Moremi Safari Travel Guide

Of the entire Okavango Delta in Botswana, Moremi Game Reserve covers a third. This area of great beauty is a prime game viewing destination unlike any other, remote and special.

Unique habitats and Moremi wildlife come together in a glorious year round display, like a giant puzzle in the Okavango Delta, magnificent contrasting landscapes host abundant game. Moremi Game Reserve covers almost 5 000 square km, the largest land mass within it is Chief's Island which hosts abundant wildlife in woodland areas, Acacia scrubland and around clay pans that fill up when it rains.

Location


Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana is situated north of Maun and borders the Chobe National Park in the east and a number of private concessions in the north. Located in traditional Batswana tribal lands, the reserve is named after the late Chief Moremi III whose wife ruled after him. Mrs Moremi made a far-sighted decision to preserve the dwindling wildlife and proclaim Moremi Game Reserve in 1963, the tribe willingly relocated elsewhere. This initiative is a first in Africa.

Attractions in Moremi


  • Year round water sources draw game
  • Beautiful diverse scenery and animal habitats
  • Abundant wildlife
  • No fences between Moremi and the Okavango
  • Xakanaxa Lagoon (pronounced Ka-ka-naka)
  • Chiefs Island
  • Mombo and Xigera Islands
  • Khwai River and Village
  • The Hippo Pool

The Moremi Experience


Honeymooners and those seeking a remote Botswana safari can immerse themselves in the watery delights of the Okavango exploring lily encrusted lagoons and dense reed channels. On land, visitors track game on the plains and savannah or through the Mopane and Acacia forests.
On a Botswana safari in Moremi Game Reserve, bird watchers will be astonished at the huge variety of birds, well over 400 species from shy forest dwellers to water birds. Visitors can see most types of game here such as Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Hyena and Zebra as well as Giraffe and many other antelope species. Wild Dogs are regularly sighted in Moremi, a rarity in many other game reserves. White Rhino have recently been introduced on Chief's Island/
A Siyabona Africa Consultant can put together a unique itinerary to incorporate all the wonders of Moremi and the Okavango Delta, combining destinations of choice for a complete Botswana Safari.

Moremi Safari Accommodation


In line with Botswana's eco-tourism policy of high yield and low impact, there are just a few excellent game lodges in Moremi Game Reserve and only 4 public camping areas at South Gate, Third Bridge, Xakanaxa and Khwai. Other quality game lodges and tented camps can be found on the fringes of Moremi in various settings with daily game drives into the reserve.
South Gate has a shady camping area and ablution blocks (guard food and possessions from curious monkeys and baboons). Third Bridge camp site borders on the Delta and Mboma Island; there is a strong concentration of game in the dry season in this area. Visitors are warned to stay clear of the water flowing under the bridge due to crocodiles living there.
Xakanaxa Camp is situated between a Mopane forest and the Delta. Just a few minutes from shady Khwai camp on the river at North Gate, is the Hippo Pool, a lovely area with a viewing platform to observe these water loving creatures.

Maun


Maun is 99km (62 miles) from Moremi Game Reserve. This is the gateway to Moremi and the Okavango Delta. This busy tourist centre started out with a "wild west" reputation in the early 1900's where hunters who travelled from great distances used to meet. It is now headquarters for many safari companies and has a very busy airport. Supplies of almost anything can be bought here; there are shopping centres, fuel stations, regular and 4x4 vehicle hire companies and a wide choice of lodges and hotels in Maun. There are no fuel or food supplies in Moremi Game Reserve and self-drive visitors would need to stock up here.
Maun is located on the Thamalakane River and has a small game reserve which follows the river upstream from town. It is open daily and has a number of walking trails; there is a small charge for entry. This woodland reserve includes the original "Place of Reeds" from which the name Maun or Maung in the San language is taken. Red Lechwe antelope can often be seen grazing along the riverside among other domesticated stock animals.

Khwai Village


This small village is located at the North Gate, the headquarters of Moremi Game Reserve and the site of one of the public camps which overlooks the Khwai River. For visitors entering Moremi from the northern region of Botswana there is a much photographed Mopane pole bridge, a characteristic feature of the village. There are a few basic supply stores and visitors can get a cold drink here. The villagers also make and sell their attractive basket wares.

Getting Around


By Air:

Maun is the tourism capital in Botswana; it's the main town in this district with one of the busiest airports in Southern Africa. It is the gateway to Moremi Game Reserve and the Okavango Delta. Most tourists visiting the Okavango enter through here. Maun is also the headquarters for many Safari Operators and Air Charter companies. Most lodges have their own airstrips and transfers between them are made using light aircraft. This affords the opportunity to combine various lodges in different areas in one itinerary.
By road:

Maun is 99km (62 miles) from Moremi. Moremi Game Reserve and rural Botswana is 4x4 country. There is no fuel or food available to buy in the reserve. Maun is the major centre for these supplies. Khwai Village at the north gate has a few basic food stores and cold drinks.
Road travel within Moremi Game Reserve: From South Gate 1. Visitors can travel directly to the North Gate and Khwai (30km / 19 miles). 2. Another road travels to First, Second and Third Bridge (58km / 36 miles). 3. The third road goes to Xakanaxa (42km / 26 miles). From Xakanaxa
Visitors can travel to North Gate and Khwai (42km / 26 miles). This road goes past Hippo Pool but enquiries should be made about road conditions due to flooding of the Khwai River.

Moremi Seasons


The Dry Season starts in April and includes the winter months of May to August; the days are clear and the temperature drops at night. Game viewing is at its peak from July to the end of the dry season in October when seasonal water dries up and the animals move to the permanent water sources. The heat also builds to intense levels at this time before the rains.
The Wet season starts when the rains come in late November. The roads become very muddy, but the scenery comes to life bursting with lush colours and wildflowers, many animals have their young at this time. The hot rainy season continues through to March.
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