TIPS FOR TRAVELERS
* Camping is the best way to savor the Delta's delights. A five-day trip - including canoe fees, equipment, and two nights at Oddballs - costs about $400. More luxurious lodges can cost $1,500 for the same stay.
Oddballs offers eco-friendly bush comfort- solar-heated showers, flush toilets, a restaurant, and a well-stocked store that also rents camping equipment. Those who pay more can sleep in a tree-house chalet complete with beds.
* The road is paved from Johannesburg to Gaborone, Botswana, and from there to Maun, but the 12-hour drive can be broiling and monotonous. There are regular flights to Maun from Gaborone, Victoria Falls, Zambia, and Johannesburg that cost no more than $200. The small aircraft that fly from Maun to the Delta generally have a luggage limit of 22 lbs. per person. Maun's only hotel is Riley's ($50 a night)..
* It's best to visit from April to May or from August to September. June and July are cold and October to November very hot. Game is harder to spot in the December-to-March rainy season, when the delta floods.
* Okavango Tours and Safaris will tailor tours individually, from camping to luxury lodges, to horseback and even elephant safaris. (In Johannesburg, phone 011-27-11-788-5549; fax: 011-27-11-788- 6575).