Okavango ‘Panhandle’

Hippo in the Okavango

Travel to Okavango ‘Panhandle’ – Watery Paradise of the Okavango

The Panhandle is the beginning of the Okavango Delta. It is bounded by two deep parallel faults in the earth’s crust that confine the Okavango River it to a narrow valley (10 to 15 km wide). Reeds and papyrus blanket the river’s course, making it difficult to discern the channel except at occasional places where the water meets the river’s bank. Villages with names like Sepopa, Shakawe and Seronga dot the river’s bank at these locations.

The channel in the Panhandle is undergoing constant change, as is typical of meandering rivers and this is manifested by the formation of oxbow lakes, as well as by the splitting of the channel at several points along its length. The channels are flanked by permanent swamps in which vegetation is dominated by Cyprus papyrus and Phragmites australis.

The Panhandle is virtually impossible to see from the road due to the dense reeds and papyrus. It is best explored by boat. The abundance of clean fresh water provides an ideal habitat for hippo, stork, pelican, crocodiles, elephant, and monitor lizards.

Explore the Panhandle boat to really appreciate the beauty of this region.


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