Searching for hippos in the Okavango Delta
Under the midday sun, with water sloshing gently at our sides, we glide on canoes nearly silently across the water, through lily pads and papyrus reeds.
This is the Okavango Delta, a swamp area in Botswana where water from the Okavango River collects, having traveled a thousand miles from Angola.
The delta is home to dozens of species of game, plants, fish and numerous ethnic African tribes.
It also lures roughly 120,000 tourists every year. Travelers are enticed by the chance to hunt or photograph the wildlife or to learn about the lives and culture of the area tribes.
But we're here to seek out its most famous residents -- hippos.
Click through the gallery above to see the sights of the Okavango Delta by canoe.
Overland tours to Okavango Delta are available from Johannesburg (www.nomadtours.co.za).
Daily tours of the delta cost BWP 500 (US$63) for two people, and include a tour in a makoro (30 minutes to two hours), one game tour and transport.
Camping in very basic camp costs BWP 50 (US$6).
The Okavango Polers Trust is a community-run, eco-tourism project that provides affordable alternatives to luxury lodges in the delta.
The Trust provides a livelihood for local polers and a chance for visitors to experience the delta in a unique way. www.okavangodelta.co.bw