Top 10 Botswana Bucket List Countdown Part 5
Botswana is a country with so much to offer, hidden gems and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. In an exciting new series of articles, we will be counting down Botswana’s Top 10 bucket list experiences that everyone has to try at least once in their lives!
Ride a Mokoro in the Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is one of the most magnificent places on earth. The river system stretches for thousands of kilometers and what better way to see it than floating along the rivers in a Mokoro, an activity entirely unique to Botswana, even though it might seem terrifying at first.
A Mokoro is a little boat, almost like a canoe, traditionally made from dugout trunks of large straight trees such as ebony and kigelia, but out of conservation concerns are now mostly made from fibre glass. An oarsman stands at the stern of the boat, using a stick to steer and propel the Mokoro. The guides are taught to handle a Mokoro from a young age, sometimes as young as seven, making them experts in the balancing act that is required – one wrong move or sudden turn could land the passengers in the water.
Experiencing the delta in this way allows you to come up close to hundreds of species of birds and different animals, both on land and in water. The biggest danger of falling out of the boat is not actually crocodiles, but hippos which also make the waters their home. Wildlife is abundant in both predators and prey, and researchers from around the world come to this area to study the area’s large population of the threatened African wild dog.
Visit the Elephants in Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park is in northern Botswana, near the Okavango Delta and is known for its huge concentrations of elephants. The park supports the largest surviving elephant populations in the world. Current populations are estimated to exceed 120 000.
One of the park’s most wildlife-rich areas is the Savute Channel, home to hippo and crocodiles in water, and on drier land you are likely to see predators such as lions, cheetahs and hyenas. Elephants, zebras, antelope and other migratory animals come and go, making it a haven for wildlife. For a different perspective, relaxed and leisurely river cruises offer a view from the other side such as elephants in the water, coming to drink and bathe.
The floodplains, marshy in the green season from November to early April and grassy in the dry season from mid-April to October, famously provide the ideal habitat for the highest concentration of elephants on the African continent. The winter months, July to October are the best for game viewing because the short-lived pans dry out and the wildlife is drawn to the permanent watering holes. Adventurous travellers can test their courage on a guided walking safari, getting up close and personal with the vast wilderness.
Read the previous article in this countdown.