One of the more unique outings we were able to enjoy in Africa was a night in a bush camp out in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. With no lodges, fences, or other infrastructure to separate us from nature, you could say we were right in the middle of it all during this incredible night.
But in order to get to the spot where we made camp, we had to take an unusual and traditional means of transportation – a mokoro.
This experience is one of many where words do not give it justice, and in this photo essay we wanted to share some of our favorite shots while exploring the delta in this unique style.
Navigating the Okavango Delta on a Mokoro
The mokoro is the traditional boat in the Okavango Delta. These boats were originally carved from a solid trunk of tree; however, modern mokoros are now made of fiberglass.
These vessels do not deserve the distinction of being called a boat. In terms of size and performance, they’re more like a canoe. Rather than paddling with an oar, the navigator uses a long wooden stick to propel the mokoro forward as the delta, in many places, is quite shallow. All they have to do is hit the bottom with the stick, apply a bit of force, and you are propelled down the delta foot by foot.
We said it was fun, not that it was efficient!
Watch Out for Hippos
One of the star animals of the Okavango Delta is the hippo, and if you are lucky your trip out in a mokoro will allow you to spot one from a (hopefully) safe distance.
For us, we got lucky an spotted several hippos at sunset on our return trip from the bush camp and enjoyed seeing them rise out of the water to take a breath before submerging underneath the water.
Although we did not see any hippos up close or in full-frame in this situation (which was probably a good thing), exploring the Okavango Delta by a mokoro was an incredible experience that was one of the highlights of our African safari.
With views like this from our bush camp, we think you will understand why that is: