Changing Planet

#Okavango14: Getting Around in the Delta

Getting around in the delta isn’t exactly easy. In fact, the days we had pushing through the grasses and reeds, dragging the boats over “dry” ground, and carrying them through the bushes in 95-degree heat under a beating sun were some of the most difficult I’ve had.

Poling
The crew poles their mokoros through thick grasses. (Photo by Gregg Treinish)

I found that poling a loaded mokoro takes phenomenal finesse, core strength and, of course, balance. Dragging one is less finesse, more stubbornness.

A short clip of some mokoro dragging:

Every morning we pack our gear, strapping everything down tightly, and making sure the items we need are available at a moment’s notice. Here’s, GB, the lead poler on our expedition and an exemplary member of the local baYei community, packing the boats on day one:

GB packs the mokoros on day 1. (Photo by Gregg Treinish)
GB packs the mokoros. (Photo by Gregg Treinish)

In the evenings, we unpack and haul everything onto an island; setting up our tents; charge our batteries and make sure all our technology is working right; update intotheokavango.org and our social media; cook dinner and tell stories before heading to sleep.

Gregg Treinish is Executive Director of Adventure Scientists. Learn more on our Field Notes blog, FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Read More by Gregg Treinish and His Correspondents

Gregg Treinish founded Adventure Scientists in 2011 with a strong passion for both scientific discovery and exploration. National Geographic named Gregg Adventurer of the Year in 2008 when he and a friend completed a 7,800-mile trek along the spine of the Andes Mountain Range. He was included on the Christian Science Monitor's 30 under 30 list in 2012, and the following year became a National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his work with Adventure Scientists. In 2013, he was named a Backpacker Magazine "hero", in 2015, a Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur and one of Men's Journal's "50 Most Adventurous Men." In 2017, he was named an Ashoka Fellow. Gregg holds a biology degree from Montana State University and a sociology degree from CU-Boulder. He thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2004. Read more updates from Gregg and others on the Adventure Scientists team at adventurescientists.org/field-notes. Follow Adventure Scientists on Instagram @adventurescientists, on Facebook @adventurescientists, and on Twitter @AdvScientists.

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