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Okavango by mokoro

Okavango by mokoro

The Okavango Delta is the largest delta in the world that is not connected to a sea and I was fortunate enough to visit a small part of it. The most obvious way of transport in such a watery area is of course a boat, but large areas of the Okavango are very shallow: about half a meter deep. That’s why local inhabitants have used hollowed out tree trunks, mokoro’s, for ages to be able to move around quickly in this swamp. Nowadays it’s mainly a tourist business and the mokoro’s are made of plastic, it all works still the same though! Two people sit together in a mokoro and on the stern stands a guy that keeps the whole thing going. The plan was to spend the night with our group in the Okavango. We would go there by mokoro and on the next morning we would do a bushwalk. Late in the afternoon we sailed into the Okavango and that was already a very nice experience in itself.

The next morning we went by foot and we saw our first Giraffes. Also a Warthog came running by, while it kept its tail straight upright in a funny way. Groups of zebra’s and Wildebeests were running around, while we were walking between very tall grass and a Bateleur was soaring above it all. It was a very special experience. This feels way different then driving through a safari park by car! Sadly we don’t encounter any large predators, but hopefully we will see them before the trip is over. I am very glad with two Wattled Cranes though, on a world level it’s a rare species and the Okavango was supposed to be one of the best places to see it. You can walk through our bushwalk in the slideshow!

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When we return after the bushwalk, it’s almost time to leave. For me the day would get even better. I have been talking a lot with Kebi (not sure if this is the way to write his name, but this is what it sounds like), a local guide that is also on the mokoroteam. More than the others he is also interested in birds, so we’re bonding over that. After we return in the camp he motions to me that I should follow him. He is going to give me a private tour to some Hippo’s that are bathing close by! After a short trip with the mokoro we stop on the edge of a pool. Then suddenly a giant head comes out of the water and a Hippo opens a mouth the size of a car hood. Cool! So we’re sitting in our mokoro while in front of us the Hippo’s are relaxing and making all kinds of weird noises. A very special experience!

A bit farther away a group of Red Lechwes is grazing. Antelopes that depend on water. Usually they are not easy to approach but against the wind we carefully move closer with the mokoro. The animals look at us curiously, but don’t move away. Slowly we drift closer. Then they decide it’s enough and move away.

We sail back while a group of Whiskered terns flies by and a Malachite kingfisher sneaks away before the mokoro. Sadly we can’t stay longer in Okavango, but this is certainly an area that I would want to return to someday!

 

Do you want to see pictures of other mammals? Click here for Elephants and Ugulates!

We also saw some cat species. Click here for Lion, Leopard and Cheetah

Of course Africa has a lot of birds. Here are some pictures of birds of the savanna, the African garden, the swamp and hornbills.

Africa also has many beautiful landscapes. Here are some pictures of Okavango, Sossusvlei and Spitzkoppe.

LennartVerheuvel

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