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isabel25 May 15th, 2008 06:21 PM

Okavango Delta -- game drives in flooded areas
Just curious -- I've seen many photographs of game drive vehicles driving through what looks like fairly deep water. Do you get wet on those game drives? If so, how wet? Soaked? I'll be at Kwetsani in July, if it matters.

I won't mind if we do get soaked, but I'm just wondering. I'm going for my pre-trip medical appointment soon and I know my doctor will ask if I plan to swim or wade in any fresh water. I figured it would be useful to know the answer to this question.

atravelynn May 15th, 2008 07:19 PM

Normally the guests inside the vehicles do not get wet from the delta, nor does their gear. The vehicle is not driven into an area where it would become submerged. I don't believe swimming or wading is usually done in the Okavango. I did not. Maybe if you tried to pole your own mekoro near the land, you might tip or hop out and get wet. This activity would be optional.

It would be interesting to know if anyone has taken a dip on purpose or by accident.

HariS May 15th, 2008 07:21 PM

You aren't going to be submerged into the water that covers the truck. You might get your feet wet, perhaps (Has happened to me a couple of times). Usually, if the guide feels there is a possibility of getting stuck in certain flooded routes - you won't drive in those places. Most concessions would still have dry land areas where you can operate.

Kwetsani specifically, I haven't been!

rickmck May 15th, 2008 07:41 PM

While staying at Xigera Mokoro Trails Camp as part of the WS Migration Routes mobile, we had a late afternoon activity (entirely optional) where we went by mokoro to a deep (maybe 5 feet) pool in one of the channels for a swim. It was great fun and the young men staffing the camp and poling the mokoros probably had more fun than the guests! So, if you have a Delta camp on your itinerary, you might have the opportunity for a swim!

mv May 16th, 2008 12:22 AM

I have had the floor of the vehicle "Washed" a few times but each time the guide warned me ahead of time so I could remove the gear from the floor and put my feet up. The main risk is ofcourse driving forward in deep water but you should also be careful if the driver has to reverse in the water which could happen if he has chosen a bad spot for a water crossing.

pippa13 May 16th, 2008 03:14 AM

july is far beyond the rainy season so i would assume you won't drive through flodded areas at all!
would just take some precautions in view to cam equipment in order to protect against the dust and some plastik bags in case you get a rain shower which is highly unlikely that time of year.
i have never been asked to "rock'n roll" the mokoro..........

lbj May 16th, 2008 04:26 AM


I cant believe you actaully sell safaris. July is the peak of the flood in the Okavango, so water is every where. More so this year with the high local rain fall as well. It is actually around Dec/Jan, during the rainy season when the water levels are at their lowest.

GeoffG May 16th, 2008 05:45 AM


Quote "It would be interesting to know if anyone has taken a dip on purpose or by accident."

I've swam in the delta. It was many years ago and we were camping in two man tents on an isolated island.

Crystal clear water and numerous fish. Luckily no hippos or crocs which might have made things interesting.


Bill_H May 16th, 2008 07:11 AM

<b>Normally the guests inside the vehicles do not get wet from the delta ... It would be interesting to know if anyone has taken a dip on purpose or by accident.</b>

&quot;Whatever you do, don't run&quot; is a book by a guide that was recommended by Fodorites. The guide (who seems a bit hapless at times) drove a jeep with tourists into a shallow pool, then hit a hippo wallow and flooded the jeep. There's a photo of the guests wet up to their chests with the submerged jeep in the background ... lots of fun so long as there were no crocs around, and no one got bilharizia.


skimmer May 16th, 2008 07:55 AM


I was thinking the same.



HariS May 16th, 2008 08:00 AM


No surprises, having read prior comments - most recently the one in the chitabe thread!

atravelynn May 16th, 2008 08:15 AM

Many of us seem to be linked to the same thought waves.

Unless you get a hapless guide, you should be safe from a dunking. The guides at the reputable permanent tented camps where Isabel is going should be knowledgeable about where the wallows are. And the mekoro polers are incredibly skilled.

Imagine enduring a fire at the lodge then getting submerged in the vehicle. It would either be a disaster of a visit or a balancing of the elements.

On my last trip to the delta with unusual floods and rains I got stuck in water at Vumbura in August. I offered to get out and help push or help free the vehicle. I was told it was not necessary to get out but if I wanted to cool off and have a photo op of me waist deep in delta pushing the vehicle, that could be arranged. I declined the photo op and just performed my duties as a lookout for crocs from within the vehicle. We were freed in 20 minutes and entertained a herd of giraffes in the process.

Neither me nor my stuff got wet in that incident. Later when I took a swig of my water bottle and the cap was not secure I got a bit of a dousing, though. Pula Pula!

ShayTay May 16th, 2008 08:18 AM

Lbj, Skimmer, Hari,

How about the thread where Pippa13 told the poster to NOT take a malaria prophylatic!?

napamatt May 16th, 2008 12:01 PM

Pippa's an agent???

pippa13 May 16th, 2008 12:54 PM

lbj and companions
- first of all i am NOT an AGENT!!! have no idea who told you this! it's loughable!

rainy season end in april! you don't need to be a genius in order to know that! you simply have to read and based on experiences!
reainy season is not measured by water level but by falling rain! cannot belive i have to tell you that!

you yourself admit dec/jan is rainy season and nothing else has been said by me!

okavango means WATER! but having travelled the okavango delta on several occasions i have never ever been driven INTO the delta nor INTO ponds!
ofcourse one crosses &quot;rivers&quot; - but getting wet: NEVER!

i think it would be much more usefull for the OP to get real answeres to questions and don't post the outragous which might happen in one case in a thousend!
it's just unserioulsy becvause misleading.

it might sound very &quot;adventurous&quot; when you post the most unlikely events which has &quot;happend to you&quot;. but be serious! anything else is just misleading!

@ shaytay
your statement regarding my post in view to malaria prophylaxis for JULY nam/bot/zim/sa:
i cannot help it: if american travellers like yourself - and i don't want to embarras anyone who takes precautions - real precautions when necessary - seriously - don't recognise the most unlikelyness in order to swallow chemistry in the hope &quot;much helps much&quot; is just loughable.
evaluation is the answer in order to minimize the danger for the body wihtout jeopardizing ones health!

i just shift your focus on to american travellers visiting frankfurt: they drink one &quot;appel woi&quot; and have to visit the restroom not showing up for the next 2 hours because you simply take too much precaution, vitamins, health supplements etc. which makes you vulnurable for the slightest germ.
i would not say you should take it easy in view to real danger. but simply face the fact during dry season - bone dry! - there is no malaria risk in f.e. nam.

pippa13 May 16th, 2008 01:18 PM

one more point:
can you igagine a game drive ends up in a pond, pool, stream, river - the delta - ruining 4 or 6 guests cam equipment each worth up to 20 or 30 thousand euros?????????????? no indemnity form covers that! a good laywer will get every penny for that incl. compensation for wet underwear!
really! be seriuos!

isabel25 May 16th, 2008 01:18 PM

Thanks to all for the responses; they are helpful. Rickmck, your experience sounds wonderful. Were you worried about crocs?

Atravelynn, if you enjoy your &quot;diving with the sharks&quot; adventure in Cape Town this year, maybe you could start a &quot;swimming with the crocodiles&quot; trend in the delta!

ShayTay May 16th, 2008 01:25 PM

Pippa13, you may not be an agent, but I doubt you're a medical professional either and, as such, should NOT be contradicting the advice of such professionals. For short visits into malaria areas, a prophylactic of some kind is recommended. Just because a person has been lucky enough to avoid catching malaria doesn't mean that there isn't a good chance that it will eventually happen. The guides that I've talked to at the camps and in places like Zanzibar can't take prophylactics on a regular basis and most all of them have come down with it at least once, usually several times.

As to the OP's original question, it wasn't about the rainy season, it was about driving through water. Given that there is more water in the Delta after the floods arrive, which is not during the rainy season, the other posters' responses were correct. I've also been in the Delta, both in February and in August. There was much more water to navigate through in August than in February and, yes, we often drove through water. It looked like we were crossing lakes at times. Usually the water didn't enter the vehicle, but on one or two occasions, it did.

Pippa13, may I suggest that you soften your tone if you disagree with other posters. We're here to share our collective experiences and knowledge. We appreciate your wealth of knowledge, but don't appreciate your attacks, either individually, or on Americans in general.

pippa13 May 16th, 2008 01:57 PM

@ shaytay
&quot;Pippa13, may I suggest that you soften your tone if you disagree with other posters. We're here to share our collective experiences and knowledge. We appreciate your wealth of knowledge, but don't appreciate your attacks, either individually, or on Americans in general.&quot;

just respond to the above:
show/copy what you consider rough or not &quot;soft&quot; tone.

all what i dod was exactly what you ask for: share experience and knowledge.
by the way - wen can only share individual experience!

i would highly appreciate a bit more objectiveness when it comes to comparison my &quot;tone&quot; to e.g. lbj's or other &quot;fodor dinosaurs&quot;.
may i ask you who or what entitles you to monish a fellow poster?

there are no &quot;attacks&quot; by me! if you consider mirroring american politics, specific behaviour or other &quot;spleens&quot; as attacks then i would say you have got a problem - not me!

lbj May 16th, 2008 02:16 PM


You are nothing but frustratin, writing nothing but drivel........

Re-read the opening post, it is about driving around the Okavango in July. At this time of year, the floods cut off drivable areas which means river crossings are the norm. Iin areas of the Western Delta, Kwestani, where large open flood plains occur, then they are often full with a thin sheet of water, which operators constantly drive through.

I think most of us know on this board when the various seasons occur, there is no need to be so condensending. Not to belittle you, but I have probably spent more days on safari, yes, at the your favoured high lux places, in the last year than time you have probably spent in the entire area. So please don't try and give me a lesson on weather.

First of all, you said that areas would not be flooded in July, so I corrected and said they would be. Hence driving through more water. I merely pointed out the contradiction that the delta is actually at its lowest during the rains. Hence less flooded areas.........though that is a general rule, as Febraury this year has proven.

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