A Mokoro ride in Botswana
Botswana has become a favorite Southern Africa country for tourists and all this is because of the many activities that one can carry out when they visit the country and a Mokoro ride is one of those activities that you should not miss out on when you get there. Mokoro rides in Botswana are carried out in the Okavango Delta due to its large nature and the many mini water bodies that are located within it especially during the green season when the flood plains are flooded with water that is believed to flow from Angola.
A Mokoro is a canoe that is made out of wood using hands by the locals and it is made out of the best ways to explore Botswana especially during the wet season. It normally carries two passengers and a poler who pushes it around the shallow waters around so that you can get a clear view of the different parts of the country that have shallow waters. Most of the people that operate the Mokoro are always well trained as early as seven years and therefore you do not need to be worried about how safe they are. Mokoros were the only mode of transport for all Botswana before the introduction of boats and they are still used especially by the poor community to go for fishing, giving tourists rides and accessing the flooded plains within the delta.
The trees that are used to make the Mokoro always take long to grow that is about 100 years and in order to avoid their extinction, there are other materials that have been used to replace the wood. Before the Mokoro was made from wood but due to the increased deforestation, they are now made from fiber glass in order to save on the trees in the country. The best way to get or book for a Mokoro ride is from the town of Maun before heading down to the Okavango delta for a fun filled Mokoro safari. Mokoro canoes are sometimes referred to as gondolas and although they are used to traverse the Okavango delta, they are only used in places where the water is shallow that is the many swamps both seasonal and permanent and not Rivers.
Mokoro rides in Botswana are mostly done within the Okavango delta and while enjoying a Mokoro ride through the Delta there are several things that you will see that will make your Mokoro ride even more interesting. You can enjoy birding, watching the different animals that roam around the Delta and other places in the country and the Mokoro rides normally take about two hours and therefore you should be ready for the two hours ride across the delta.
The best time for one to go for Mokoro rides in Botswana is during the months of July to October because during this time, the water levels are extremely high and there is no rain to affect your ride. It is also the best time due to the fact that the animals can easily be seen on the different water body banks trying to cool off.
- Birding while on a Mokoro ride
A Mokoro ride is one of the best ways for tourists to enjoy the birding sessions in Botswana. The silence that is associated with the Mokoro ride will help you watch the birds that habitate around the Delta and some of the birds that you get to see while enjoying a Mokoro ride include the slaty egret, the log toed lapwing, the cape vulture, the African fish skimmer, the pel’s fishing owl, kingfishers, the Bradfield’s hornbill and the African spoonbill.
- Animal viewing
The Okavango delta especially during the green season when there are some places where you cannot reach unless when you have a Mokoro. Some of the animal species that you will see include hippos, elephants, crocodiles, both the white and black rhinos, elephants, giraffes, buffalos, lions, antelopes, Lechwe and many more other species. However you should note that the Mokoro ride does not get to some places due to the presence of hippos but you will still be provided with a great view of the whole Delta.
If you ever want to get a different view of the Okavango delta, then a Mokoro ride is your choice. The Okavango delta is best seen when you are behind the lens and this is can be done as you ride through the delta. Remember that the Mokoro takes only two passengers and as you pass through the water logged areas, you will get a chance to take photos of the different delta, the vegetation, the animals and bird species.
There are quite a lot of destinations that a Mokoro can take you and most of these are waterlogged and swampy areas especially in the Okavango Delta.
The Okavango delta Mokoro rides
Mokoro rides within the Okavango delta can be carried out throughout the year depending on which part of the delta you are in although the larger part that has seasonal Rivers and water bodies makes the Mokoro rides become seasonal but the best time for a Mokoro ride through the Okavango delta is between the months of May and October because this is the time when the water levels in the Delta are high. There are many camps within the Okavango delta that give out Mokoro rides to tourists and some of these include:
This is located in the Okavango delta and it is one of the many camps around that offer Mokoro rides around the delta. The camp has several rooms where you can rest after the Mokoro excursion and not forgetting the good tasty food that is served to tourists although you will have to first book for the Mokoro trip before you get to the camp especially during the peak season.
The Nxamaseri island lodge
The Nxamaseri island lodge is also located in the Okavango delta and it also offers Mokoro rides throughout the delta. The beauty about the Nxamaseri camp is the fishing exercise that is done almost throughout the year, birding, animal viewing and a trip to the Tsodilo hills which are prayer hills to the san people and you can do all this while you enjoy your Mokoro rides.
The Xigera camp
The Xigera camp is located in the Okavango Delta and one of the best accommodation facilities in the Delta. It offers tourists a chance to go for a Mokoro ride with it being a water camp. The Mokoro rides can be given out at any time of the day although they are best enjoyed in the mornings and late afternoons during the setting sun.
The Shinde camp
The Shinde camp has been reopened after a long time of being close for renovations. Its proximity to the Okavango River has made it easy for the tourists to be given Mokoro rides around the delta. There are several tents from which you can rest and the restaurant provides you with some of their best dishes. During your Mokoro ride, there are several animals like the roan antelope, the bird species, go out fishing and other sight-seeing activities all while sitting in a wooden canoe made for two.
The Vumbura plains camp
The Vumbura plains camp are located at a strategic location with a good view of the whole Okavango Delta. There are enough rooms to accommodate everyone and the Mokoro rides here are majorly given to the resident tourists who are using the camp. The ride always starts in the morning and sometimes in the evening with a good and knowledgeable tour guide who knows where to take you so that you enjoy your Mokoro safari while in Botswana.
The Moremi crossing
The Moremi crossing is located in the Moremi game reserve which is found in the Okavango delta and one of the many camps that you can use when you visit Moremi. The camp provides its guests with a lot of activities to make sure that they enjoy their safari in Botswana and one of those activities is the Mokoro ride. A Mokoro ride here will leave you with a great view of the whole delta and you will get to see many wild life species that habitate within the delta.
You will need tour guides when heading out into the Mokoros because even if you have polers with you as you head out, a tour guide will be able to explain more at length about what you will be seeing while on the Mokoro safari and they will also help you avoid all the areas that are infested with hippos and crocodiles. For all those that want a quiet time while on a safari in Botswana with your loved ones, a Mokoro ride is the best and this is because of the quiet time that you get while watching the wild life and enjoying the sunset and the only noise you see is from the animals around.