The Cross Okavango Expedition duo Thalefang Charles and Pako Lesejane who successfully crossed the Okavango Delta from Shakawe to Maun using mekoro are back in the water with Okavango Wilderness Project (OWP) team.
OWP is a project of the Wild Bird Trust supported by National Geographic and they are on an epic expedition dubbed “Into The Okavango” from the source of the Okavango/Cuito River in Angola to its southernmost mouth at Lake Xau in the Boteti, using mekoro.
OWP is conducting a biodiversity survey of the entire basin covering three countries; Angola, Namibia and Botswana.
“We want to meet the people of the river, learn the river’s secrets, and make sure that one of the most pristine river catchments remains as an example to the world of the way things could be,” expedition leader, Steve Boyes said.
“We have poled ourselves across the Okavango Delta five times and are committed to preserving the Okavango River in its current state by empowering governments with the information they need to support sustainable development and wildlife conservation.”
Boyes invited the Cross Okavango team to be part of the two-week expedition from Maun to Lake Xau to share the river experience with the local adventurers.
“It’s only right for us to share this experience,” Boyes added. “We were impressed by their initiative to cross the Okavango using mekoro as we believe and can prove that it is the best sustainable way to do.”
Cross Okavango expedition leader Thalefang Charles, who is already with team gliding through Boteti River, shared his excitement to be back on the mokoro again.
“For us it was a life changing experience and we are really excited to be with a team that has been doing this for years,” he said. “Our aims of doing this actually sync with their objectives, it is only that they are able to reach global audience with their National Geographic partners.”
Pako Lesejane will join the team before they reach Lake Xau.
The expedition is expected to finish on September 18 at Lake Xau completing a 2 400 km transect down the river system from the Angolan highlands over 18 weeks using mekoro.