From the air the Okavango Delta is a mosaic of colours and textures. Leaving the ‘thirstlands’ of Maun township to fly over sandveld and savannah; which gradually increases in lushness as our tiny Okavango Delta scenic flight aircraft approaches the inner delta.
An Okavango Delta scenic flight from Maun is a popular way to experience this incredible eco-system in a different way from a mokoro boat tour. But is it worth the expense?
From the water level in a boat you feel insignificant, peering through the sighing reeds. The only way to get an idea of its vastness and diversity is from the air.
A black lagoon rimmed with a random pattern of water lily leaves; a sea of waving reeds; the dark river winding with its twists of white sand.
I was surprised that you get such a good view of the wildlife from a scenic flight. A vast herd of buffalo, congregating or spread out wandering as they choose. Solitary bull elephants and giraffe striding across a plain or standing still and considering. A large family of elephants taking their evening bath at a lagoon. The fat backs of two pinkish grey hippos in a dark lake. Delicate herds of impala.
My stomach was not too happy with being required to be in four places at once in the tiny plane, which carries only four passengers. But I woman-fully resisted the urge to use the sick bag and kept my eyes on the view.
Photographs have to be taken through the slightly less than clear windows of the plane but I wasn’t unhappy with the results.
It was easy to organise an Okavango Delta scenic flight from Maun airport – there are flight and tour companies in the terminal building. I had to wait a day to get on a flight so if you’re pressed for time maybe book ahead.
By Natasha von Geldern
Have you taken an Okavango Delta scenic flight? Did you think it was worthwhile?