It used to be such a mission to cross the Okavango river that remote communities in the eastern panhandle of Botswana referred to the rest of the country as “overseas”.

There were long queues for an ailing pontoon that had to deal with crocodiles and hippos. Its limited trading between dawn and dusk often stranded women in labour, leaving them to deliver their babies on the riverbank.

Six years in construction, the 1.2km Mohembo Bridge has connected 10,000 once-isolated people to “overseas” and paved the way for tourists to discover a pristine pocket of the Okavango Delta.

“It was a real hassle to cross the river, but it is now just a jolly walk, “ Dumelang Saleshando said after the official opening of the cable-stayed

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