25 Photos that’ll make you want to visit Botswana and the Okavango Delta

By Abi King | Best Places to Visit in Africa

Oct 16

Largest Delta in the world Okavango Delta

Flying over Botswana and the Okavango Delta

When it comes to deltas, the Okavango is the best. And if that’s too cryptic an introduction then let’s catch up with some more delta facts.

At 15 000 square kilometres, the Okavango Delta is one of the largest deltas in the world, protected by both the government of Botswana and mother nature itself. The wetlands make it very difficult to build buildings, roads and the other disruptors of natural life we humans love to splatter all over the auction.

View of the elephants from the air in the Okavango Delta Botswana

Okavango Delta: UNESCO World Heritage Site

It’s naturally caught the eyes of the UNESCO World Heritage Site team with its seasonally flooded grassy plains that house some of the world’s most endangered, and enigmatic species: white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, African wild dog and lion.

Plus the cheetah and that great creature whose size camouflages its vulnerability: the elephant.

Lone elephant treks across the Okavango Delta

The Gateway to the Okavango: Maun

As a result of all this, plus Botswana’s deliberate choice to have a low-volume, high-cost tourism policy, to arrange a safari trip on the Okavango Delta, you’ll most likely need to fly in to a lodge from Maun.

Driving to Maun in Botswana

Maun’s a lively little spot, full of wiry bush pilots, lost travellers looking for the Delta and local folk from Botswana just trying to go about their business. It sits on the edge of the Moremi Game Reserve, handy for a quick road safari while waiting for a flight, and its market, small museum and various art shops give the tiniest of glimpses into the cultural heart of the country.

Shopping at the market in Maun's Botswana

Shopping at the market in Maun’s Botswana

And, as ever, Maun’s children like to have a good time too.

Children playing in Maun on the edge of the Okavango Delta


Shopping in Maun Botswana

Transport in Maun Botswana on the edge of the Okavango Delta

Shopping in Maun in Botswana

The Thamalakane River and Okavango Delta from Maun

But even though Botswana’s road to lead to Maun, from here the water takes over. While travellers mill around waiting for flights, the people who live here load up their dug-out canoes, called mokoros, and take to the Thamalakane River.

Travelling by mokoro on the Okavango Delta near Maun

Or onto the Delta itself.

Travelling on the Okavango Delta in Maun Botswana

And, of course, it’s not hard work all the time.

Chilling on the Okavango Delta

Relaxing on a riverside lodge in Maun near the Okavango Delta

And it’s easy to find beauty on the water’s edge.

Bird on the edge of the Okavango Delta

Grasses on the edge of the Okavango Delta

At eye level…

Bird life on the edge of the OKavango Delta


And with tendrils stretching down…

Lily on the Okavango Delta in Botswana

Pink roots in the Okavango Delta Botswana

Then there are the sunsets…

Sunset from Maun on the Okavango Delta

Ah, the sunsets…

Visit Botswana and the Okavango DeltaBirds fly over the Okavango Delta

Finally on that flight: soaring over the Okavango Delta

But however great the majesty of colours that spill from the sky ablaze with flames, the best view still comes from above.

When your turn arrives to climb into a Cessna and lift slowly, shudderingly, stoppingly up, up, up…

To look back down at the splendour of the Okavango Delta: the best safari from the sky.

Amazing Okavango Delta from the sky

Incredible Okavango Delta in the sky

Okavango Delta Safari Botswana from the air

Read more about the Okavango Delta

Learn how to plan your own Okavango Delta Safari over here.

Read about what it’s like to be in a mokoro on the water on the Okavango Delta here. Psst, there’s even a short video so you can hear the sounds of this amazing place as well.

Many people (myself included!) combine a trip to the Okavango Delta in Botswana with the Namib desert in neighbouring Namibia. 

Many international flights to Botswana connect in South Africa, in particular Johannesburg, so don’t overlook this up and coming city with a huge legacy from Nelson Mandela.


About the Author

Hi, I'm Abi, a doctor turned writer who's worked with Lonely Planet, the BBC, UNESCO and more. Let's travel more and think more.

  • Wow! Just Wow! these photos are amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  • Remarkable images. Truly beautiful. Makes me want to head there right away.

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