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Khwai conservancy BotswanaMoremi Game Reserve

Moremi Game Reserve is considered by many as one of Africa's most outstanding wildlife areas, covering  4,871 km², includinga considerable section of the Okavango DeltaMopane trees dominate the dry lands of the Moremi and the remainder of the reserve is a combination of floodplain grasses, sandveld, riverine woodland, and areas of permanent delta. As well as the usual larger mammals and plains game, Moremi is excellent for REd Lechwe and Sitatungu, both water-loving antelope. 

Named after Chief Moremi, the local BaTawana people set aside one third of the Delta to protect it for future generations in 1963. It consists of a wide variety of habitats and support large concentrations of wildlife, including one of the largest populations of the endangered African wild dog (Cape hunting dog / Painted dog).

Part of any adventure in Botswana is the journey itself. Most of Moremi is only accessible by fly-in and transfer by boat or road to a luxury camp, either on the fringes of the reserve or on Chief's Island. But there are several areas on the edge of the Mopane Tongue, a dry peninsula found to the west of the reserve, well worth visiting.

This region is where land meets the Okavango's permanent waters and includes Khwai River, Xakanaxa Lagoon and Third Bridge; these destinations can be reached by 4x4 vehicle, but is not to be attempted by standard vehicle. However, the road conditions may become difficult during a heavy rainy season and the park may be closed due to this. Access by land is from either the North or the South Gate roads.

When to visit:

The dry season and in particular from July – October is the best time to visit Moremi Game Reserve, as game viewing is at its peak. At this time seasonal pans dry up and the wildlife concentrates on the permanent water. The winter months of May - August can be cold at night, but pleasantly warm during the day. From October until the rains come in late November or early December, the weather can be extremely hot - both day and night and is best avoided.

The principal areas of Moremi Game Reserve

Chief's Island:

Many areas of the Okavango Delta are largely dry including Chief's Island, arguably the Okavango's most famous isle. It was once the royal hunting reserve of Chief Moremi, the traditional leader of the local tribes and he donated it as a supplement to the Moremi Game Reserve and it was included in 1976. It is now one of the region's best locations for spectacular wildlife viewing and although part of the Moremi Game Reserve, Chief's Island is private. There are a number of Botswana's top safari camps located here and the National Park's rules on walking and driving at night, are paramount.

At the top end, the Mombo Concession is the first part of dry land that the flood waters reach in the greater Okavango region. Most of the nutrients carried by the water are deposited here and this results in vegetation for rich grazing and browsing for wildlife. These nutritious grass plains support herbivores in large numbers and associated high population of predators.

The Khwai River:

The Khwai River is a picturesque region characterized by tall evergreen trees lining a wide floodplain. It is situated on the north-eastern tip of Moremi Game Reserve, and speaks proudly of the superb consistency and distinctive species of predator and prey. A large pride of lion are often seen hunting buffalo and elephant, whilst leopard sightings are steady. Birdlife such as saddle-billed storks, wattled cranes, and many species of kingfishers and bee-eaters are common.

Xakanaxa Lagoon:

The Xakanaxa Lagoon lies at the tip of the Mopane Tongue, where substantial mopane forests and a system of deep waterways and shallow flooded areas come together. It is where desert meets the Delta. The striking scenery is packed with game and leopard are seen frequently, even though they are well-camouflaged, solitary and shy. This lagoon is also a place to head to find the African wild dog and the sheer density of antelope is staggering. Exceptional and varied birdlife is the order of the day at Xakanaxa Lagoon, renowned for the breeding colonies of birds that congregate on its tree islands. Seasonal sightings include innumerable herons, egrets and storks and other waders, to the many species of sparrow hawks, buzzards and kites.

Third Bridge:

A short drive from Xakanaxa Lagoon, and therefore also in the heart of the Moremi Game Reserve is Third Bridge. This area is positioned on an island with substantial amounts of thickets, in addition to a number of large, open plains. Campsites are at hand for mobile safaris, and the combination of unfenced bivouac sites and wandering wildlife, make for some close encounters between man and beast. All of the public campsites have ablution facilities and running water. (Not guaranteed though!). Third Bridge's boundary of land and water, make it an ideal destination to combine vehicle and boat trips, or for the more adventurous, an 'island sleep over!'

Click here for Botswana Scheduled Departures Rates and Dates 2016 

Click here to see a selection of Botswana safaris




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