With all the crazy weather around the globe this year, the Okavango Delta also received record breaking rainfall. For the first time in over thirty years, the local rainfall has raised the water levels in the rivers of the Okavango to above the peak level of the previous year’s flood. The graph below represents water levels in the Thamalakane river which is the river which drains the Okavango Delta to the south and flows through Maun and on to the Boteti River. As you can see, this year’s blue line is well above last year’s (black line) peak flood level and on it’s way to challenging the monster flood of 2010/11.
This has of course made for some interesting safari conditions, our guides have had their work cut out for them finding routes that can still be driven, particularly in Moremi Game Reserve. We expect the water levels to start dropping shortly but hydrologists warn that there might still be more rainwater pushing down from the north. The upside is that the parks are absolutely gorgeous at the moment with lush green bush interspersed by countless rainwater pools ranging in size from a coffee table to a football field. It has been a bumper season for bird watchers as well with rain dependant migrants flocking down to make the best of the unusually wet conditions in Botswana.
Central Kalahari Game Reserve and Savuti, normally semi-arid habitats are now both temporary wetlands in their own right. Nkosi just returned from a safari in the Central Kalahari and had some wonderful game viewing.
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The rainy season is always a wonderful time for photographers and even though this year proved a bit of a challenge with the unusually heavy rains, we had many happy photographers returning home with a library of unforgettable images.
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Brent Reed – Maun, Okavango Delta – April 2014 😎