When you arrive in the Moremi Game Reserve, it’s anyone’s guess what you’ll find lurking in the long grass. From wild dogs stalking waterbucks to long sunsets by a hippo-filled lagoon, the scenes will live on in memory long after the journey home.
Kick up sharp smelling clouds of dust on a morning drive, disturbing pockets of warm air in the reeds as you splash through water crossings in pursuit of a distant lion’s call. Pause by the edge of large lagoons, squinting to catch mischief making hyenas as they emerge from the trees to drink.
When you get sick of game drives, discover the channels by boat while Squacco herons fly alongside you into the wind. Watch a lazy sunset with the blue-cheeked bee eaters before returning to dry land for more hardcore bush exploration.
As Moremi Game Reserve is bound by national park rules, activities here are limited to game drives during hours of daylight with no off-roading, and boat cruises on the permanent channels.
While most of the reserve is open to the public, two private lodges sit in the Mombo Concession to the north of Chief’s Island, surrounded by the waters of the Okavango Delta. Boating isn’t possible here, instead the area offers the ultimate in dry-land game viewing. Hailed as Botswana’s predator capital, this exclusive corner is closed to outsiders and home to the big five, where the invitee list fills up years in advance.
Good To Know
Best Time To Travel
- Game viewing is excellent year-round as the vegetation is varied with dry land complemented by permanent and seasonal swamplands, although be aware that game drives can be limited in the rainy season.
- Boating in the Xakanaxa area available throughout the year.
- Dry Season: April – October, game concentrates around permanent water sources, as seasonal pans dry out.
- September – November: Migrant birds arrive including Herons & Storks guaranteeing prolific birdlife, excellent throughout the summer months.
- November – April, most of the animals give birth during this time attracting a variety of predators.
|What To See
- Moremi is famous for the endangered Wild Dog and Wattled Crane and they are frequently seen along with Cheetah, but obviously no guarantees.
- Xakanaxa is home to several hundred buffalo who range across the territories of various prides of lions, check out the tree line as leopards are often seen in the Xakanaxa area.
- Breading herds of Elephant constantly moving through the Mopane forests to the fresh Okavango water.
- Amazing migrant birdlife throughout and Xakanaxa is renowned for breading colonies of birds on the tree covered islands.
- Spectacular sunsets as everywhere in Botswana.
What To Do
- The camps within the Reserve all offer game drives, but are controlled by Botswana Wildlife departments rules and regulations, so NO night drives, off road driving or walking.
- The 3 main Lodges based in Xakanaxa and so can offer motor boat cruises.
- The luxury lodges situated on Chiefs Island are also restricted by the rules and regulations, so no night drives or walking.
- Lodges based on Chiefs Island and those bordering can offer Helicopter Scenic flights.
- Other lodges based in private concessions that border the Moremi Reserve, can offer most activities unrestricted, even walking on Chiefs Island, they can also offer night drives but not within Moremi.
|What Makes This Area Unique
- Chief’s Island incorporated into Moremi Game Reserve in 1976 is now one of the region’s best locations for spectacular wildlife viewing and hosts two 5* luxury safari camps.
- Chiefs island is for the exclusive use of guests staying in lodges on the island or bordering and cannot be reached from the publicly accessed areas of Moremi Game Reserve.
- Moremi is an excellent year-round safari destination and offers some of the best wildlife viewing in Africa.
- Often sighted whilst on safari in Moremi are some rare and endangered species such as Wild Dog and Wattled Crane.
- Moremi is totally unfenced, as the perimeter is natural water systems.
|Expert Travel Tips
- December – March: Rainy season means the roads can be in bad condition which limits the game drive experience.
- The Khwai community area, which borders Moremi on the northern side of the Khwai River, has many lodges that offer an excellent alternative to Moremi both in value for money and activities, but all have access to the Moremi Reserve.
- Private concession area’s opposite Chiefs Island within the delta, can offer walking on Chiefs Island e.g., Oddballs & Moremi Crossings.
- Public Campsites are available at 3rd Bridge, Xakanaxa, South & North Gate. All unfenced and can make for some interesting close encounters.
|**Self-Drive Tips / Moremi Game Reserve / Extra section/info
- Moremi is an excellent all-round safari destination; roads are best in the dry season April – October as is Game viewing, animals congregate around permanent water sources
- Rainy Season, roads can get water logged and limit your game drive experience, Moremi has been closed on rare occasions due to heavy rains as roads become impassable
- No Fuel between Moremi and Kasane, so stock-up in Maun for all provisions
- Pre-Booked Park Fees are payable at the gate, but must be Pula cash, Credit cards (or foreign currency) are only acceptable at the wildlife office in Maun
- Khwai community area, borders Moremi Reserve and is an excellent alternative. Night driving and walking is permitted.
- Some Khwai lodges offer DBB and you can self-drive for your own activities, lovely break in a Camping trip.