Moremi Game Reserve

Moremi

Stunning mixture of landscapes

 

If you can imagine the Okavango Delta as being the shape of a hand, its waterways and seasonal floods spreading out like fingers as it enters Botswana from the north and spills southwards, the Moremi Game Reserve would be the palm of the hand. The unique series of natural phenomena that gives rise to the delta realise themselves into one of the most beautiful regions in Africa.

 

Originally the royal hunting grounds of Chief Moremi, it was designated a Game Reserve in the 1960’s and whilst growing in size, has since achieved National Park status.

 

It is the sheer diversity of fauna and flora and its differing landscapes that make this area such a highly desirable place to visit. There is arguably no-where else in Botswana that offers a myriad of lagoons, open dry areas, permanent water channels interspersed with Mopane forests and Palm fringed islands that sit in the middle of flooded plains.

 

Chiefs Island is a massive area of land that can be considered as being semi water-locked, the land being mainly dry with patches of seasonal flooding only. The resultant numbers in game is nothing short of spectacular. Defined within the region by its water boundaries, these large groups of animals never seem to move away from their constant and dependable drinking sources.

 

There are no fences around the reserve and game is able to wander freely into and out of the park from the neighbouring private concession areas. North of the reserve itself are the dryer areas of the Okavango Delta region and south of the reserve are the wetter areas where the private concessions hold most of the water camps.

 

To the east within Moremi itself and at the northern end of Chiefs Island is the more excusive region where fly-in safari lodges are the only option.  To the east again lies the Mopane Tongue where slightly more affordable lodges may be found very close to the permanent water channels of the delta, this is also the area most accessed by mobile safaris and self-drive enthusiasts.

 

Other notable areas include the Khwai River, Third Bridge, Xakanaxa and Dead Tree Island and all offer the visitor such variety that the visitor could consider staying on safari within the boundaries of Moremi for the entirety of their stay.

A hippo yawns as its wallows in a pool in the Moremi Game Reserve

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Wildlife

 

Probably one of the richest game areas in Africa, Moremi Game Reserve offers the visitor a simply bewildering array of sightings. The ever present herds of buffalo, elephant, zebra, wildebeest and impala are complimented with fantastic sighting of red lechwe racing through the waterways. Along the permanent waterways of the Delta, one might if are lucky see the very elusive sitatunga antelope or more common reed buck and water buck.

 

Lion on a kill in Moremi Game Reserve

 

Predator species are high in number, especially with lion and hyena. Leopard sighting are extremely good as are cheetah and wild dog.

 

Due to the nature of the waterways, flooded plains and dryer areas, birdlife is some of the best available in the country. Birds range from African Pygmy-Goose flying low over the waters, Coppery-tailed Coucal, Bateleur Eagles and the rare Wattled Crane and Slaty Egret

Seasons

 

The peak season for an area can differ and is dependent on wildlife movements and the weather itself

 

 

Peak Season

Winter is between June and October.

Considered the dry months, this is actually when the Delta floods with waters from Angola (there is no rain during the time), which also effect Moremi

 

With the floods, the animals gather in vast numbers to the abundant but localised water souces

 

 

Off Season

Summer is between November and May

Considered the rainy season. Depending on the year, the rains can be heavy or light and have the effect of filling up waterholes far and wide.

 

The result is that animals scatter as there is no need to congregate around a scare water source.

Activities

 

There is a seemingly endless array of excursions available to you in Moremi National Park. Most Lodges of course provide you with daily game drives, as do the Mobile Operators, but as ever within National Park boundaries you are not allowed to conduct night drives nor go off-road. The only exceptions to this are the Mombo Camps and Chiefs Camp who say they will follow the more interesting sightings off-road. As such, this is a real benefit as the area is thick with lion and leopard etc, and the ability to follow this type of game unhindered adds massively to your experience.

 

The Lodges and Mobile operators here are able perhaps to go further than any in enhancing your stay. Aside from game drives you will be able to travel round some of the lagoons and through the permanent water channels by motor boats, these are generally aluminium made craft manufactured locally to a high standard specifically for these waters.

 

Mekoro trips will also be made available, where you will be poled silently through delta reeds and papyrus in craft that were traditionally made from local wood but are replicated these days in fibreglass. They still give you the same thrill of sitting almost an inch above the waters surface. This is a simply marvellously peaceful way of experiencing the delta.

Selection of our Moremi Tours

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Mangosteen Tour

6 nights Moremi, Okavango and Linyanti

from $4,553

Rain Tree Tour

7 nights Kalahari, Savuti and Moremi

From $6,445

Leadwood Tour

6 nights Makgadikgadi, Moremi and Okavango

From $3,630

Accommodation

 

The most upmarket Lodges reside on the north and north-western region of Chiefs Island. Mombo and its sister camp Little Mombo , together with Chiefs Camp represent some of the most luxurious Lodges in Botswana, all with game pretty much guaranteed on their doorstep. These camps offer mostly the classic dry game viewing experience, whereas Xigera, more to the west tends to lean upon a water camp experience due to its location on permanent waters. This camp is only just inside the boundaries of the park but as there are no fences to the park that fact seems not so relevant as it is in its own incredible private area.

 

More affordable lodge accommodation can be found in the Xakanaxa region. Camp Okuti, Camp Moremi and Xakanaxa Camp all lie in the verdant and bountiful Xakanaxa region of the park and all take full advantage of their position close to the permanent channels and lagoon.

 

As with other National Parks, there is a fantastic array of Mobile Safari operators who camp in private campsites and offer a range of luxury for your safari. They all include very excellent game drives and as it is Moremi, many of them also include boat trips down the Okavango Delta permanent channels. Please browse our Mobile Tented Safaris section for further information.

 

Lastly for entrants into this National Park, there are facilities for Self Drivers. There are 4 public camp-sites available, the best 2 sites are at Xakanaxa and Third bridge as they are both centrally located. The other two sites are at the park gates at North and South Gate… these two are not so nice as they a little squashed and you must drive a distance to feel as though you are in Moremi itself.  Please look through our Self Drive pages for details on our 4X4 car hire and camp bookings.

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A hippo yawns as its wallows in a pool in the Moremi Game Reserve

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A hippo yawns as its wallows in a pool in the Moremi Game Reserve