Botswana is a fascinating country with most of it almost entirely made of two ecosystems. On one side, there is the Kalahari Desert with its sand, yellow herbs and small thorn trees trying to survive under a harsh sun. On the other side, there is the enormous Okavango Delta that covers almost the rest of the country. It is about plains, forests and reeds flooded most of the year with waters whose level greatly fluctuates.
The Okavango River doesn't reach the ocean. It splits in numerous tributaries that form a delta of nearly 18,000 square km, the largest river delta in the world. The river eventually dies out in the Kalahari Desert and sometime feeds the many salt pans. The area is greatly fertile and shelters an incredible treasure of animals and birds of all sorts.
On a practical side, it is also a place where lodges and safaris are the most expensive in the world... One can fly in and land in a luxury place in the middle of the delta ($500 to $2000 per day). For the common folk (like myself), it is possible to visit the delta by exploring the Moremi Game Reserve that covers a third of the delta's area. Officially, it is the only part of the delta that is protected.
It is a bit difficult to imagine what the delta looks like without taking a plane to see the region. You may have an idea of the place by looking at the two previous panoramas. Imagine a huge plain partly covered with high herbs or reeds or small forest that is flooded by the Okavango River.
It doesn't rain much in Botswana. The river is fed by the rains and rivers from Angola and Zambia. These two countries are far from arid. The level of water can greatly vary depending on the time of the year. During the small rainy season in Botswana, everything is green but access to the delta becomes extremely difficult. It is better to go around with two or more vehicles since it is a challenge to drive the muddy trails where one can get stuck anytime.
Let's explore the region.
Again, I had the chance to see a leopard. However, it was not my best sighting in the reserve...
The first day, I didn't dare crossing this partly flooded bridge. But after some travellers told me about hunting dogs on the other side, I took a chance the next day.
It was worth it. Here is a new species that is rather rare: the hunting dog (or wild dog).