Once back on dry land, I jumped at the chance of taking a 45 minute flight over the Delta in a small plane. The flight itself was almost more exhilarating than the helicopter ride over Victoria Falls, because the Cessna didn’t feel particularly powerful or safe! One of our group in the back turned a shade of green as the pilot banked the plane unnecessarily steeply from side to side, but I was lucky to be sat in the front and loved every minute.
In our canoes, the Delta hadn’t seemed like a flood plain because it was so obviously a permanent feature and habitat (although it does apparently rise and fall as the seasons change) – but from above, the chaotic nature of flooding was evident. Usually, the unnatural symmetry of Man’s infrastructures and conurbations is conspicuously imprinted on the landscape below, but the Delta’s endless waterways, lagoons and islands created an untouched, fascinating collage of natural flows and patterns. The white patches visible in some areas were salt deposits that had built up and killed the vegetation. Our flight confirmed for us that the Okavango Delta is a totally unique place – and that flooding can be both dramatic and artistic when viewed from above!