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 Mokoro 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 modeled 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 2 DAY SAFARI
Departure from Sedia Riverside Hotel is approx. 0700hrs after breakfast, the exact departure
time is agreed with the guests the night before the activity.
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 but the river water levels do dictate which
poling station we use.
The drive to the mokoro mooring station on the Boro River, situated in the south east of the
Okavango Delta in the OKMCT concession area, will take around an hour.
The transfer is in customised safari vehicles with rear mounted game viewing seats beneath
a canvas canopy.
On arrival at the mokoro mooring station you will meet your poler guides / polers for the day.
The polers will steer you through this serene area of narrow reed lined channels in traditional
dug-out mokoro, floating through the waterways 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 we make camp and have lunch, followed by a guided bush walk 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 see and experience the beauty and serenity
of the intricate system of lily covered channels and lagoons, which make up the
Okavango Delta, is undoubtedly by Mekoro, which glide quietly and effortlessly through
the whispering papyrus of the shallow water channels.
The Mokoro Trails offers a snapshot view of the traditional mode of transport utilized for hundreds
of years by the Bayei 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 and zebra.
The opportunity to swim in a safe location will be offered as well as time to try and master poling a
Mokoro using the traditional gnashi.
After the bush walk, we can relax and unwind in the camp, refresh and take dinner under the stars
before zipping into cosy tents and retiring to the sounds of the wild.
After breakfast, we take to the Mokoro again enjoying the channels, these intricate veins of waterways
which interconnect the lagoons, with a further guided bush walking experiencing the sights and sounds
of this wild magnificent domain.
After lunch, we break camp and head back in the mokoro through the channels to the mokoro
mooring station for our transfer back to Maun and the Sedia Riverside Hotel.
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