• Martin Smith

Predators of the Okavango

The Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of the best, if THE best, place to Africa's large Predators. This fantastic inland river delta, giving life to the Kalahari Desert, provides an opportunity to see these iconic animals. Check out all our Botswana itineraries here

The Okavango is simply THE best place to see Lions and there are more of them here than anywhere else. While some will argue for the Serengeti/Mara ecosystem being the best, they simply don't understand that it is only prides that are bigger there due to the limit on prey numbers for most of the year when the migration is not around. Prides are smaller in Botswana but there are many more of them with plenty of places for the Male Lions to move to new areas, creating a much more diverse gene pool and much healthier population.

Leopard are also very abundant here, just as they are throughout Africa's wild areas. Where Leopards are used to seeing safari vehicles then sightings can be very regular but in areas that are less visited, they are shy and can be very difficult to see. The Okavango has many areas that Leopard are regularly seen.

Cheetah are much more difficult to see as they are smaller than the previous too and are very much further down the pecking order. Some suggest this is due to the lack of open areas in the Okavango and while there is some value in this, Cheetah have been proved to be just as good hunters in the forests as well as the open, you are just more likely to encounter them in the open.

African Wild Dog are best seen in Botswana's Okavango and this is their most abundant place and they can be seen regularly throughout the Okavango region. They are seen most regularly from June to October when they are raising young and have to stay relatively close to their Den so they can feed the young and the babysitters.

Some Say that the Spotted Hyena is a scavenger and not a Predator but this is a misunderstanding, in an area where there is plenty of prey they hunt as much as they scavenge and Lions have been known to scavenge as much. The Hyena is a female-dominated society and they live in loose groups under the ground in old warthog holes. They battle constantly with other Predators in their area, in particular Lions but will steal kills from any.


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