The Okavango Delta
Tumbling out of the Angolan highlands two rivers converge to form the Okavango river, which spills onto the great sea of sand that is Botswana’s Kalahari Desert. An average of 10 million cubic metres of water annually floods 15,000 sq km of Kalahari, forming the world-famous Okavango Delta, largest inland delta in the world. The contrast of desert and wetland is what makes the Okavango unique. Dry land and wetland species cohabit, creating unique and startling associations of plants, amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles.
Game of all sorts abounds: lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, hippopotamus, crocodile, giraffe, antelope including the rare lechwe, tsessebe and sitatunga, otters, honey-badgers, the shy pangolin, and a variety of the smaller wild cats such as civets, servals and genets are amongst the many mammal species that visit the delta. Reptiles are well represented – many species of snakes (most of them harmless) occur, as do several of tortoise, terrapin, lizard, skinks, chameleon and gecko – not forgetting, the Nile crocodile. Then of course there are the birds, well over 450 species, that bring the forests, rivers and flood-plains of the Okavango to life. Many rare and endangered species call the Okavango home, and birders come from all around the world come in search of them.
Oddballs' is situated on the edge of Chief's Island, deep in the heart of the Okavango Delta. The camp is accessible by light aircraft only and is a 20-minute flight from Maun. On arrival you will be met at the airstrip and welcomed to the island by your professional guide.
Accommodation is in dome tents set on elevated wooden decks, and shaded by shelters or trees. Each tent is equipped with bedding, a storage trunk and a light. Beautiful outdoor showers and ablutions are en-suite. The central bar and lounge area has comfortable chairs and sofas, a selection of books and games, and raised viewing decks overlooking the sweep of the delta – the perfect place to sip a sundowner and watch the sun set over the palm trees, and view whatever wildlife may be visiting.
Activities are conducted by your own professional guide (a maximum of two guests per guide), a man of the swamp, born and bred. Your trail will take you along winding channels lined with reeds, into the Moremi Game Reserve, an area renowned for its diverse bird and animal life. It might also be possible to visit his village, meet the elders and perhaps his family. Subject to water levels, an additional attraction at Oddballs' is a mokoro (dug out canoe) trail into the further reaches of the delta. All equipment and provisions are packed into your mokoro as you set off with your guide to sleep under the stars as the nearby wildlife do. Camping equipment is provided (tent, sleeping mat and pillow, cutlery, crockery, pots and pans, food) but you must bring your own sleeping bag.
Your guide is born and bred in the area. He brings his own mokoro and his skills – experience, cunning, patience, acute observation, knowledge of animal behaviour and considerable courage to his job, which is to give you an insight into his world. His home is in the nearby village of Sedibana, and with luck you will be able to go there, if you wish, to see it and meet the people there.
Rates include all meals, teas and coffees, park fees, guided walks, mokoro excursions, resource royalty and 12% VAT. Rates exclude return air transfers, drinks, gratuities and items of a personal nature. For those going out on trail, there is an additional ‘wilderness camping fee’ of P200 per person per night, which goes to government.
In Consideration of the Wilds
Our power is generated by solar panels, and where possible our water heated in similar fashion. We compromise our ability to give our visitors air-conditioning and unlimited supplies of ice in this way, but large four- and six-wheel-drive fuel tankers do not cross floodplains and streams and cut through forests to deliver diesel for our generators, and the generators we don’t have do not spew filth and noise. We hope you prefer it that way.