Okavango by mokoro
The safari begins in Maun, Botswana where you will be met by your private professional guide for the duration of the Okavango safari. Once ready we link with a private charter flight to our base camp of choice, approximately 20 flying minutes from Maun. The intention is to arrive early afternoon in time for lunch on the raised deck with a stunning view overlooking a vast flood-plain
The camp is located on the edge of Chiefs Island and the Moremi Game Reserve, an ideal base for launching mokoro and walking trails on remote islands in the region. Overlooking the Boro River the charming site is lost within the canopy of mangosteen trees.
The Moremi Game Reserve incorporates most of the Okavango Delta, ranging from permanent swamp to the dry bush-land of the eastern fringes. The Moremi is unique for two reasons. Firstly, it is the first game reserve in Africa to be proclaimed by a local trial authority, and secondly, it is possibly the most beautiful. The region we will explore for the following 7 days consists of an incredible variety of habitats. Ranging from floodplains, massive mopane forests, thornbush, and grassland to dense riverine bush, the Moremi is breathtaking. Depending on flood or rainfall, the Okavango’s water pushes into the region, creating a mosaic of permanent and seasonal floodplains, rivers and waterways. This vibrancy supports a staggering array of birds and game, and it is hardly surprising that many explorers and safari guides nominate the Moremi as their most memorable haunts.
The Okavango Delta is the wildest wetland in Africa. Covering an area of some 15 000 square kilometers, the Delta provides life to a tapestry of game, plants and fish. A wide spectrum of big game including elephant, buffalo, lion, wild dog, giraffe and an assortment of antelope quench their thirsts amidst this huge oasis. Channels, lagoons, floodplains, hidden away water-lily gardens and palm fringed islands make up the Delta. It is a timeless land without the trappings of society. The most rewarding way to explore her secrets is to venture on to remote islands by traditional dug-out canoe, or mokoro. Here, away from commercial operations, the Okavango truly comes alive. The sense of timelessness is as evocative as the moment itself.
An afternoon mokoro trip in the flood-plain regions surrounding the camp is highly recommended. We return to camp for dinner and overnight.
Once we have transferred our supplies and luggage into the dug-outs, we pole off in a northerly direction into the vast expanse of the Delta. After a while the tranquil rhythm of the poling sticks (ingashis) and the never ending beautiful horizons take over. As we pole past wooded islands, we scan the verges and floodplains for game, taking detours to silently drift closer. Birdlife abounds with large flocks of open-bill and saddle-bill storks, African jacana, rufous-bellied heron and a multitude of waders and raptors.
As afternoon winds down, we begin to search for a suitable island to make camp for the night. An idyllic spot, usually within a grove of huge mangosteen or jackalberry trees is selected. Once the mekoro (Singular – mokoro, plural – mekoro) have been offloaded, our mobile tented camp is erected by our safari team. Perhaps we have time to enjoy a short walk on the island in search for any animal activity. A fire is lit and we return
The two-man rip stop dome tents with sewn in groundsheets offer sufficient comfort, and our small bush kitchen makes up the camp. The essence is on mobility and traveling light, which goes some way in reaping a rewarding and significant wilderness encounter. Water is drawn from the delta.
Once we have made camp and arranged lunch, an afternoon walk is recommended.
Tracking big game on foot will possibly be one of the safari’s most memorable encounters, and some close up contacts are predicted. Walking is a wonderful way to absorb the bush, as the sounds and scents penetrate a great feeling of expectancy takes over and one becomes truly alive. There cannot be anything more evocative that spending a night out on a remote island, hearing lion roaring in the distance, and then tracking them on foot.
We overnight at our temporary fly-camp.
With absolute flexibility, we have 2 nights/3 days to explore the region and surrounding smaller islands. Early starts are recommended, and all walks will be tailored to suit the needs of the group. Meals are prepared at camp, but picnic snacks are possible while on walks. It would also be possible to combine walks with mekoro activities to neighboring islands.
Chief’s Island being the largest of the islands in the delta supports a rich diversity of game. Elephant are normally encountered; Buffalo, giraffe, zebra, antelope as well as predators such as lion and wild dog are often sighted.
Our walks or mokoro trips, are entirely opportunistic and depend on the movements of the game. The fresh mornings are normally excellent for predator viewing as we scan the floodplains and forest fringes for any signs. Slowly the magical qualities of the Moremi begin to unfold as we explore this region of the reserve
After a final breakfast at our campsite, we load up all supplies and begin poling back towards the Boro River, and our base camp. We arrive at the camp in time for lunch, a cold beer, hot shower and warm companionship, reliving the tales of the past few days.
An afternoon boat cruise on the Boro is an ideal chance to soak up the magic of the waterways and enjoy a spectacular sundowner on the river. Return to camp for dinner and overnight.
An early optional morning on the water, reading the nights events through the smells, tracks and sounds. Back for breakfast and the flight to Maun to connect with our international flight, or onward travel arrangements.
“Exploring the Okavango by mokoro is no ordinary safari. It is not merely an expedition through the paradisiacal wilderness of hidden away lagoons, verdant floodplains of a hundred greens, or breathtaking islands dotted with great herds of game. It is a journey of inner discovery, as the more you explore wilderness the more you explore your own self.”
HOME I WHY US? I BLUE SKY I SAFARIS I TRAILS I PRIVATELY GUIDED I PLANNING A SAFARI? I LINKS I CONTACT