Wet weather in the Okavango Delta

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Feb 28th, 2004, 07:32 AM
  #1
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Wet weather in the Okavango Delta

So has anyone heard how the game viewing is in the Okavango these days. I understand that the rainy season has been "very rainy" indeed and that the water levels are the highest since before the 1984 floods. I am wondering what that will mean to us as we leave for Botswana the end of March. I imagine it means poorer game viewing as the animals certainly don't have to congregate around the water holes because they are everywhere. I also wonder how this will affect the game driving and roads. In one section of the weekly safari updates at
http://www.ultimateafrica.com
they mention that the lions are hard to see because of the long grass.

We of course are going anyway because we are booked and as they say "Que sera sera" but it would be nice to get an update if anyone has been lately or has more info.
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Feb 28th, 2004, 09:29 AM
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Botswana Camps
The 2004 Okavango Flood
Have a read of this email from Map Ives, Wilderness Safaris' resident ecologist / environmental watchdog / specialist guide. It looks like they are in for a HUGE flood this year in the Okavango which is making everyone very excited... except the logistical folks and Land Rover repairmen!

Here is Map's report from early January...

I have been closely monitoring the Okavango flood this year, as I always do, and we have some dramatic developements.
The flood figures of today, 10 February 2004 are 690 cusecs as measured at Mohembo on the Okavango River just as it enters Botswana. This is a figure last reached in 1984 on the 20 February 1994. In other words, the amount of water in the system is higher than on the same date in that benchmark year. This is incredibly exciting, and in fact Professor Spike McCarthy wants to rush up here to see it. The ecological implications are great, but I will not go into detail as you know most of the benefits anyway.

Suffice to say, you may want to consider letting your readers know that one of the world's great freshwater habitats is going to be resplendant this year. It will entail some logistical headaches, but I have been meeting with the concession managers and they realise that we must just plan ahead and equip ourselves for this. In fact, this will just mean some grand opportunities for our guests.

I am expecting a total flood input to peak above 1000 cusecs sometime in April or May, as we are recieving reports and data from Namwater that Rundu is at it's highest level for two decades and rising. Further is the report from the chief hydrologist Dept. of Water Affairs, Botswana from his colleague in Angola that "in excess of 1000 mm (1 meter) of rain fell at Huambo (catchment Cubango river) during the month of January, 2004. This water has not yet been measured at Rundu.

The input from the Cuito River is not measured, but usually only manifests itself on the Mohembo flood figure during April of any year. However, it appears that rainfall on the Bihe section of the highlands was very similar to that of Huambo and so the Cuito, Kwando and upper Zambezi rivers will rise rapidly over the next few weeks.

I will keep you informed
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Feb 28th, 2004, 09:44 AM
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SPRIG:

THE ABOVE INFO POSTED ON THE WEBSITE OF WWW.EYESONAFRICA.COM
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Feb 28th, 2004, 07:27 PM
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Safarinut, Thanks so much for sharing your up-to-date info regarding the Okavango floods. I have planned a horseback safari for late May and wonder whether to request that the horse I'm assigned is a good swimmer?! I've just contacted my tour planner and will follow any future developments carefully. I hope with all my hear we can actually still go!
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Mar 16th, 2004, 04:21 AM
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Do you think this will still have a significant impact come June?

We're staying in a range of Okavango Camps - Jacana, Tubu Tree, Gudigwa, Little Mombo - and am curious as to what we might expect?

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Mar 16th, 2004, 05:43 AM
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I have heard ' unconfirmed reports ' that Wilderness Safaris has had to surcharges its prices by 10% for any bookings made after the 15th March 2004. The reason for this being that the spectacular flood measn all stuff must now be flown into the camps and they will be unable to truck any supplies into the camps !



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Mar 16th, 2004, 07:13 AM
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Goodness me... I'm glad we're already booked and have a confirmed price then...

15% on top of the price would mean we'd seriously have to reconsider the trip at all... because it's 8+ weeks we're stretching our finances rather excessively as it is!!
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Mar 16th, 2004, 08:47 AM
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I'm really excited, too -- and glad we've paid for everything already
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