I don’t think I’ve been to a wilderness in Africa comparable to the Okavango Delta. This is a place where humans are so rare, the animals don’t know how to handle them. Jeeps are open¬†bare not next to leopards, but, more importantly, next to baboons. Try that in South Africa where even the bins are locked because baboons will try to open them and scavenge for food.

OK, so I wrote about birdwatching, but that is not the be-all and end-all of the Okavango. This is a great place to spot all animals and my photo essay below is an homage to its wildlife.

[click on image to enlarge]

Let’s start with the antelopes.

Impala, Okavango Delta

Impalas are not as plentiful as in South Africa.

Tsessebe are more common in the Okavango than anywhere else.

Tsessebe are more common in the Okavango than anywhere else.

A family of kudu

A family of kudu

Continue with the predators..

Pack of wild dogs in the Okavango

We saw a pack of wild dogs hunting an impala and tearing it to pieces.

Crocodile trying to surreptitiously attack a heron

Crocodile trying to surreptitiously attack a heron

Leopard under the moon

Spot the leopard

And let’s end with some of the other characters of the Okavango

 

Curious hippo in the Okavango

Curious hippo thinking that we can’t see him behind the water lilies.

Mother and baby baboon

Mother and baby baboon

Giraffes in the morning mist

Giraffes in the morning mist

A reminder why African sunsets are the best.

Monkey in the sunset.

Monkey against the sunset. No filter, no Photoshop.

Leopard waiting for the sun to set

Leopard waiting for the sunset to go on the prowl.

Finally a hint on how you move around in the Delta:

Cessna plane in the Okavango

Small Cessna six-seaters are the only way to move in the Okavango. They land in makeshift airstrips trying not to hit straying wildlife.

The snaking Okavango river

The snaking Okavango river

I travelled in the Okavango Delta courtesy of Expert Africa and Wilderness Safaris. A version of this article first appeared in the magazine Travel Africa.