Moremi Game Reserve covers the eastern one third of the Okavango Delta, in Northern Botswana. It was officially declared on the 15 March 1963. Unlike most of Africa’s large Parks and Game reserves, Moremi Game Reserve is unique in that it was formed by indigenous people of Ngamiland, and managed through the Fauna Conservation Society of Ngamiland, until 1979 when it was handed over to Botswana Government. It was because of a concern by both Tribesmen and resident Europeans that the indiscriminate hunting of wildlife by the great white hunters would bring a complete annihilation of wildlife species, that Moremi was formed.
Indeed, the name of the Reserve and the subsequent expansions in the 70s and 80s to include the Chiefs Island and Nqoga and Jao Rivers, was a further stamp to commitment, not only of the Ngamiland Royalty, but that of a tribe with a vision and commitment to conservation. To date, Moremi Game Reserve covers a total area of 4 871KM2.
Buffered by wildlife management areas, Moremi Game Reserve consists of permanent swamp, seasonal swamp areas and dry land. It is undoubtedly one of the most pristine wildlife destinations in Africa. The landscape also consists of Mopane forest and flood plains. In parts the Mopane trees grow to gigantic proportions, forming a cathedral of forest that dwarfs everything beneath it.
There are four areas of interest inside Moremi Game Reserve that our safaris go to. These are:
Black Pools and Xini Area
These areas are in the south western part of Moremi. Department of Wildlife and National Parks of Botswana has just recently added more road infrastructure to make the Black pools area more accessible than ever before. With seasonal and permanent swamp landscape, these two areas are home to a bounty of Buffalo herds, Elephant and good lion prides. We have frequently seen Cheetah and African Wild dog hunting in these areas.
There are only two exclusive camping areas allowed for use only by registered tour operators in Botswana. This makes the Xini and Black pools area quite attractive compared to most areas, because of lesser tourist activities. We have enjoyed predator sightings here for hours before a passing vehicle bound for either Xakanaxa or South gate found us.
Xakanaxa and Third Bridge
Tucked in the Western part of Moremi, Xakanaxa and Third bridge area offer more interesting habits for wildlife: Gigantic Mopane forest opening up to wide open spaces of floodplains, seasonal and permanent swamp. The wildlife of this area is thus spoilt for habitat: From Island to woodland, floodplain to permanent swamp. With such diversity of habitat, time spent in this area is quite rewarding.
This area in the eastern part has more open spaces of floodplains that attract big herds of animals during the dry season. The Maunachira river narrows to a trickle as it flows through the Khwai area (where it is called the Khwai River). This narrowing of the river brings out the animals further out into the floodplains as they drive to reach the water. Good place for African Wild dog, Leopard and Lion. Mixtures of Giraffe, Zebra, Red Lechwe, Waterbuck and Warthog are a common site in the Khwai floodplains.
Khwai Concession Area (Just outside Moremi Game Reserve)
This area is just across the river from the Reserve. The wildlife is not anymore different to the other side of the river. The advantage of the concession area is that we are allowed to do night drives bush walks and mokoros. It is the only place yet in our safari circuit where the three activities are allowed.
Best time to visit
March to November: Wildlife viewing is generally better in the dry months (April to November), when there is concentrations of wildlife along the permanent rivers. The vegetation is thinner, and temperatures being higher later in that period, drives the wildlife to a permanent residence along the rivers.
Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Spotted Hyena, Wild dog, Black backed Jackal, Side striped Jackal, African Wildcat, Impala, Wildebeest, Buffalo, Elephant, Hippopotamus, Giraffe, Red Lechwe, Tsessebe, Bushbuck, Steenbok, Nile Crocodile, Water monitor Lizard, Plains Zebra, Waterbuck, Reedbuck, Sable Antelope, Roan Antelope, Sitatunga, Chacma Baboon, Vervet Monkey, Caracal. Dwarf Mongoose, Banded Mongoose, Slender Mongoose, Yellow Mongoose, Porcupine, Pangolin.
Our Safaris in Moremi
- Pioneer stays in Khwai Concession are for 2 nights
- Explorer stays in the Khwai Concession area for 3 nights.
- Last frontier stays in Xakanaxa for 3 nights and Khwai concession area for 3 nights.