The rich and diverse ecosystems that make up Moremi Game Reserve offer visitors an unusually rewarding wilderness experience. Within an untamed expanse covering about 5 000km2 in the central and eastern areas of the Okavango, Moremi is where land meets the waters of the Delta.
Picturesque floodplains – both seasonal and perennial – lagoons, pans, pools and waterways punctuate rolling grasslands, mopane, riparian and riverine forests, and drier tracts of land. Situated in the central and eastern areas of the Okavango, Moremi – which includes the Moremi Tongue and Chief’s Island – boasts one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems on the continent and arguably the best land-based wildlife viewing.
Moremi is strikingly beautiful and remains a firm favourite with first-time visitors as well as savvy and experienced safari goers. With the ebb and flow of seasonal waterways, each visit is different – today’s safari track is tomorrow’s waterway, which means that there is always something new and surprising around every corner.
Proclaimed a wildlife reserve by the BaTwana people in 1963, lush and varied Moremi (named after a local chief) is as wild as you can get. The ecosystems support a vast array of African mammals, from the Big Five (Cape buffalo, African elephant, lion, cheetah and rhino) to giraffe, hippopotamus, zebra, bat-eared fox and jackal, as well as antelope including springbok, tsessebe, gemsbok, impala, blue wildebeest and the rare red lechwe. The endangered Cape wild dog breeds here, and leopard and hyena roam free, too. Botswana’s low-impact tourism model pays off for visitors, who will find the reserve remarkably uncrowded and relaxed.
With about 70% of the reserve falling within the Delta, birding here is spectacular, especially in the permanent waters in the north of the park. You could spot nearly 500 bird species (from water birds to forest dwellers) year round, but the best time is in the wet months from November to April, when summer migrants are present. On the other hand, wildlife viewing is better in the dry winter months from July to October, when seasonal pans dry up and the game concentrates around permanent water sources.
You can explore the park in 4×4 game-viewing vehicles (both via private self-drives and guided tours), and also by boat and mokoro in the Delta. Moremi offers the best of all safari worlds – relaxed boat safari cruises along the Delta’s channels and waterways offer exceptional birdwatching and allow you to glide right past some of its magnificent wild inhabitants – hippo, elephant, Nile crocodile and animals coming to the water to drink – while 4×4 game drives take you deep into the African bush. A stay here is truly untrammelled – turn from your campfire and you will see eyes glowing red in the light and you’ll fall asleep to the sound of lion coughing as they hunt.
Moremi Game Reserve