The lifeline that is the Khwai River makes the area a wild haven as this stable water source also lies along a seasonal animal migratory route. A mokoro experience in Khwai, floating down the river in a dugout canoe, brings another perspective to Botswana’s wildlife wonders. Mokoros, traditionally crafted from hardwood tree trunks, have long served as a vital mode of transportation across the waterways of the Okavango Delta. In recent times, however, their purpose has transformed, as these very mokoros have found a new role in fostering sustainable tourism.
Visitors can rely on a full Khwai mokoro experience between April and October when the levels of the Khwai River rise and the many channels are passable. This is also when regular sightings of wild dogs occur with these plucky predators denning in the area. The summer months of December to March will delight avid birders as this is when the visiting migrant species are out in full force. A mokoro experience in Khwai is an “unparalleled aquatic adventure”, as guest Kassandra E’Silva describes it.
“The river was like glass, inviting in its still tranquility. It was hard to imagine there was a world of wildlife thriving beneath… We climbed into our wooden mokoros to the iconic African sound of the hippopotamus, immersing ourselves in the elements yet again … Floating along the Khwai River you literally feel part of your surroundings, a true immersion in the natural world. We paddled past an array of aquatic birdlife as well as the smaller plains game drinking at the river’s edge …
“ … a herd of elephants awaited our arrival. Quenching their thirst from the midday heat, they drank deeply while allowing us to observe, looking up from water level into their world. Hearts in throats we sat, mesmerised. We were completely engulfed in the smells and sounds of these magnificent creatures, their rumblings vibrating through the mokoros, into our feet, settling into our memories … Our guide quietly explained the dynamics of an elephant family – intelligent, aware and gentle within their fold. What an honour to share such an up close and personal encounter with these giants, wise and intentional in their ways.”