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ivee Feb 12th, 2007 05:52 AM

Hippo danger in mokoros?
Recently I have read some frightening stories about hippos turning over mokoros.. with crocodiles in the water. Is the danger quite real or can you just go safely in a boat/mokoro with your guide??

santharamhari Feb 12th, 2007 06:00 AM

The guides know what they are doing....however, still a 1 in a million chance.....just go enjoy your trip!!!

Zambezi Feb 12th, 2007 06:25 AM

I presume that you are thinking of traveling by mokoros in the Okavango Swamp. In that case, you are often in small channels rather than on large open bodies of water where hippos and crocs mostly stay. The guides are probably more apprehensive than you and they will be very careful. Having been in mokoros numerous times, including a five-day camping trip in the Okavango with just my sister and five guides/porters, I advise you to relax. ZZ

atravelynn Feb 12th, 2007 08:20 AM

I feel safer in the mokoro than on the freeway. I think the odds are slightly in my favor in the mekoro also. People go for mokoro rides every day all over Southern Africa with no problem. If it is an option at your camp, go and enjoy it. No worries.

tooafricamad Feb 12th, 2007 08:26 AM

All the operators know your concern and Mokoro rides are now done in shallow safe water.
Have Fun

Bill_H Feb 12th, 2007 08:39 AM

There was a trip report here a few months back describing a situation where the husband, in a trailing boat, saw the guide in the boat ahead go into deeper water in a careless moment and a hippo flipped the boat with his wife in it as he watched.

The hippo went one way, the wife scrambled to shore, and there were no crocs, so all ended well.

You can probably find the link with a search, in case the poster is no longer active.


PredatorBiologist Feb 12th, 2007 08:57 AM

Bill_H: if I recall correctly that was in a canoe on the Zambezi which is going to be different than the mokoro where it is easier to stick to shallow waters and hippo avoidance.

afrigalah Feb 12th, 2007 01:34 PM

Don't hesitate,'ll love it. Hippos are dangerous, but your guides know what can and should not be done, so put your trust in them.

I had a couple of most enjoyable mokoro voyages at Xigera in the delta. We sat in our mokoros in shallow water for an hour or so and watched hippo in deep water about 30 metres away watching us.

The delights of mokoros are not only in silently gliding along the narrow channels among the reeds and papyrus but also in being able to get out and walk on islands and other areas inaccessible to was something special to be on foot and see lechwe sprinting through the water, to choose our route carefully so we could skirt grazing elephant, and to try to creep up on basking crocs. As much as I love the Linyanti land camps, the water camps of the delta are in paradise.


moremiles Feb 12th, 2007 03:06 PM

I was most concerned with this aspect of our trip to the Delta also, especially since we had our son with us, but we never felt threatened, always were in shallow channels and our guides were extremely knowledgable-it was so enjoyable!

steeliejim Feb 12th, 2007 04:10 PM

Yes, I'm still around, mostly lurking, participating vicariously on all the wonderful trips being reported. It was me who posted the account of the hippo incident in the Chifungulu channel on the Lower Zambezi last September. It was such a wonderful adventure (well, maybe a little more adventurous than we bargained for). To put the incident in perspective, and its "lasting" effect on us, we are trying to figure out how to do the same trip again this year--sans hippo encounter, of course.


steeliejim Feb 12th, 2007 04:14 PM

In case you are interested, ivee, here the thread for our trip on which the incident occurred. I certainly would not let it deter you.;dirtyBit=1


julienk Feb 12th, 2007 11:12 PM

This past year a doctor from the Seattle area was either bumped out or dragged (depending on the source you read)out of a small boat, by a crocodile. He was killed. I believe this was on the Zambezi but may have been Limpopo. Others in this forum have been forcibly evicted from boats, by hippos taking offense to their presence. We are intruding into their habitat, after all.
Whenever we travel there is a risk. To avoid all risk would mean we would miss out on so much in life. Be prudent and smart. Trust your instincts and make wise choices. But above all, relish the opportunity you have been given.

ivee Feb 13th, 2007 12:10 AM

Thanks for all the info so far! Of course I am going to do it although some of the replies showed me the truth of some of these stories. But I agree 100% that we are priviled to do these safaris !!I'll trust the guide!

crystalsong Feb 13th, 2007 03:52 AM

Hello, everyone:

We are scheduled to do a "canoe wine drift" on the Zambezi at Victoria Falls, Zim side, and from what I am reading here, would it be accurate to say that this is slightly more dangerous than mikoro rides? Has anyone done this, and how is it different from the mikoro rides in he Delta, which we will also be doing? Thanks.

tooafricamad Feb 13th, 2007 03:57 AM

Give me a few secs and I will post a mokoro trip

afrigalah Feb 13th, 2007 12:44 PM


I had what you might call a canoe wine paddle above the falls :) Somewhat less dangerous.


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