More about Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge
On the outskirts of the Okavango's seasonal swamps, slightly elevated sandy areas allow a belt of shrubs and trees to grow. Tall knob thorn, leadwood and marula trees proliferate in these areas. Grass is abundant, attracting both grazers and browsers such as giraffe, kudu, impala, warthog and elephant. The driest woodland areas are occupied by the massive baobab trees. Bats, genets, monitors and geckos also find refuge in the many crevices in these ancient trees. Impala and grey duiker feed on the baobab’s delicate white flowers, which also attract fruit bats. Baboons and other monkeys, as well as elephant relish the large, hairy fruits.
Some might not believe it, but it is actually the tiny termites that are responsible for the formation of many of the small islands that are scattered throughout the Okavango Delta. The raised ground that these termites create remains dry from the floodwaters, allowing woody plants to grow in the rich, fertile soil. Silt deposits slowly build up over time, expanding the raised ground and eventually joining one or more termite mounds to form an island.
Groves of tall fan palm up to 20 metres in height grow on the outer edge of the floodplains or on the larger islands. Interspersed with short, shrubby vegetation, these are favoured by elephant. In fact, the fan palm relies on this animal for its propagation, as the seed can only germinate once it has passed through the elephant’s digestive system. The elephants seem to enjoy this arrangement, relishing both the palm’s fruit and leaves. Fan palms are also a favourite nesting site for many bird species, with white-backed vultures building their nests in the crown and Dickinson’s kestrel preferring cavities that occur in their trunks.