20 Mar 2024

A Remarkable Shift in Africa's Safari World


A remarkable shift is reshaping the traditional landscape of piloting iconic canoes in one of Africa's most extraordinary places – a role that has long been the domain of men

In the early morning light, before the blistering Botswana sun reaches full heat, the only sounds are the brushing of traditional mokoro canoes as they slide over the grass and slip gently into the glassy waters of the Okavango Delta. Eager tourists sit poised with cameras and smartphones as their mokoro guides, or "polers" as they are known, expertly cast them off from shore with their lengthy poles pushing deep into the delta's muddy bed. It's a trade that requires a challenging combination of balance and physical strength, as well as in-depth knowledge of wildlife and wilderness survival skills.

Traditionally, this has been considered a man's job, but now a handful of courageous women are challenging stereotypes and steering change in the world of guiding.

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Source: BBC Travel