The Delta supports, amongst other animals, the large cats (lion, leopard, cheetah), a variety of antelopes (including the specialist floodplain dwelling Red Lechwe), zebra, giraffe, buffalo, warthog, hippo, crocodiles and , increasingly, elephants. The Delta is the last great refuge of one of the shiest and most aquatic of all antelopes, the seldom seen sitatunga. These antelopes spend much of the day partly submerged in water where they eat aquatic vegetation. They are able to swim with just their nostrils protruding above the water level and hide up in papyrus and reeds. They are more prevalent in the central and northern parts of the Delta, but are nowhere common.
The Okavango Delta is renowned for its bird life and is a Mecca for birdwatchers. Some 450 species have been recorded in the Delta. The birding is at its best from November to march when migratory species descend there from the northern hemisphere. The peak breeding time is October to December. Species of special interest include:
Pink-backed Pelican, Goliath Heron, Slaty Egret, White-backed Night-Heron, African Spoonbill, African Pygmy Goose (world’s smallest duck), Lappet-faced Vulture, African Secretary Bird, Western Banded Snake-Eagle, Hobby, Striped Crake, Lesser Jacana, Wattled Crane, Long-toed Lapwing, Greater Painted Snipe, African Skimmer, African Mourning Dove, Coppery-tailed Coucal, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Giant Kingfisher, Carmine Bee-eater, Southern Ground Hornbill, Bradfield’s Hornbill, African Golden Oriole, Black-faced Babbler, Greater Swamp Warbler, Chirping Cisticola, Rosy-throated Longclaw, Swamp Boubou, Paradise Flycatcher, Brown Firefinch.