Okavango delta


    In Context

    • Recently, Oil companies are seen threatening Africa’s iconic biodiversity hotspots like the Okavango delta in an effort to drill for oil.

    More about the Okavango delta

    • About:
      • This delta is located in north-west Botswana comprises permanent marshlands and seasonally flooded plains. 
      • The Okavango delta is formed by the Okavango river, which originates in the highlands of Angola.
    • Recognitions:
      • The Okavango delta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in southern Africa.
      • The delta was named as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.
    • Significant characteristics:
      • Endorheic delta:
        • The Okavango Delta is one of a very few large inland delta systems without an outlet to the sea, known as an endorheic delta
        • Its waters drain instead into the desert sands of the Kalahari Basin. 
      • Flooding pattern:
        • One of the unique characteristics of the site is that the annual flooding from the River Okavango occurs during the dry season, with the result that the native plants and animals have synchronized their biological cycles with these seasonal rains and floods. 
        • It is an exceptional example of the interaction between climatic, hydrological and biological processes. 
    • Inhabitants:
      • The delta is home to Africa’s Big Five wildlife species: Savanna elephants, Cape buffaloes, rhinos, lions and leopards. 
      • There are also giraffes, zebras, antelopes, pangolins, 400 bird species and over 1,000 plant species.
      • The delta is also the homeland of indigenous people like the San.