Okavango Delta in Botswana

I’m currently in Botswana, which is the 6th country in Africa I’ve visited. Botswana is about the side of Texas, but the population is only 2 million people. We had a 10 hour drive and didn’t see many people!
Unlike Zambia and Malawi, which are both considered to be some of the poorest countries in the world, Botswana is the 2nd wealthiest country in Africa. Most of their money comes from diamond industry – diamonds account for ~ 70% of Botswana’s GDP and they’re the largest exporter of diamonds in the world.
Driving through the country, it didn’t feel and look that wealthy though; I think there’s a major divide between the rich and poor – rich government but poor people.

One of the main reasons/tourist attractions for coming to Botswana is the Okavango Delta. The delta is actually a World Heritage Site and is surrounded by a National Park and the Kalahari desert. 

We had the option to do a 3 day/2 night camping trip or just a 1 day trip. Given it’s rainy season, the wildlife isn’t amazing, so most of us just opted for the 1 day trip.

We drove an hour from Maun (where we’re staying) to Mokoro Station, along the delta. A “mokoro” is a traditional dugout canoe, made from local wood. They’re pretty narrow, with two seats in them.

At the back, there is a “poler”, which is the guide. They have a long stick and navigate the mokoro with that. The water is really shallow, so they push the stick off the sand on the water for traction.

We saw a female poler, which was great to see!

The ride was gorgeous! It was pretty hot (no rain!) and felt great to be on the water. We were surrounded by lily pads and lillies. We saw a hippo in the water, which was a little scary!

We were in the mokoro for about 1.5 hours, and went to a little island for a nature walk and lunch. On the walk we saw zebras, antelope, wildebeest and wildebeest bones (likely eaten by a lion!). 

From there we went down a few other channels and explored the delta.

It was a great experience though and so happy we were able to get the local experience. 
Off to Namibia tomorrow!


3 thoughts on “Okavango Delta in Botswana

  1. What a neat experience to be able to canoe through the delta! It looked beautiful and I’m so glad you had good weather.
    From your pictures, you certainly wouldn’t think it was a rich country. As you said, I’m sure there’s a big divide between the rich and the rest of the nation. Thanks for posting the blog and I can’t wait to read about your next adventures. Love you!


  2. Yes, I was surprised to hear Botswana is the 2nd richest country in Africa. And I think you’re right on about income inequality. The wealth is centered in the hands of a few very wealthy families and very little trickles down to the rest of the country.
    The delta looks beautiful. What a neat way to see it in those canoes. Looks like everyone had fun!
    Great to Skype with you today.
    Love you!


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