Africa

Exploring the Okavango Delta in Mokoro

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After fly over the Okavango Delta by plane, we continue our trip through Botswana and we explore the Okavango Delta in mokoro, the traditional canoe of the area.

At the appointed time of the start of the excursion, the Old Bridge Backpackers It was already a hotbed of activity and confusion, and we saw dozens of people preparing for explore the Okavango Delta in mokoro. The vast majority were going to spend one or two nights there, but we and another traveler were only going to spend the day and return. Upon arriving at reception we gave our names and discovered that we were not on the list, but with the chaos that prevailed at that time, it was not an impediment. They quickly handed us a couple of bags with lunch of the day and also a couple of umbrellas to protect us from the sun and the heat that awaited us.

Speedboats that would take us to the starting point

We got in the cars and they took us to a point on the river where some speedboats were waiting for us. We go up the river for almost an hour until we reach the fence that separates wild animals from cattle and that the yesterday We saw from the air. There were waiting for us mokoros, traditional canoes, with their boatmen. Some of these canoes are still traditionally made and carved from a single piece of wood. However, we also saw mokoros more modern made of fiberglass, and that is that modernity is imposed.

Mokoros prepared to leave

Our boatman planted two seats in the mokoro, we got on and started to enter the national park. At that time there were only two of us mokoros furrowing the river: ours and another in which a boy from Eritrea who was touring the country was moving by public transport. The rest of the participants who spent the night in the delta in tents took a little longer to get out of the logistics complex.

Our boatman was driving the mokoro with a pole, just like the gondoliers in venice and, slowly, we were entering the delta. Despite being early, it was very hot and I understood why they had given us umbrellas in the hostel. With the umbrella open in plan The queen of Africa We sailed upriver. Hundreds of birds accompanied us along the riverbanks. We did not see any large animals, either in or out of the water, but many types of birds that made life in the river.

At The queen of Africa

After navigating the widest part of the river, the boatman turned the mokoro to enter a small tributary in which the abundant vegetation made the road narrower and narrower to the point where we almost advanced by eating the reeds. One tip to avoid eating rods: stand up if you don't panic that the canoe wobbles a bit (like me). We approached a delta island little by little until the mokoro He touched down and we went down.

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