Area: 15,000 km²
Okavango Delta is a huge wetland that covers an area of
15,000 km² in Botswana. Parts of the Okavango Delta is
protected by the
Wildlife Reserve. The Okavango Delta is the remains of a
large river system of the ancient Lake McGadikgadi, which
gradually withered out about 10,000 years ago. The area of
modern residual water bodies is about 15,000 km², which during
floods after rains can reach 22,000 km². The annual flow of
water to the delta is about 11 km³. Part of the waters in
full-flowing years erupts to the south and feeds Lake Ngami.
Delta has become a haven for a variety of plants. The upper part of the delta is covered with dense reed beds dominated by papyrus. There are also areas that are constantly covered with water, where many water lilies grow. In the lower reaches of the Okavango delta, reed thickets give way to prickly acacia thickets and floodplain meadows.
Okavango is ideal for a variety of animals, including hippo, crocodile and several species of antelopes. Of these, the sitatunga is particularly noteworthy, adapted to life in the middle of the water and living mainly in the most impassable areas of the Okavango Delta and other similar regions of Africa. Another family of antelopes, even more specific to South Africa, also adapted to the aquatic environment - water goats, represented by a swamp goat, bunch and lychee. The Okavango Delta exhibits the largest concentration of red lychee, at least 20,000 individuals live here in flooded meadows. Reed thickets and open water have sheltered a wide variety of birds, including some of the rarest African species. In these places, a picturesque African kite fisherman hunts, with its unforgettable piercing cry, and along with it other species, in particular, bee-eater, emerald kingfisher, several species of heron and white heron and African fish owl. The lower reaches of the Okavango delta attract nomadic herds of steppe animals such as zebras, buffaloes, elephants and antelopes. Among the predators following these herds are lions, leopards and hyenas. On the grassy plains live the local tribes of Tswana and Herero, traditionally engaged in cattle breeding.