- The Okavango Delta’s fastest poler will win P40 000
The race to find the fastest poler in the Okavango Delta will take place on the Thamalakane River in Maun on Saturday 26 August 2023.
Known as Nkashi Classic 2023, this year’s race has a grand cash prize of P40 000 for the fastest poler.
For the first time, the race will feature
a new category called “Doubles,” which is widely known as ‘Four-By-Four’ throughout the Okavango Delta.
It requires two polers to propel their dugout canoe (mokoro), and it is no matter whether the participants are male or female.
An additional grand prize of P20 000 will be awarded to the overall fastest individual and P10 000 for the winner’s chosen VDC or community trust to be used in community upliftment projects.
Finalists for the main race in Maun will be selected through a series of race heats which will be held around Ngamiland during May and June 2023 at Seronga, Etsha, Boro, Maun and Khwai areas.
The organisers will work closely with the VDC and community trust in each community. Entrance for the heats is free and open to anyone who meets the rules of the competition, which are available on the event page.
The top contestants from each region will secure their place at the main event.
Nkashi film roadshow
During the heats, the Botswana Wild Bird Trust (BWBT) and National Geographic Society (NGS) will be running a Nkashi Roadshow, which will include an educational component for the community, schools and children to attend.
There will be a free screening of the documentary, “Nkashi: Race for the Okavango,” in the evenings.
The Nkashi Classic is an annual mokoro race hosted by the Botswana Wild Bird Trust and the Okavango Eternal Partnership. The mokoro is an icon of the Okavango Delta and has been used for centuries by the people who live along the waterways of the world-famous inland delta.
This race is a celebration of this tradition, as well as an opportunity to unite the communities of Ngamiland and take part in a competition that celebrates this age-old custom.
The aim of the event is to create awareness of the importance of the Okavango river system and to honour the traditional heritage of the indigenous people of the Okavango who use the system.
Entrance to the event is free.
The race is rotated between Seronga Village and Maun, with the opportunity to grow. The 2022 event was held in Seronga and was a great success after the inaugural race in 2018.