Okavango Magic

30 May 2011: The Okavango is set to break last years record flood levels by a significant margin. Levels in Maun are predicted to be as much as 40cm higher than last years peak. The peak is also expected to be much earlier this year, last year the peak came around mid-August whilst this years peak is expected before mid-July and possibly as early as the end of June. So what does this mean? Well, for one it means that the surface area of the Okavango Delta (or the Okavango Alluvial Fan as it is more properly known) will be around 15% larger than it has been in the past 35 years. There is of course much debate as to how this water will move through the Okavango system but at the end of the day it is the fish and birds that will benefit the most from the spectacular event and should these flood levels continue to rise we can certainly expect an increase in bird numbers particularly during October/November when the passage migrants find massive expanses of mud flats left behind by the receding waters. For more information on the current flood data visit Piotr Wolski’s excellent web resource (created for the University of Botswana) here, where you can view daily flood data for a number of locations throughout the delta.

Flood levels at Nxaraga Lagoon for the past three years

 

 

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