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Moremi Game Reserve

A haven for African wildlife, the Moremi Game Reserve  one of the best safari areas in Africa

African Fish Eagle Lion brothers feeding Traditional makoro canoe trip Luxurious rooms in safari camps Light aircaft on landing strip Self-drivers at Third Bridge Tented camp at Third Bridge

The Moremi Game Reserve

The Okavango River forms part of one of the largest river systems on the continent, and it drains into the Moremi Game Reserve. This protected part in the eastern section of the Okavango Delta was established in 1963 when Chief Moremi III's widow, who was ruler of the BaTawana people at the time, took steps to conserve the wildlife of this area when concerns grew over the toll that hunting was taking on the animal population.

Moremi is just under 5000km2 and covers Chief's Island and much of the eastern section of the delta. Unlike a national park, designating the area as a game reserve meant that the local Baswara (Bushmen) were allowed to live on the land. Although it is not very large, the diversity of wildlife, birdlife and contrast in the landscape makes for an unforgettable visit. Only 30% of the area is land, and the bulk of it is the Okavango Delta.

Below is a map of the Moremi Game Reserve. To view a larger Google map, click here.

The permanent water of the Okavango Delta attracts large groups of animals, especially during the dry season. There is a seasonal shift in the game between the dry areas around the delta and the delta itself. During the rainy season, the large game moves to the outer areas of the delta where they graze, giving the internal section time to recover. When the season is dry, they move into the delta in search of water and the remaining grazing areas. In the flood period of the delta, they take refuge in the mainland regions of Matsebi Ridge, Chief's Island, and the Moremi Tongue.

After both black and white rhino were reintroduced into Moremi Game Reserve, the Okavango Delta has become one of the few safari areas where you can see Africa's Big 5 in the wild. These are a collection of Africa elephant, rhino, Cape Buffalo, African lion and African leopard. And apart from the rhino and lion, the delta is home to other threatened and rare wildlife, including African painted dogs or African wild dogs, cheetah, and 24 threatened species of birds. Moremi Game Reserve is home to the largest group of African painted dog in Botswana, and is important for the survival of the country's 207 000 elephants. You may also spot hyena, kudu, lechwe, crocodile, giraffe, hippo, wildebeest, plains zebra, sable, warthog, baboons, and so much more. In total, the delta has over 450 bird species, 160 different animal species, 155 reptile species, 35 species of amphibians, and about 1500 plant species.

How to Get to Moremi

Driving to Moremi Game Reserve restricts visitors to the dry land area east of the reserve - the South Gate, North Gate, Khwai sections. By road, Moremi can be accessed via two main entrance gates - North Gate near Khwai River which is accessible from Chobe National Park, and South Gate just 90kms from Maun and 30kms from the North Gate. The road from Maun is tarred for 60kms, and then it is gravel road into the reserve. The roads inside Moremi gate reserve change with each season, being waterlogged during the rainy season and dry and sandy in the hot summer months. Driving from Maun to the South Gate of Moremi takes less than 2 hours. The other access point into Moremi is via the North Gate of the reserve en-route from Chobe National Park. Self-drivers do require a 4 x 4 vehicle into the delta. To get to the rest of the delta, however, you will need to fly in.

Moremi Game Reserve and the Okavango Delta are most easily reached by light aircraft or helicopter transfer from Maun town and other airstrips/airports. Flights into Maun are via Johannesburg and Cape Town, or locally from Gaborone and Kasane. Charter flights are another option, and inter-camp air transfers are available when booking packages with sister camps in Botswana. Flights from Maun Airport into the delta take no more than 30 and 45 minutes. A stay on Chief's Island and access to the safari lodges is only possible by flying in.

Moremi Game Reserve has few vehicles and people visiting at any one time, and this means that you get great game sightings with very few (if at all) other people in that same spot.

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