An Introduction …..
The Okavango Delta , a complex delicate ecosystem which traps the overflow of
the Okavango River that rises in Angola, containing meandering papyrus fringed
channels, tranquil lagoons and palm studded islands which make up this unique
inland delta covering about 15,000 sq. kms.
These waters eventually peter out into the desolate expanses of the Kalahari Desert.
The Okavango Delta is one of the most beautiful African safari areas, where
everyone can find something to please them.
The best way to explore the myriad of lily-filled waterways is undoubtedly by Mokoro.
Using mekoro to navigate the channels and lagoons of the Okavango Delta offers visitors
a chance to experience at first hand the wetlands of the Delta and also an opportunity to meet
the Bayei peoples who call this stunning pristine wilderness area home.
The day mokoro safari offers a snapshot view of the traditional mode of transport utilized for
hundreds of years by the Bayei tribes people living in the Okavango Delta.
A variety of game may be spotted in this pristine wilderness area including elephant ,
giraffe , kudu , impala and zebra for instance.
The traditional dug-out canoe, or “Mokoro” (plural, Mekoro) was originally introduced into the Okavango Delta by the Bayei tribe who moved into the region fro the Zambezi river area after the 1750’s.The presence of the tsetse fly meant that pastoralism was not possible and instead they relied on hunting and fishing for subsistence.
Trees that are favored by the Bayei people for the construction of mekoro were, the Kiaat (Pterocarpus Angolensis)or “mukwa”in Setswana, the Jackal Berry tree (Diospyros Mesopiliformis) or “Mokutshumo”and the sausage tree (Kigelia Africana) or “Moporota”.
A tree might take well over a century to attain Mokoro size, but the lifespan of the Mokoro would typically only be about 5- 10 years.
In the interests of conservation and the protection of the trees and ecology of the Okavango Delta ,
the recent policy of most communities in the area to use fiberglass canoes that are modelled on the traditional wooden Mokoro.
The pole or “ngashi” that is used to push the Mokoro along is commonly made from the Silver Terminalia tree (Terminalia Sericea) or “Mogonono”.The straight growth form of the young branches, coupled to the elasticity of the wood, make it ideally suited to the task.
See above MOKORO TRAILS DAY SAFARI
We depart from Sedia Riverside Hotel at 0700hrs after an early breakfast, heading by safari vehicle
into the south east region of the Okavango Delta.
There is a choice of Mokoro station we can normally use, either Xaraxao, Boro or Ditshipi.
The Xaraxao mokoro station lies on a tributary of the Boro River and contains smallish scenic
lagoons adjacent to extensive floodplains.
Driving time to Xaraxao is just under one and a half hours from Sedia Riverside Hotel.
Scenically the drive may offer a little game viewing en route.
Afro Trek Safaris prefer to go to Xaraxao where we experience a more aquatic ambience and
have, over many years, developed a good personal relationship with the polers which is reflected
in a more personal mokoro trail experience for guests.
The transfer to Xaraxao is in customised safari vehicles with rear mounted game viewing seats beneath
a canvas canopy.
The drive to the mokoro mooring station on the Boro River will take around one hour.
The transfer is in customised safari vehicles with rear mounted game viewing seats
beneath a canvas canopy.
On arrival at the mokoro station you will meet your poler guide / polers for the day.
Seats are placed in the mekoro for a more comfortable experience.
The polers will steer us through this serene area of narrow reed lined channels which
open out onto beautiful lagoons.
After arriving at one of the many secluded islands which make up this fragile yet dynamic,
unique eco-system, a guided bush walk may be taken with the guide which offers the rare opportunity
of spotting wildlife in their unconfined natural habitat whilst on a bush walk.
The most rewarding and enjoyable way to explore and experience the beauty and serenity
of this intricate system of lily covered channels and lagoons, which make up the Okavango Delta,
is undoubtably by Mekoro, which glide quietly and effortlessly through the whispering papyrus
of the shallow water channels, the quietness and gentle pace of the mokoro offers a truly magical
way of experiencing the beauty and tranquility of the Okavango Delta.
The Mokoro Trails offers a snapshot view of the traditional mode of transport utilized for
hundreds of years by the Bayei and the Hambukushu tribes people living in the area.
Although the mokoro trails is not primarily a game viewing activity, a variety of game may be
spotted in this pristine wilderness area including elephant, giraffe, kudu, impala and zebra.
Packed lunch with mineral water provided during the safari trail.
After the bush walk which could be for an hour or longer if required, return by mokoro through
the channels back to the mokoro mooring station for the transfer back to the
Sedia Riverside Hotel.