to Visit
The Okavango Delta is a labyrinth of waterways linking secret lagoons and marshlands, where hippo splash in the water and elephants drink at the shallows. Boat trips take you to inaccessible locations and hidden islands for a glorious spot of solitude and wildlife spotting, before a relaxing sundowner drink amongst the reeds.
On a game drive in the Delta, Linyanti or Chobe, you soon discover Botswana’s phenomenal array of wildlife. Lions are often on the prowl in the morning while night drives increase your chances of spotting leopard and other nocturnal species. As well as the cats there are thriving populations of elephant, hippo, giraffe, buffalo and even wild dog.
From the water birds of the Delta to the sand grouse of the Kalahari and flamingos on the Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana is a twitcher’s paradise. Rare species like the Pel’s fishing owl, and African pygmy goose are commonly found, with a trip to Chobe, the Delta and the Kalahari offering an unrivalled level of ornithological interest.
Bushman history is an intrinsic element in the evolution of humanity, and nowhere is this more apparent than in Botswana. Bushman communities have survived on the Makgadikgadi Pans and in areas of western Botswana for centuries. A visit there now allows you to interact with them, experiencing first hand how they cook, hunt, eat and live.
Slipping through the Delta's mazy waterways and tall papyrus in a mokoro is the most relaxing way to view game. Serenely moving along with only the gurgle of the water passing under your craft, you encounter lechwe grazing in the shallows, kingfishers perched on overhanging branches and crocodiles lurking in dark corners.
On the Makgadikgadi Pans you experience an ethereal lunar landscape unlike anywhere else in Africa. It is possible to see the curvature of the earth, sleep out under the stars, and at some times of the year watch a great wildlife migration. Although more thickly vegetated, Nxai and Tau Pans also offer unique landscapes and habitats.
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Africa and The Indian Ocean
Mostly a water based activity property, Eagle Island is an ideal retreat for relaxation, ideal to combine with another lodge where the emphasis is more land based. It is a luxurious property that boasts comfortable accommodation and good service.
Eagle Island Camp can be found nestled amongst the Ilala palms on the tranquil island of Xaxaba overlooking a large lagoon in the heart of the Okavango Delta. It is situated just south west of the southern section of Chiefs Island and is surrounded by a myriad of channels and streams that pass through numerous little islands with solitary palm trees and ilala palms.
Amongst the indigenous trees on Xaxaba Island, there are twelve en-suite luxury tents that each have a wide viewing deck with a hammock on which to laze in the heat of the day. There is also a fully stocked mini bar as well as air conditioning that allow for cooling and relaxation when the summer heat is too strong; not forgetting the calming treatments from the 'Naturally Wild' spa on the property. Whilst in the main camp, there are views across the floodplains from the open sided dining and lounge areas. There is also a swimming pool to utilise when not enjoying excursions into the delta and the surrounding bush.
Primarily a water based camp, the main activities on offer are mokoro trips or boating trips into the surrounding lagoon. Between April and October when the flood waters are high, only these are available but in the drier months it is possible to take game drives into the surrounding islands. Being water logged, the aquatic birding is also superb throughout the year. Guests at Eagle Island Camp can also enjoy a spectacular 35 minute helicopter flight as part of their stay, which is payable for locally. This offers a wonderful aerial view over the surrounding area and is a really memorable experience.
The annual flooding of the Okavango Delta into the rippling sands of the Kalahari, disperses in a myriad of waterways and twinkling lagoons, creating a delicate web of life. Using interactive maps, find out the best time to visit and our recommended Okavango accommodation options.
In the heart of the Okavango Delta, Gunns Concession is dominated by the deep Boro River. Many of the activities in the Gunns' Concession are focused on the water. Mokoro trips are perfect for birding whilst boat trips are ideal for watching crocodiles, hippo and elephant.
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Our rating: Basic
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Further reading:Tours in BotswanaWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoAccommodationAbout BotswanaCountry Guides
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