Leave the comfort of terra firma and take to the water for a tranquil experience where wildlife viewing takes on an entirely new perspective.
A canoeing or makoro safari in Africa is an opportunity to observe wildlife from an entirely different perspective. Marvel at the grandeur of the animals as they now look down on you from their unfamiliar elevated position. Meander down the waterways and feel as though you are the subject of a human safari as the animals all appear to come to the water’s edge to observe you. Immerse yourself in the experience as you quietly float past huge hippopotamus pods and immense Nile crocodiles. Feel like you have escaped to another world as you stop for a herd of elephants as they pass through the river.
The makoro is a traditional canoe. It was historically made from digging out the trunk of a large tree but is now made from fibreglass. Originally used by local people as transportation through Botswana’s Okavango Delta its use now extends to offering tourists a unique game viewing experience. Makoro safari is usually operated as a half-day activity out of camps in northern Botswana who have access to vast tracts of water. It is commonly used alongside dry activities such as vehicle safari and walking to maximise wildlife viewing and your overall experience. In some of the wetter areas of the Okavango Delta it is one of several water-based activities alongside boating, fishing, and sometimes walking.
Canoeing is a wonderful activity and offers very much the same benefits as makoro safari. While some operators offer it as a single activity over half a day we love to design multi-day canoe expeditions. These trips involve travelling by canoe from one destination to another over several days. They offer a magical experience and we rate such trips amongst the most rewarding in Africa. The first and last nights of the canoe journey are spent in permanent accommodations. The intervening nights you will be fly camping in small mobile camps at the river’s edge. Canoeing is the predominant activity but this can be broken up with bush walks and vehicle safari to provide a more diverse experience.
Due to the wild and rustic nature of canoeing expeditions we recommend these trips to more experienced and outdoorsy travellers.
Canoeing and makoro safari offer excellent game viewing opportunities. It is an opportunity to see less obvious wildlife such as amphibians, reptiles, and water birds. Being so close to large wildlife such as elephants, hippopotamus, and huge Nile crocodiles with very little protection is exhilarating and provides you with a true sense of adventure. Large herbivores such as greater kudu, buffalo, rhinoceros, and eland are easily observed drinking at the water’s edge, as are the big cats.
Contact us to discuss how we can integrate makoro and canoeing into your ultimate wildlife adventure.
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