In the evening you have a chance to go on a sunset mokoro cruise. This is a peaceful experience and gives you the chance to see all types of animals as they come down to the waters edge for an evening drink. The sunsets that are on display in this remote part of the world are worth the long journey that it takes to get here!
Mokoros are the dugout canoes that are regularly used by the local people to move from place to place. These mokoro polers stand silently on the stern and two people sit on the floor of the mokoro, that is covered in dry reads, and lean on their luggage, a surprisingly comfortable experience.
The poler smoothly poles the mokoro as you gently and quietly make your way through the reeds and water lilies.
The only sounds are the push of the mokoro's bow on the reeds as you slide through a slender path of your own making and the water that drips from the pole of your craftman as he pushes you. Oh yeah.....and your wifes snoring!!!!!!!!!
Giraffe live in isolated herds and they seem to enjoy living with the zebra and the wildebeest. Just about every time we spotted these beautiful creatures we saw a herd of wildebeest or zebra near by. These two were spotted near the road that leads to the Okavango Delta.
A well plumed 3m tall male Ostrich decides to take a stroll past us. The male is striking in appearance with their black body and tufts of white, while the unfortunate females are coated in dirty-brown feathers.
Driving out of the delta we came across a large flock of White backed Vulture that were being very patient and waiting for their turn to have a go at a carcus of some poor animal that had met its end at the hands of a pride of lion!
It seems that wherever you turn and look in southern Africa, you will come across a herd of Zebra. Over a 21 day period we began to hear "Oh look, a Zebra" and by the 21st day we heard "Another bloody Zebra!" If you do not initially get that great shot of a zebra, don't worry, you will get another chance followed by another, then another, then another, then...............
No mokoro ride or mokoro camping safari can happen without the help and knowledge of the local people.
On arrival we were met by a local guide who chose us. We were asked for our bags, which were loaded onto our mokoro.
This gentleman poled his way across the delta for 2.5 hours before we we arrived at our camp site. He was also at our side whenever we needed assistance, he was our guide every day on our walking safaris, he explained how they track animals and what animal left what droppings or tracks. When we were hot he took us to a safe area for swimming and when we wanted to go to the toilet.....he dug the hole!!!!!
MY TIP.....respect these people and pack a little extra into your pack that you can leave with them! A pair of shoes or a t-shirt is worth a lot to these people and when you are delivered safe and sound back at your pick up point give your guide 50 Pula (US$11.00)for his trouble.
It is so peaceful as the mokoro moves quietly through shallow water and the only noise you can hear is the sound of the water as it drips from the boatmans pole while you move through the narrow channels. I can recommend this experience to any traveller who wishes to experience nature without the sounds of modern day life.
Walking safaris were an integral part of our stay. Early morning and late afternoon game walks were conducted with six people per group and two guides who seemed to know every blade of dried up grass and every tree in the delta. It was amazing how a guide would point and say "Elephant" or "Zebra" and we would all say where?? But yes, there was an elephant or zebra watching us and we were still not aware that they were even there.
The delta environment has large numbers of animal populations that are otherwise rare, such as crocodile, red lechwe, sitatunga, elephant, wild dogs, buffalo, wattled crane as well as the other more common mammals and bird life. The best time for game viewing in the delta is during the May-October period, as the animal life is concentrated along the flooded areas and the vegetation has dried out.
The Okavango Delta is one of the world’s largest inland water systems. It's headwaters start in Angola’s western highlands, with numerous tributaries joining to form the Cubango river, which then flows through Namibia (called the Kavango) and finally enters Botswana, where it is then called the Okavango.
Anne and I camped in the Okavango Delta for 2 nights and 3 days with 9 other passengers on a Kumuka overland adventure.
An almost mandatory activity is visiting the Okavango Delta and having a ride in a mokoro. The mokoro is a dug-out canoe made from a large straight tree such as a sausage tree or an ebony tree. It is ideally suited as transport in the delta as in can move quietly through shallow water, being pushed by the boatman using a long pole, moving along the narrow channels or cutting through the long grasses or papyrus.
This isnt a tip really, its just a piccie of this huge African Tortoise we came across whilst here - isnt it amazing?!