The Okavango Delta’s unique ecosystem is as a result of ebb and flow of water that flows down from the Angola highlands and gradually floods the delta. During the annual flood season many of the camps located in the Delta pan handle have access to water. But during the dry season, it is only the permanent water camps in the northern reaches of the Delta that can offer water-based safari activities.

Photos of the Okavango tend to depict watery scenes with guests in traditional dugout canoes (mokoros) being poled along the lush waterways.

But it is important to know that NOT all camps have permanent water.

Here’s a list of camps in the Okavango Delta with year round water-based activities

* Note that in cases of severe drought, even some of these ‘permanent water camps’ camps may experience very low water.

– Xigera Safari Lodge –

Named for the Pied Kingfisher that makes its home amid the watery channels of Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve. Looking out onto the seasonal floodplains of the Okavango Delta. As the floodwaters ebb and flow, they provide unforgettable opportunities to discover the wilderness from an entirely new perspective.  An experience unique to the Delta is time spent gliding along flooded channels by mokoro.

Water is life at Xigera!

– North Island Okavango –

North Island is an intimate little camp located in an utterly beautiful and semi-private game rich concession on the northern fringes of the Okavango Delta. Here you get to experience the Delta three ways; on land (game drives), on water (mokoro and boat meanders) all year round,  and in the air (on a scenic helicopter flight).

North Island Okavango camp is on a private island, surrounded by a mosaic of other islands.

–  Jao Camp –

Situated in the heart of the Okavango on an island where the Delta starts to split into its fingers, Jao is the perfect water-based camp with great game viewing year-round. Note that nature is unpredictable and some years are dryer than others. As Jao is located on a deeper channel, it offers motorboat safaris as opposed to mokoro ( (As it’s often too deep for mokoros to pole.)

Jao. Where water and land blur.

– Shinde –

Located on a lush palm island on the edge of the Shinde Lagoon in the northern Okavango Delta. Shinde’s excellent location in the Okavango Delta ensures a combination of permanent water access for year-round water activities and large dry areas for game drive routes. This blend of environments provides the habitat for a consistently wide variety of wildlife, including the elusive sitatunga antelope and a healthy population of leopards. Fishing is available throughout the year.

Shinde is situated on a private concession which allows guided walks, Mokoro excursions and night drives in addition to game drives and motorboat trips.

– Kanana –

A hidden jewel on the Xudum River, Kanana is located in the southwest of the Okavango Delta. The annual floods transform the area into a water paradise, offering the best of both worlds.  At the start of the high season, it is possible to witness the spectacle of the water visibly rising around the camp’s raised teak decks.  Explore the crystal-clear waterways by mokoro or motorboat. Glass-bottomed mokoro’s enable you to see the underwater world of the delta.

Birding is spectacular with Kanana hosting a seasonal heronry that is one of the largest in Southern Africa.

– Wilderness Little Vumbura –

Wilderness Little Vumbura is set on a compact island with endless views of the floodplains. Located in the finest multi-purpose concession for year-round thrilling wildlife encounters on land and water. Spend days gliding through serpentine channels on a mokoro, or a bit faster by boat. Explore this wildlife-rich area on twice-daily game drives or take to the skies in a thrilling helicopter ride over the floodplains of the Okavango Delta.

Little Vumbura is a wetland wonderland.

– Sitatunga Private Island –

Sitatunga is an intimate private camp located for up to eight guests. Located on an island, the camp was designed by Dereck & Beverley Joubert of Great Plains.  This exquisite Réserve level camp is pushing the eco-design boundary in a remote region in Botswana. The camp is entirely surrounded by water, has a blue theme. This is barefoot luxury, but not far from the crocodiles and hippos in the deep reed bed lined channels of the Okavango.

Sitatunga Private Island is one of the few locations where one can still see sitatunga, the rare aquatic antelope.

– Xugana Island Lodge –

Xugana Island Lodge, situated on a wooded island overlooking a lagoon, also spectacular permanent water site in the Delta. The riverine fringes of the lagoons are home to lechwe antelope, crocodile and hippo, as well as the other big game that can be spotted while on mokoro trips and boat safaris and guided walks to surrounding lagoons and islands. The bird-watching is excellent too, as are the sunsets.
The Okavango River rises in the highlands of Angola and gently floods a wilderness of freshwater lagoons, channels and islands.

– Camp Okavango –

Camp Okavango is situated on the remote Nxaragha Island in the heart of the permanent Okavango Delta, and offers a year-round water wilderness experience. Water-based activities are conducted by experienced professional guides who will expertly navigate guests through the many meandering, reed-lined waterways.
Camp Okavango’s eco-sensitive, open air design and elevated position overlooking the floodplains of the Delta.

– Camp Xakanaxa –

Camp Xakanaxa has a prime location on the banks of the Khwai River on the Xakanaxa Lagoon, in the heart of the Moremi Game Reserve.  It also offers a year-round Okavango Delta land and water safari experience in 4×4 safari vehicles or powerboats. Ancient riverine forests, open savannah, serpentine channels and seasonal floodplains surround the camp. The diverse habitat ensures prolific sightings of Elephant, Buffalo, Hyena, Giraffe, Hippo, Wildebeest, Kudu, Lechwe, Lion and Leopard, among many others. Birding is spectacular!

The main area is set on raised platforms that extend over the Khwai River with views of the surrounding lagoons and islands.

– Amber River Camp –

Set just a short way down the Sandididebe channel from Camp Maru, Amber River Camp is set upon an island with year-round water activities. The camp has 6 luxury tents with three on each side of the island linked by a treelined walkway.

Sunsets at the boma overlook the Delta floodplains are spectacular every day!

 – Pelo Camp –

Tucked onto an island in the deepest part of the Okavango Delta, Wilderness Pelo is the perfect setting for a water-based safari. Pelo is a light-footprint camp with front-row seats to a magnificent water wonderland. A birder’s paradise, explore the myriad channels in a mokoro, spotting a Pel’s fishing-owl, African jacanas and black herons – with elephants and other African wildlife seen feeding in the distance on the floodplains. Pelo Camp is the perfect complement to a land-based Botswana safari.

Pelo Camp is set on a remote permanent waterway in the Delta where the birdlife is exceptional.

– Okuti –

Okuti is located on Maunachira River in the Moremi Game Reserve with its abundant birdlife, fish and sandy river banks. exceptionally unique in style and architecture all rooms overlook the permanent Maunachira channel.  The unique architecture  of the rooms is derived from ancient reed houses and they all overlook the permanent Maunachira channel. Okuti is a child friendly camp.

Okuti offers one of the best value safari experiences in the Okavango Delta.

– Duba Plains –

Duba Plains was the original base for National Geographic filmmakers, conservationists, and explorers Dereck and Beverley Joubert. This private reserve is an intricate tapestry of palm-studded islands, floodplains, and woodlands. Safari activities include game drives, guided walks as well as up-close wildlife viewing from motorised boat or by drifting along the Okavango’s water by mokoro.

Duba Plains suites have stunning views of the surrounding floodplain and the steady stream of wildlife parading past.

– Duba Explorers Camp –

Duba Explorers Camp is in the northeast corner of Botswana’s Duba Plains Concession where the permanent floodplain dominate the surrounding landscapes. The unobstructed views across the surrounding water channels and allows cool breezes through the camp and guest tents.  The camp embodies Botswana’s safari golden age and the exploration spirit and is only  accessible by a gum pole bridge.

The unique flooding cycles of Botswana’s Okavango Delta create a mosaic of habitats from permanent wetlands to seasonal floodplains.

– Zarafa Camp – 

Zarafa Camp is located where the Selinda Reserve links with the Linyati waterways and has stunning views over the Zibadianja Lagoon, the source of the famous Savuti Channel.  From camp, hippos are visible in the Lagoon, and elephants wander through regularly.Zarafa Camp, in the heart of this watery wilderness wonderland epitomises a romantic Botswana safari.

Sharing safari stories as the sun goes down while the animals wander past is a daily occurrence when on safari in Botswana.

– Selinda Camp –

Selinda Camp is on the banks of the Selinda Spillway, as it enters the Linyanti River. Selinda Camp’s design pays homage to water, with splashes of blue and crystal-clear swimming pools. The area has a sense of remoteness and  boasts large elephant herds (sometimes seen swimming in front of the camp) and regular sightings of African wild dogs, and the famous Selinda lion pride.

At Selinda, your arrival is generally by boat.

– Tuludi –

Tuludi is located in the Khwai Private Reserve, over 200,000 hectares of pristine wilderness –  floodplains, glistening waterways and emerald forests.  The fast-flowing Khwai River is the lifeline of the reserve and attracts big herds of wildlife. The winter dry season from June to October is when the Okavango Delta is in flood. The rivers and waterways are full and flowing making this the best time of year for water-based game viewing from traditional mokoros and boats.

Tuludi’s floodplains are the perfect location for enormous herds of elephant and buffalo who wander amongst the grass undisturbed.

– Sable Alley & Little Sable –

Sable Alley Camp and her  little sister camp are located in the game-rich floodplains of Khwai Private Reserve where the big game quite literally comes to you.There’s something to see around every corner and a different activity to enjoy every day, from classic game drives to mokoro trips and boat safaris.

Resident hippo splash in the inland pools and elephant and buffalo herds are hard to miss.

– Duke’s Camp –

Duke’s Camp offers front-row seats to the Okavango Delta.  Safari activities include game drives, mokoro excursions, fishing, and sunset boat trips. Though water levels in the channels begin to recede from October, the unique location of Duke’s Camp ensures that it receives the first pulses of new floodwaters often as early as February ensuring near year-round access to perennial channels for mokoros and boat safaris.  It’s very rarely in a deep drought year that boating can’t be enjoyed at Dukes year round.

Dukes Camp is pitched on an island along the shores of a permanent lagoon. Enjoy game viewing from the comfort of your under-canvas suite.

– Splash Camp –

Splash Camp got it’s name from the water crossings that had to be negotiated to access the camp area.  Located around a pan, all the rooms overlook the pan which attracts animals all year round. Its unique location on the border of the Moremi Game Reserve boasts both permanent water and seasonal flood plains as well as extensive dry bush wilderness.

Favoured by labyrinths of permanent water channels and secret islands this area offers the perfect delta experience.

– Kwara Camp –

Kwara Camp overlooks a secluded lagoon in the northern Okavango Delta where there is access to the permanent waterways of the Delta as well as expansive dry land areas. In addition to game drives, Kwara offers mokoro trips, as well as fishing.  Boat trips are on a double-decker boat that visits the Godikwe Lagoon in the waters of the Moremi Game Reserve, known for the abundant birdlife.

Kwara offers a digital detox experience (no wifi, no cell phone connectivity) allowing you to truly enjoy your safari!

Being able to experience a combination of a seasonal land-based camp and a permanent water camp is what makes a Botswana safari so special.

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