Intrepid travel photographers, Thalefang Charles and Pako Lesejane take to the waters of the Okavango Delta this week in a 17-day water trail expedition from Shakawe to Maun.
The adventure which is dubbed ‘Cross Okavango Delta Expedition’ is supported by Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) and will see the two travelers paddle their canoes (mekoro) from the delta’s panhandle near Shakawe through the pristine fauna and flora of the world’s largest wetland and are expected to reach Maun by June 16.
The expedition that will be captured in both video and photographs is a presentation of the Okavango Delta through the eyes of Batswana adventurers. It is expected to tell the story of the Okavango Delta to Batswana and the rest of the world through the eyes of the youthful Batswana adventures.
Charles and Lesejane will photograph the scenic landscape and wildlife pictures to be later presented through an exhibition and coffee table book.
The expedition will also have a film crew that will produce a travel documentary show after the completion of the trip
The expedition is expected to assist in the promotion of this adventurous eco-friendly trail to attract more global adventurous tourists through social media, newspaper reports, blogs, video and coffee table book.
The Okavango Delta was listed as the 1000th UNESCO World Heritage Site list last year and this expedition, which will be on a bio-friendly mode of transport, boat & mekoro, will help Botswana to promote green-travel and preserve their jewel of the Kgalagadi.
Apart from encouraging domestic travel among Batswana, the trail is said to have great potential to be among Africa’s best adventure trails.
The duo Thalefang Charles and Pako Lesejane are seasoned travellers who have been travelling together for seven years in annual road trip expeditions covering 15 African countries.
Charles is a backpacker with great passion for travelling in Africa.
He has travelled on road through Livingstone trail from Kolobeng in Botswana to Zanzibar in Tanzania.
He has crossed the pirates-infested Indian Ocean on a speedboat from Stone Town, Zanzibar to Mombasa, Kenya. He has successfully climbed to the highest point of Kilimajaro, Uhuru Peak 5895m, Africa’s highest point.
He has also hiked the Dranskensburg and Maluti mountains in South Africa and Lesotho.
He has traversed the Kalahari Desert and Makgadikgadi Pans by foot. He has spent days travelling through the true wilderness of the Namib Desert where the cold Atlantic Ocean meets the barren Namib sand dunes.
He has also spent a month touring China 2012. In 2014 he embarked on a month-long solo-backpacking odyssey through six African countries, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.
A self confessed “travelholic”, Charles loves to immerse himself in different cultures, in his words; “Eat local, Drink local, Do local.” He is a shrewd trip planner who can double as a negotiator and fixer in any expedition.
Lesejane is a landscape photographer who successfully completed Landscape Master programme in Cape Town where he has exhibited some of his works.
Lesejane has travelled extensively with Charles where they followed the Livingstone trail from Kolobeng in Botswana to Zanzibar in Tanzania.
In 2012 he was sponsored by Namibia Tourism to explore Namibia, photographing landscapes over 15 days.
He has climbed Kilimanjaro up to Uhuru 5895m Peak. He has also hiked the Drankensburg and Maluti mountains in South Africa and Lesotho.
He has traversed the Kalahari Desert and Makgadikgadi Pans by foot raising money for Charity.
In 2014 he embarked on a self-drive safari through Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve, Chobe National Park, Nxai Pan and Moremi.
Pako oozes with happiness when he is on the road, with his always charming smile he is the connector and survival skills adviser (you would bet he is from the army).
He is usually the chief cook and off-road driver in our expeditions.
He is a former student pilot with an obsession for gadgets.