Another flood season is upon us and it’s good news and bad news for the 2015 flood. The good news is that we will have a lot more game drive roads this year as an average flood swells through the central Okavango. For anyone that has been on a camping safari in Botswana, you have probably heard your guide talk about the level of that particular year’s flood and how it is going to affect your safari. A low flood allows us to access more areas which great but the bad news is that lower flood levels also mean less water in the downstream extremities of the Okavango, the Boteti River (Makgadikgadi Pans NP) and Lake Ngami in particular.
The return of flood waters to these two regions has transformed these dusty hinterlands into lush green extensions of the Okavango. Safari lodges along the banks of the Boteti River have benefited from near-permanent water in a river that remained almost completely dry for over 15 years. Lake Ngami is now listed as an IBA (Important Birding Area) by Birdlife International and attracts tens of thousands of birds which breed an feed in the food-rich waters and mud flats. Lake Ngami was also dry for many, many years before higher flood levels in the Okavango flipped the switch and live-giving water returned to the lake. No birding safari in Botswana is complete without a visit to this body of water.
As the graph below shows, this years flood will certainly exceed the levels of the meagre 2013 flood but local experts are hesitant to predict anything except for the fact that we are unlikely to exceed the levels of the 2012 flood.
Whatever happens, mobile camping safaris in Botswana will continue to amaze and reward all comers.
Brent Reed – Okavango Delta – 31 May 2015 😎