Lions are always a hugely popular animal for game viewing enthusiasts and unlike some other parts of Africa, the Okavango still retains a very healthy population of lions. They can be easily spotted in the day and you may even hear their loud roaring at night.
If you’re wanting to see a leopard during your safari holiday, keep your eyes peeled. Despite them being common in the Okavango Delta, they are still a rare sight. With an experienced guide, some knowledge and some patience, you’ll be in for a good chance. Like many of Africa’s predators, when they’re not out catching their next meal, they’re usually cooling off under trees to get some well-deserved shade.
Cheetahs are also a rare sight, although rather abundant in North Botswana. With a recorded speed of 109.4 to 120.7 kilometres per hour, the cheetah is the fastest animal on the planet – so you better keep your eyes open!
The wildebeest population has dropped more than 90% in the last couple of decades so these wandering beasts are not as abundant as they used to be but there is still a great chance of spotting them during an Okavango safari. They’re often seen around the zebras and they always travel in herds.
The impala – otherwise known as the Aepyceros Melampus – is a medium sized antelope belonging to the Bovidae family. These antelopes are really one of the delta’s most iconic animals and they are in high numbers; it’s very likely that you will see them wherever you go.
This is perhaps one of the rarest animals to see in Botswana, along with the elusive sitatunga antelope, but more rhinos are being re-introduced to the Okavango, to move them away from the other areas of Africa where poaching is sadly rife. Rhino numbers are declining rapidly year by year especially in South Africa. The Botswana Rhino Reintroduction Project, backed by the Botswana Defence Force, and a number of safari operators including Wilderness Safaris, Great Plains Conservation and &Beyond have, in partnership, brought both black and white rhinos back into the Okavango with a plan to move 1% of the world’s population there within 5 years.
Hazel has 20 years of travel experience focussing on Africa, an area she is hugely passionate about.
Having spent 9 years living in South Africa, she was fortunate enough to travel extensively in the region and has visited Botswana, Zambia, Kenya, Mozambique, Zanzibar and Seychelles amongst others.