Okavango River Delta Dry Season (03:24)
The Kalahari Basin stretches across Southern Africa and contains a river that floods once a year. In September, water becomes scarce and predators rule. Sable antelope risk attack when drinking at a stagnate pool.
Food scarcity (04:44)
A warthog family digs for bulbs in the dry ground; one member falls prey to a leopard. Chacma baboons survive by eating a diverse diet, including insects and seeds in elephant dung. Elephants shake fruits from a fan palm.
October and November (05:44)
Catfish gulp air at the surface of an oxygen starved pool, becoming prey to African fish eagles and jackals as it evaporates. Rain provides some grass; chacma baboons and elephants compete for fruit.
Floods Begin (04:15)
In December, tropical storms bring downpours to the Okavango River, home to several thousand people like spear fisherman Sinabi. Geological faults delineate the delta; by March, the river overflows and slowly spreads across the desert.
Wet Season (06:13)
Water from the Okavango River gradually fills the delta. Sand frogs emerge and birds feast on insects. Macrotermese termite tunnels seal off, allowing mound repair. These "fortresses" facilitate plant growth and become islands in the flood, providing refuge for other species.
Freshwater plankton hatch with floods, feeding African pike fry and other fish species. Migrating birds arrive to feed; learn about fishing techniques for different species.
By the third month of the flooding, aquatic grasses and water lilies emerge. A hyena approaches grazing red lechwe but splayed hooves allow them to flee through the water.
Okavango River Delta Villages (03:26)
Hippopotamuses forge pathways through aquatic grasses. Sinabi traps fish across a channel and preserves his catch for the dry season. His family weaves grass baskets.
Fight for Dominance (03:58)
Baboons develop unique walks to navigate the flood plain. A lone male baboon threatens the group; the alpha male defends his territory.
Hippo Behavior (03:38)
As hippopotamus territory expands, young males challenge dominate bulls. After a fight, a resident male retains his females. Oxpeckers clean the challenger's wounds.
Okavango Food Chain (04:56)
In August, Sinabi's family catches bulldog fish in baskets. Catfish, egrets, and African fish eagles hunt smaller fish. The delta will gradually evaporate, returning to dry savanna.
Credits: Seasonal Wonderlands: Okavango (00:35)
Credits: Seasonal Wonderlands: Okavango
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