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Flood of Hope: Waters Return to the Okavango Delta

7/1/2020

 


After a challenging drought last year in Botswana's Okavango Delta, the annual flood has returned in force, bringing with it the evocative scenes expected from the "jewel of the Kalahari." Other waterways, such as the Zambezi River and the Victoria Falls, are also enjoying the return of life-giving waters. This is a reminder to us all that the cycle of nature continues even when it seems that the world has stopped.

The process began in September 2019 with the start of the rainy season in the highlands of Angola. Satellite rainfall data for the catchment shows that average to above average rainfall fell in the highlands over this season. The Cuito and Cubango rivers, the two main tributaries feeding the Kavango River, transfer rain water first through peat wetlands and source lakes and then through narrow streams and rivers, until it arrives in Namibia and Botswana several months later.

 

In addition to supporting myriad wildlife and specialist species that exist within the protected wildlife areas of the Delta, this miracle of nature is also crucial to the survival of the people of Botswana. Community-owned livestock can drink, ground water is replenished refilling wells, and water is made available to subsistence and small commercial agriculture on the outskirts of the World Heritage Site.

 

While the flooding of the Okavango Delta is a spectacle that guests will miss witnessing in person this year, when travel restrictions are finally lifted a revitalized and rejuvenated landscape and wilderness experience will be ready and waiting to awe and inspire.

 


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