Okavango Delta Flood Update

July 14, 2009  By: Africa Adventure Consultants

The annual flood in Botswana’s Okavango Delta has now passed its peak (i.e. the maximum amount of water is now in the Delta) and water levels are already starting to recede in many places in the north.

This year’s high flood has been excellent news. Of course nature works in cycles, which are critical for balance so that species that thrive under different ecological conditions also go through population cycles. The 2009 wet cycle in Botswana favors fish breeding, as well as aquatic-adapted species like sitatunga, red lechwe (seen in the photo near Jao Camp) and birds like Wattled Crane (seen in photo near Duba Plains Camp) and Slaty Egret. This flood also replenishes groundwater and ensures a continued balance between grassland/floodplain and woodland. In dry cycles, woodland encroaches onto floodplain, while in wet cycles the reverse happens, so that the ecological diversity and integrity of the Delta ecosystem is ensured.

The flood has also seen humans adapt our behavior while on safari. New road networks and water activities have been the order of the day in many of the camps in Botswana. Travelers are enjoying the amazing experience of seeing one of the world’s most incredible places: a wetland – which is considered amongst the richest ecosystems on the planet – in full flood! Not something one sees every day!