SOURCE OF THE DELTA

The Panhandle lies in the very northern part of Botswana, close to the Namibian border and Angola. Here the Okavango River flows deep and strong down from Angolan Highlands into the Caprivi Strip in Namibia and then into Botswana at Mohembo. From there it flows approximately 100 kilometres south and east, contained within two parallel faults in the Earth's crust, before it reaches another set of fault lines running across the flow, forcing the wate to fan out and create the Okavango's Delta.

 

Here on the Panhandle, the river runs deep and wide, surrounded by fishing villages and shallow floodplains that become swamps annually when the summer rain waters flood them. This water has fed the delta for centuries but also supported life for many communities living in this rich environment - river Bushmen have lived here for eons and still to this day these communities fish and keep cattle along its shores.

Aside from the river and the flush of green along it, to the west lies dry Kalahari savannas and the magical Tsodilo Hills, Botswana's first Unesco World Heritage Site. Here archaeologists discovered human life dating back over 100 000 years ago, visual evidence is there in the form of thousands of Bushman rock paintings illustrating life and times over centuries. It was clearly a significant and spiritual place for the Bushmen and you can really feel the spirit of their ancestors. This is truly a magnificent, ancient art gallery and periscope into a world gone by - one of our favourite places in Botswana. Aptly named 'the Louvre of the Desert'.

The Panhandle's main tourist attractions are fishing, birding, and visiting Tsodilo Hills - along with the colourful villages along its western fringes. There are plenty of hippos and crocodiles but no other big game, so there are no game drives - we love it as a place to relax, enjoy the water activities, Tsodilo Hills and admire the surrounding beauty.

View our safaris that include the Okavango Panhandle