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Canoe Caravan

Canoe Caravan

Actually the correct name of these types of canoes is "Mokoro". Used by the Bayei tribe in Botswana's Okavango Delta. No map or compass is any use in the delta as the channels wind around like a nest of serpents and change their course from season to season and from year to year. A lagoon can become grassland or a channel can become impassable from one month to the next. You could follow a channel for days only to find a dead end, or you could enter a lagoon and be confronted with a dozen exits.

I spent 4 days camping in the delta with the tribe and my fellow adventurers. Once our base camp was established in the delta, we broke into small groups daily and ventured out on foot with our guides exploring...a literal foot safari, where we approached and photographed crocs, hippos, zebra, gazelle, baboons, elephant, buffalo, and more. Too cool off in the mid day sun, the only relief was to jump in the delta long as you felt reasonably sure the crocs were not around. The capstone of the adventure was pissing off a large bull elephant, who proceeded to chase us with bad intent. After running through the bushes and getting away, no one came out unscathed, due to the torn clothes, lost hats, and cuts from thorny bushes. That elephant haunted us the entire time.