Glide through the maze of channels, islands and opaque lagoons on a traditional mokoro dugout canoe and enjoy the seasonal beauty of the Okavango Delta. The 20-foot canoes sport distinct edges at the bow and stern and can cater for up to two passengers at a time. This exclusive guest list ensures an intimate excursion during which you can appreciate the quiet motion of the vessel as it glides across the still, dark water.
Mekoro was traditionally hand carved out of the huge Okavango Delta trees, but are now made out of environmentally friendly fibre-glass in an effort to adopt sustainable practices in the region. Guests sit in front of a trained guide and oarsman, who stands firm at the boat’s stern, manually propelling the vessel with a ngashi pole, whittled from the branches of terminalia trees. Polers, as they’re fondly referred to, are introduced to mekoro from early childhood, expertly manoeuvring the narrow boat with precision, grace and speed.
The month of June completely transforms the ordinarily dry and arid Moremi into a bustling oasis. The river floods, creating a maze of waterways and lagoons where delicate lilies shyly float above the shadowy surface. Explore the Okavango Delta, sitting mere centimetres above the smooth, clear water, as you silently pass by unsuspecting wildlife. Marvel at stout hippos as they fight over territory and crocodiles that stealthily stalk unsuspecting prey drinking deeply at the water’s edge. At the heart of the Delta lies a secluded network of waterways and islands where life slows down even further. Witness life from a new perspective, following routes taken by the river Bushmen and BaYei people for centuries and used to this day by local tribes, who still travel by mokoro. Encounter grazing herds of rare swamp-dwelling sitatunga and red lechwe antelope, as well as elephants that tower over islands fringed with palms. Watch in awe as these majestic beasts submerge neck-deep, swimming through a network of reeds inhabited by tiny frogs of all colours, all under the watchful eye of the elegant African fish eagle.