INTO THE WILD

It’s hard to establish a precise number but it’s thought there are around 2000 species thriving in and around the Okavango Delta in an explosion of natural life, with more than half of that number being plants and trees. The remainder – the creatures – enjoy a co-existence that can vary from happy symbiosis to food chain. Every aspect of this cherished environment helps to keep the cycle of life turning.

Nowhere else other than the Okavango Delta that surrounds Xigera can you encounter and observe such an extraordinary variety of wildlife and biodiversity. Read on to discover our complete guide to Botswana's wildlife...

Lion

Offer Image

Living in the grasslands, scrub and open woodlands, the lion is the second largest cat in the world. It is dwarfed slightly by the tiger, which is closely related and has a very similar body type.

African elephant

Offer Image

African elephants can live up to 70 years in the wild. They are the largest of all land mammals, and can spend up to 16 hours a day eating. They consume between 136-226 kg of food per day.

Giraffe

Offer Image

Giraffes have only seven vertebrae in their necks, just like humans. They are the tallest animals in the world, reaching up to six meters. The tongue of a giraffe is black and can measure up to 50cm.

Leopard

Offer Image

Leopards are the least social of the African big cats and usually keep to themselves, lurking in dense riverine. They live in sub-Saharan Africa, northeast Africa, Central Asia, India and China.

Cape buffalo

Offer Image

Cape buffalo have a herbivorous diet and can weigh up to 835 kg, with a lifespan of 11-22 years. They have heavy, ridged horns that grow straight out from the head or curve downwards and then up.

Leopard Tortoise

Offer Image

The leopard tortoise is a large, attractively marked tortoise found in the savannahs of eastern and southern Africa, from Sudan to the southern Cape. Adults may weigh over 35kg and be over 60cm long.

Hippo

Offer Image

The common hippopotamus, or hippo, is a large, mostly herbivorous, semiaquatic mammal and ungulate native to sub-Saharan Africa. The name comes from the ancient Greek for "river horse".

Crocodile

Offer Image

Despite being “reptiles”, crocodiles (and all crocodilians, including alligators) are more closely related to dinosaurs and birds. They have a valve at the back of their throat to open their jaw underwater.

Burchells Zebra

Offer Image

A southern subspecies of the plains zebra, it is named after the British explorer and naturalist William John Burchell. Common names include the bontequagga, Damaraland zebra and Zululand zebra.

Greater kudu

Offer Image

The greater kudu has stripes and spots on the body, and most have a chevron of white hair between the eyes. Males have long, spiral horns which are spectacular and can grow as long as 1.8 metres.

Red Lechwe

Offer Image

Red lechwes are a medium-sized antelope. They are easily identified by their rust-coloured hides, black stripes, unusual horns and long hind legs, which help them graze in water over half a metre deep.

Wild Dog

Offer Image

The African wild dog is an endangered species, with only four remaining populations in Africa. Wild dogs are social and gather in packs of around 10 individuals, but some packs number more than 40.

Spotted Hyena

Offer Image

Though many people commonly compare hyenas to dogs, they are actually much more like cats. In fact, they are members of the suborder Feliformia, which is a classification for cat-like carnivores.

Ground Hornbill

Offer Image

One of two species of ground hornbill found solely within Africa, and the largest species of hornbill worldwide. It can be found in the southern regions of Africa in both woodlands and savannahs.

Vervet Monkey

Offer Image

The vervet monkey is an omnivore, meaning that it eats both plants and meat. They typically live in groups (troops) of 10 to 50 animals. Each troop consists of adult females and immature offspring.

Cape Pangolin

Offer Image

The body is protected by an armour of imbricated brown scales, which uniquely identifies this species amongst all mammals. The Pangolin (or scaly anteater) usually rolls up into a ball when threatened. 

Flap Necked Chameleon

Offer Image

This large chameleon can reach 35 cm, and ranges through shades of green, yellow and brown. There is usually a pale stripe on the lower flanks and one to three pale patches higher on the flanks.

Malachite Kingfisher

Offer Image

The malachite kingfisher is a river kingfisher and is largely resident to the area. Its flight is rapid, the short rounded wings whirring until they appear a mere blur. It usually flies low over water.

Fish eagle

Offer Image

The African fish eagle has a distinctive black, brown and white plumage. It feeds mainly on fish, which it swoops down upon from a perch in a tree, snatching the prey from the water with its talons.

Pel’s fishing owl

Offer Image

A large species of owl found near rivers and lakes. It feeds nocturnally on fish and frogs snatched from the surface of the water. The species prefers slow moving rivers with large overhanging trees.

Saddle-billed stork

Offer Image

The saddle-billed stork is the tallest stork in the world, found in sub-Saharan Africa. On the upper side of the beak is the yellow “saddle” with small wattles that hang underneath and look like stirrups.

Goliath Heron

Offer Image

This is the world's largest living heron. The Goliath heron is very aquatic, even by heron standards, rarely venturing far from water and preferring to fly along waterways rather than move over land.

Lappet-Faced Vulture

Offer Image

This is one of the most aggressive of African birds. It possesses one of the strongest beaks, usually arriving last to the carcass due to its ability to tear off flesh that is too tough for smaller scavengers.

Tiger Fish

Offer Image

The African tiger fish is located in rivers and lakes. Often described as the equivalent of the South American Piranha, they are marked with one or several dark, lengthwise stripes similar to a tiger.

African-Clawed Frog

Offer Image

The African-clawed frog is a species of aquatic frogs native to Africa marked with some unique behaviour – they do not have a tongue or teeth. These frogs are not at all poisonous.

Baobab

Offer Image

The baobab tree is a tree that’s native to Africa. It can grow up to 98 feet (30 meters) tall and produces a large fruit that is commonly consumed and appreciated for its delicious citrus-like flavour.