Makoro

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Two wooden makoros

A makoro (also spelt mekoro, mokoro) is a type of canoe commonly used in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. It is propelled through the shallow waters of the delta by standing in the stern and pushing with a pole, in the same manner as punting.

Makoros are traditionally made by digging out the trunk of a large straight tree, such as an ebony tree or Kigelia tree. Modern makoros, however, are increasingly made of fibre-glass, one of the advantages of which is the preservation of more of the large endangered trees. Makoro safaris are a popular way for tourists to visit the delta, much of which is in national parks, but the boats are still a practical means of transport for residents to move around the swamp. The boats are very vulnerable to attack by hippopotamus, which can overturn them with ease. Hippopotamus are reputed to have developed this behaviour after the use of makoros and other boats for hunting.

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