Dry times

The Okavango Delta is a beautiful wildlife area recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a pulsing wetland that owes its existence to the Okavango River which flows down from the Angolan Highlands and floods annually into the harsh dry Kalahari Desert. These flood waters reach the Delta between March and June each year, peaking in July to create an oasis in an otherwise dry country, and at­tracting great migrations of game. When the floods recede, the summer rains arrive and this perennial Garden of Eden remains a year-round paradise for wildlife. Yet this balance can be upset by drought, and it looks like we are heading into difficult times. Summer rainfall has been well below average and temperatures have soared, resulting in pans and normally perennial rivers drying out. Sadly, it looks like the floods this year are also due to fail as there has been very low rainfall in the Oka­vango catchment in Angola. These dry conditions are opening up the vegetation of the Delta and posing a risk to our rhinos. The rhinos are moving in search of food and water and wandering into high risk poaching areas. We have been kept very busy bringing them back into the core zone - and believe us it is quite a task to move two tons of wild animal! But that is what we do here at Rhino Conservation Botswana, we keep a close eye on the precious wild rhinos of the Okavango Delta, keeping them as safe as possible.