Moremi Game Reserve lies on the eastern side of the Okavango Delta in the north of Botswana. It is celebrated both for its abundant wildlife and stunning landscape, and counts amongst the world’s best wildlife reserves. It covers an area of 3900 km² (1510 miles²), of which only 30% is mainland and the rest belongs to the Okavango Delta itself. The combination of floodplains, lagoons, grasslands and forests creates a unique ecosystem, which has been left mostly untouched.
Moremi was founded in 1963 as a game reserve, to protect the animals from destructive hunting activity in the region. It has since become a national park. It is named after the chief of the Botawana people of Ngamiland, on whose land it was founded. It was one of the first parks established on an initiative by the indigenous people.
Moremi is home to all of the big five. Elephant herds can be seen in their thousands, especially near the Mopane forests in the dry winter months. Due to high numbers of prey, predators can often be seen in close proximity and fights for dominance take place, especially between the lions and hyenas. Rhinos have been reintroduced and the reserve is now one of the last sanctuaries for the vulnerable white and black rhinos.
Another one of Moremi’s famous residents is the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus). The Reserve has the world’s highest concentration of these endangered beautiful animals within its borders (around 150-200). Some can be seen roaming around with a collar, as they have been tagged by researchers as part of an ongoing preservation project.
Other animals you can expect to see here are giraffes, cheetahs, impalas, jackals, red lechwe and hippos, as well as over 400 species of birds, some of them endangered. The most proliferate parts of the reserve are the Mopane Tongue and Chief’s Island. Many animals retreat to these dry areas when the floods arrive (in May) and can then be seen in fascinating numbers.
Moremi Game Reserve is also famous for the possibility of travelling around by mokoro, or dug-out canoe, which gives your visit a genuine taste of adventure. Mekore (which is the plural of mokoro), were originally made out of ebony or sausage-tree, but are now - for environmental reasons - mostly made out of fiberglass. If you are water-shy, you can opt for a game drive instead.
Due to high animal numbers, any time of year is good to visit. The peak season for safaris is June until October, when it is dry. The rains start in late November. The time between October and early December can be extremely hot.