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Two wooden mekoro
Travelling in a Mokoro (Okavangodelta 2017)

A mokoro (also spelt makoro) (Tswana: [mʊˈkɔrɔ], pl.: mekoro[1]) 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.

Mekoro are traditionally made by digging out the trunk of a large straight tree, such as an ebony tree or Kigelia tree. Modern mekoro, however, are increasingly made of fibre-glass, one of the advantages of which is the preservation of more of the large endangered trees. Mokoro 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 mekoro and other boats for hunting.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Setswana-English-Setswana Dictionary, Macmillan Botswana, 4th edition
  • Setswana-English-Setswana Dictionary, Macmillan Botswana, 4th edition