Khwai Community Area
Looking at a map of Botswana, you’d miss Khwai completely if you didn’t know it was there. Wedged between the big-ticket attractions of Chobe National Park to the east and Moremi Game Reserve to the south, Khwai exists as a significant big game destination of its own. Lying on the eastern fringes of the Okavango Delta with a rich wildlife population and no borders drawn around it on the map, Khwai is often overlooked in favour of its more famous neighbours, though in the winter months it can hold its own for the quality of big game viewing.
During your time here, you’ll spend most days exploring the narrow Khwai River, which forms the natural boundary to the Moremi Game Reserve on the south. The Khwai River is a beacon for wildlife and plays host to leopards stalking lechwe in the long grass, lions swimming from the banks to save their cubs’ during territorial disputes and crocodiles competing with wild dogs for a midday meal of impala.
As Khwai lies outside the parks, it offers the freedom and flexibility normally only possible with the heavier price tag of a private concession. Go off-road for a closer look at sightings, night drive in search of nocturnal species, and, with a little advance planning, head out on game walks to track wildlife on foot.
Khwai is also home to a village community where people live side by side with the resident wildlife. Some camps will offer village visits for a dose of cultural insight to go with your safari. For those not visiting the water camps of the delta, many camps in Khwai offer the chance to get out on a mokoro (traditional canoe), although excursions are less traditional in nature, skirting the riverbanks, rather than open delta floodplains.
Good To Know
Best Time To Travel
- Game viewing is excellent year-round as the vegetation is varied between the different areas of Khwai, with dry land complemented by semi-permanent river course and seasonal swamplands.
- Dry Season: April – October, game concentrates around the semi-permanent water source of the Khwai River
- September – November: Migrant birds arrive, guaranteeing prolific birdlife, excellent throughout the summer months
- November – April, most of the animals give birth during this time attracting a variety of predators, however, game drive routes are can be limited when the annual flood arrives
|What To See
- Khwai Community situated on the northern boundary of Moremi, so with no fences the game experience can be the same as the reserve as game is free to roam
- Khwai, as with Moremi is famous for the endangered Wild Dog and Wattled Crane and they are frequently seen, although never a guarantee
- Breading herds of Elephant constantly moving through the Mopane forests of the northern Khwai private reserve, to the fresh Okavango waters
- Amazing birdlife including saddle-billed storks and wattled cranes plus many species of kingfishers
- The elusive leopard is spotted regularly in the Khwai area, along with some remarkable sightings of predator’s and their prey
- Spectacular sunsets as always in Botswana
What To Do
- Unlike Moremi reserve, Khwai Community area and Lodges are not governed by the Wild Life Departments rules & regulations, so most activities are available.
- Games drives, both day and night. On and off road.
- Mokoro experience when water levels allow
- Walking trails
- Helicopter scenic flights
|What Makes This Area Unique
- Khwai was established by the former inhabitants of the reserve (the River Bushmen) and is now managed by the community through the Khwai Development Trust
- Khwai Community Area borders Moremi Reserve and most lodges face onto Moremi across the river.
- Unrestricted by Park rules, nights drives, off-road driving and walking is allowed
- Moremi is unfenced so the game moves freely across the imaginary boundaries, Khwai is almost an extension to the reserve
|Expert Travel Tips
- Lodges in the Khwai area are generally great value for money, some offering different levels of accommodation if you want a more ‘Do it Yourself” safari, but do not want to camp.
- Easily accessible by land, whether you are staying in a lodge, joining a mobile safari or self-driving
- Air flights are generally very short if direct
- Besides the Lodges, both Private (generally for mobile operators) and Public Campsites are available
- Popular with self-drivers and Mobile Operators, Khwai is generally the first stop over on route to Kasane through Savuti
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