There is undoubtedly no better way to explore the Okavango Delta than on a mokoro…
I loved my mokoro trip at Ngepi Camp!
Gliding through the water unobtrusively (without a noisy engine to scare away the wildlife) allows you entry into a secret world. Reedy islands and riverbanks are alive with birds of all kind; small buff-coloured Squacco Herons, Little Bitterns, levitating Pied Kingfishers, Green-backed Herons pausing to spear small unsuspecting fish, African Jacanas striding pretty water lillies, bright-beaked Malachite kingfishers, Goliath herons (the largest heron in the world) swallowing dinner whole, and Little Bee Eaters perching on overhanging branches.
There are a variety on animals too; elephants, impala, water monitors, buffalo, zebras … and watch out for the odd hippo bursting out of the reeds! (yes this did happen to me!) However, the Ngepi guides (all of whom have grown up in the area) are very experienced and respectful of the surrounding wildlife.
Ngepi’s mokoros are made of fibreglass, unlike the original mokoros carved out of beautiful old indigenous trees, which are much better kept firmly in the ground! Sitting in a mokoro is surprisingly comfortable. It’s also a wonderful way to see life from the perspective of locals who have used these boats for hundreds of years, mainly for fishing, their main food source.
Half-way through the paddle (which is about 2 hours long), our group beached on a white sandy island for drinks and to gasp at the glorious sunset colours, which, in this wild place, hardly ever disappoint. It’s here we listened to our guides tell of some local legends, such as the river dragon or ‘Dikongoro’. The ‘Dikongoro is said to live in a big tunnel dug into the river bed and, in the past, has killed many unfortunate fisherman!
What a magnificent way to celebrate the beauty of the Delta’s unique eco-system! I even took a turn to poll – but it’s a lot harder than it looks, especially trying to steer, Mike had made it look way to easy! But have a go if you like – just watch out for the river monsters!