I fell in love with the Okavango, and in the Okavango, on my first visit years ago, with a young man travelling on another overland truck; we converged at the Delta and I watched him longingly from afar as our mokoro drifted in a dream. On my second visit, my mother – a proper Bostonian fashionista gamely going on safari to get over my father’s death – was a wildlife magnet, inexplicably luring hippos to chomp their way around her tent at night or elephants to snatch branches above her. They left her unharmed. She found it thrilling, a baptism by fire. Her mourning lifted.
As you find your own experiences here, or they find you, these you may encounter: vast herds of elephant, trooping through the water or appearing magically from the bush; lechwe antelope leaping acrobatically; leopard, lion, hyaena or wild dog on the prowl; zebra and giraffe running and loping; hippo and crocodile submerged or resting on shore; iconic fish-eagles soaring, crying plaintively, or the rare Pel’s fishing-owl perched in a tree; tiny, emerald reed frogs, staring as your mokoro passes. And countless others. Roughly 160 species of mammals, 155 reptile species, 35 amphibian species, 85 fish species, more than 500 species of birds, and 1 500 plant species.