The Okavango Delta – The most severe drought in 90 years?

Posted on 17th September 2019

The Okavango Delta is a constantly changing unique wilderness area nestled deep in the middle of the vast Kalahari Desert in northern Botswana. Fed by the Cubango River which rises in the highlands of southern Angola, this precious life giving water system supports the wildlife and communities of remotest Angola, Namibia and Botswana.  Fault lines and constant tectonic plate movement dictate the directional flow variations and it is thought that a significant earth tremor that occurred in August 2017 has had quite a dramatic consequence on the 2019 flood, effectively leaving the south western half of the Delta high and dry – literally.  A combination of very low rainfall in both Angola and local rainfall in Botswana during the November to March 2019 season, has resulted in a significantly smaller volume of flood water arriving on desperately dry land during the May to July flood season.  The upside of this however is that the wildlife are very much restricted to areas with water, making for some of the best game viewing experiences in many a year.  Areas that would normally be under water are exposed, opening up areas to huge herds of grazers including buffalo, zebra and wildebeest, and the predators that inherently follow them.