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Digital Subscriptions > Travel Africa > January-March 2016 (73) > Drifting in the Delta

Drifting in the Delta

It’s first light in the Okavango, and the coucals’ bubbling cries are erupting everywhere in the papyrus. The sun is up, the mist is melting and there’s no better time to take to the water in a mokoro, the traditional Delta dugout canoe. With its low-slung gunwales, it’s a precarious-looking craft. One sideways lurch, you feel, and you could end up in the drink. But put your faith in your boatman. He’s been doing this job all his life. So just sit back and go with the flow as he stands in the stern, pole in hand, an African gondolier skilfully guiding you through the reeds on a slow boat to paradise. On you go, soundlessly drifting across lagoons thick with water lilies where otters hide, spotting pygmy geese and malachite kingfishers, while all around you the air is filled with the sounds of the Delta’s teeming life, of hippos and fish eagles, and sometimes, out of the marooned ilala palms, the sudden blare of elephants. Then all too soon it’s back to camp in time for a well-earned breakfast.

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About Travel Africa

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