Gallery: mokoro rides in the Okavango Delta
Please don’t ask me to pick my favourite landscape – it’s impossible. I love the drama of high mountain ranges, and of rocky coastlines; the haunting light that illuminates the lands close to our poles, and grassy savannahs strewn with baobab trees; gentle green rolling hills, and roaring waterfalls.
But certainly there is something particularly irresistible for me in landscapes with vast open skies, such as deserts and wetlands. And wetlands don’t come much bigger or more impressive than Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
The Okavango Delta is a unique landscape and eco-system. It is formed by the Okavango River flowing from Angola into the Kalahari Dessert, where it disperses across a wide flood plain, forming a myriad of channels. These are interspersed with small islands, which are created by vegetation gathering around termite mounds.
The channels are kept open by hippopotami and other animals. They are lined with papyrus, creating a fascinating pattern of vivid greens and blues when seen from above, and a wonderful haven of wildlife to explore. In the dry season of winter, when we visited (July), the delta is like a massive oasis, as surprisingly that is when it is at its fullest; the rains that fall in Angola in the early part of the year arrive here in the winter months when the rest of the Kalahari is at its driest.
I will share some images of the wildlife here in a later post. For now, and for this week’s Sunday Stills challenge, I am posting some of my favourite landscape shots of the delta.
These shots were taken during two evening mokoro rides. Mokoros are the traditional boat of the Okavango, and in the past were made by digging out the trunk of a large straight tree. These days most are made from fibreglass which, while not so traditional, is much better for the environment as fewer trees are felled.
A mokoro ride is a very peaceful experience. Low down in the water and without an engine, you drift through the narrow channels of water and get a great close-up viewpoint.
On both rides the sky was perfect for some landscape shots and I also shot some video footage. Every time I watch it I am transported back to this magical spot.
I visited the Okavango Delta in 2018
Like the magic of sea kayaking here only we have just salmon bumping up against the boat – no hippos.
Thankfully no hippos bumped our boats – I think we might have ended up in the water if they had, and given their reputation that would be scary! I’m sure our guides and boatmen were on the lookout to avoid them 🙂
I really like your opening paragraph here Sarah and your photos are magical!
Thanks Katie, I do try to come up with openings to draw people in!
I thought I was already following you. Strange. Anyway, good to catch up on what you have written and yes very hard to pick the best as each and every photo has a good reason why we want to capture that precise moment.
Ha yes, I get confused sometimes about who I’m following or otherwise! Thank you for joining my followers 🙂
Your writing feels very connected to this beautiful place and your images are stunning. Our Everglades evoke much the same feeling. You might enjoy viewing some prints from famed photographer Clyde Butcher. https://clydebutcher.com/ Thanks for sharing this beautiful delta.
Thank you so much Suzanne. I’ve visited the Everglades many years ago and I can see what you mean about the similarities. I’ve just had a quick initial look at Clyde Butcher’s photos and you’re right, I love what I’ve seen so far. Thank you for the link 🙂
Fabulous combination of water and sky 🙂 🙂
Thank you Jo!
I have to agree with you on the vast open skies, like deserts and wetlands … there is just something majestic at these places!
And your beautiful photo’s shows exactly that … so much peace and tranquility. Love it 💌
Yes, majestic is a good word for those skies. They make you feel very small and yet part of something very big, if you see what I mean? Thank you for those kind words about my photos 🙂
I can’t share in this exotic experience, but I’ve twice had the chance of an evening in a boat at Albufera, a protected lagoon near Valencia. They were among the most beautiful, tranquil hours of my life.
I think there’s something special about an evening on a boat wherever you are in the world Margaret, and that lagoon sounds lovely. Somewhere for me to investigate if we ever go to Valencia 🙂
Do. It’s beautiful, and deserted if you avoid weekends. And you can get there on the bus!
Terri Webster Schrandt
Your words and amazing images bring the Motorola to life and showcase part of our wonderful world, Sarah. The ride itself sounds so interesting and getting up close and personal must have been quite special. Delta lands are amazing habitats.
Thanks so much Terri, and for the prompt to share this landscape with you all 🙂 I had to smile at your autocorrect 😆
Terri Webster Schrandt
OMG, I had to go back and look, LOL, motorola, Jeez.
Such beautiful peaceful photos from the mokoro.
Thanks Don 🙂 It doesn’t always happen, but on this occasion the photos look exactly as it felt!