Mokoro canoe safari
is is an activity in which one or two guest are propelled along in a mokoro canoe by an experienced punter who also acts as guide, usually for a period of 2 to 3 hours, exploring the network of narrow papyrus-lined channels and open seasonally flooded lagoons.
A mokoro, sometimes known as a 'mekoro', is a traditional type of dugout canoe which is propelled by a punter who stands on a flattened area to the rear of the vessel and propels it along by means of a long pole. This particular type of canoe is best known in the Okavango Delta
area of Botswana.
Although originally made from the trunks of various hardwoods, these days most of the mokoros used in safari camps are made out of fibreglass in order to reduce the number of large trees being felled.
Encounters with large animals tend to be quite rare from a mokoro, the main focus is on smaller creatures such as frogs and birds. It is an incredibly peaceful and relaxed experience, with just the rippling water and the sound of birdsong to accompany the brushing of reeds along the sides of the craft.
Occasionally mokoro safaris are operated over multiple days, typically out of a specialist bivouac camp out in the Okavango Delta, with guests enjoying longer periods in the boats, along with walking safaris on the various islands.
Generally speaking the best time for mokoro safari in the Okavango Delta is during the May/Sep high flood season, when there is sufficient water around for the majority of camps to offer decent water activities.
Some camps in the Okavango Delta are much more focussed on water-based activities and are able to offer decent mokoro safaris year round, however these camps tend to be much weaker for land-based activities such as vehicle safari.
Our favourite locations for short mokoro safaris include Pelo Camp
, Xigera Camp
and Jacana Camp
For longer multiple day experiences it may be worth looking at Xigera Mokoro Trail
and the much simpler and cheaper Gunns Mokoro Bivouac