If you are travelling to the Okavango Delta, a mokoro excursion is a must! Often seen as the quintessential experience in Botswana, this is a unique way of exploring the lush waterways and local wildlife in the area.
What is a mokoro?
A mokoro is a simple dug-out canoe that is propelled by pushing a pole from the stern of the boat, much like punting. It has been the primary mode of transport for generations for the people who call the Okavango Delta their home, and the delta is the only place in Africa to offer mokoro safaris.
Mokoros were traditionally built from the trunk of a large tree; however, with conservation efforts in mind, they are increasingly being made from fibreglass. Led by a private guide, the mokoro safari is a much slower and quieter experience and a fantastic mode of transport for avid birders.
When to go on a mokoro safari?
Although the ‘best’ months to visit Botswana are from June to October, the prime time to enjoy a mokoro excursion is between July and August. This is due to the seasonal water levels within the Okavango Delta being very sporadic. These two months tend to be the safest bet with regard to high water levels in the channels. The water being at its highest ensures that going out on a mokoro is safe. Please note, before or after these months high water is never a guarantee.
What happens during a mokoro safari?
Mokoro safaris are a brilliant way to learn about the Okavango as an ecosystem, whether it be learning about the flora within the waterways or the wildlife that calls it home, there is something different around every bend.
A mokoro ride is about enjoying the peacefulness and sheer beauty of the Okavango. Your guide will introduce you to the finer details of the area, such as how the delta works and how it provides food and water for one of the largest concentrations of wildlife on the planet. Big game is not nearly as commonly viewed on a mokoro trip as on other activities, but the experience is an absolute must. What better way to view this waterworld of lily-scattered floodplains and palm-fringed islands than by canoe?
These excursions are particularly popular among birders, as it is the only way you can get really up close and personal with some of Africa’s most beautiful bird species such as the malachite kingfisher (as seen above, photographed by YZ expert Josh), or one of the most elusive – the slaty egret.
If you are interested in a mokoro safari, just contact us here and let us know that you'd like to include a mokoro activity in your adventure to Botswana.