Chief’s Island is considerably higher than the water surrounding it, so when water flows into the Delta after the rainy season, the island becomes a wildlife haven. Here you’ll spot leopard, hyena and lion preying on countless antelope. Hippo and crocodile lounge among the lagoons and elephant congregate here to breed. Cheetah can even be seen sneaking across the island’s plains!
There are plenty of ways to explore this stunning part of Botswana. Year-round you can take a game drive in a modified 4x4, and this is the best way to follow the herds of antelope, buffalo, and zebra. If you’re fortunate you might also spot endangered African wild dog who call the magical island home.
The waterways criss-crossing the island and surrounding it are best explored by boat. The expert local BaYei people will paddle you in a dugout mokoro canoe, enabling you to drift through the water almost silently. It’s an exceptionally peaceful way to travel, and particularly good for bird lovers.
But nothing beats seeing Chief’s Island from the air. When you take to the skies in a helicopter you can truly appreciate the scale and lushness of the Delta.