Moremi Game Reserve
Safari suitability: 10/10Find your tour
Rhinos have been reintroduced! Come see the big five and combine with a trip to Chobe National Park.
What YAS members think
- Since rhinos have been reintroduced, all of the big five call Moremi their home.
- One of the last refuges for the beautiful African wild dog.
- Large herds of game and rivalry between predators.
- Breathtaking landscapes.
About Moremi Game Reserve
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.
When to visit Moremi Game Reserve
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.
The Moremi Game Reserve encompasses large parts of the world famous Okavango Delta. This mighty river runs into the heart of the Kalahari Desert and is stopped by one of the world's oldest deserts, fooling it to fan out and produce a river delta that would usually be seen at the coast. These fabulous waterways attract hundreds of thousands of animals from miles around on their annual migration routes and provide permanent and seasonal water to quench the thirst of all the wildlife. The reserve itself is open to everyone and there are many ways to explore this wondrous place, whether you drive yourself, join a mobile tented expedition or stay at one of the luxury lodges that Botswana is famous for. The annual flood seeps down this river from the Angolan highlands and arrives in Botswana at exactly the time the water is needed just as the dry season takes its grip from May to October. Flat areas that were previously dry become flooded leaving vast shallow floodplains that the wildlife now have to cross to get from island to island giving fantastic opportunities to see these mighty beasts, and many small ones too, moving through the water like nowhere else in Africa. This magical place will grip your imagination and you will return time and time again. Bordering this reserve lies many private areas where the luxury lodges have the wildlife to themselves. The rules in these areas are less strict, allowing you to take part in activities not allowed within the park. These include walking safaris with an expert and armed guide, Night Game Drives to see the nocturnal species, mokoro (Dug-Out Canoe) and kayaking safaris. The highlight of The Moremi Game Reserve and the private areas of the Okavango is the "Mokoro", the traditional Dug-Out Canoe. No longer made from the Sausage Tree these fibre-glass, more ecologically friendly equivalents allow to glide through the shallow waterways with your expert 'Poler' showing the stunning wildlife that inhabits this incredible place.
Moremi is all about the Okavango. It's a great place if you want to take a break from all the driving safaris and go on the water. We were there during the rainy season, mid-January, but the rains had yet to manifest themselves. There are many private camps in this area and it's common to pass other boats on the river. I probably would have liked to spend more time here and I want to return in the true dry season for another boat ride.
We are so lucky in Botswana in that we have one of the largest intact populations of wild dogs on the continent. Further, after decades of good conservation, the dogs in most of our parks are completely habituated to the presence of tourist vehicles and can be followed on hunts and to den sites. To get the most out of sightings, you need a decent guide. You can, of course, just come across wild dogs at random, but an experienced guide will know their behaviour intimately and will be able to get you to the right places at the right time to stay with the action. Driving skills are important and a good knowledge of the road network is essential if you want to follow hunts and see them make kills. All this happens at high speed and over big distances, so strap yourselves in! Wild dogs can be seen all year round, but visiting in the"denning"season is probably the best time to come (June - August). This is when the packs are at their most predictable as they are tied to an area where they hunt daily to feed the pups. After the pups leave the den, they rarely move far, so you get a few more weeks of consistent sightings. Den locations vary year to year, but experienced guides will know when and where they will likely be. Dogs are so much fun to watch because of several reasons: they hunt in the day time, as apposed to some of the more nocturnal big cats. They hunt on a daily basis in order to feed the pack - sometimes they hunt twice a day! Even if they are not hungry, they still patrol every early morning and afternoon, spooking leopards, chasing wildebeest or even zebra or elephants.....when the dogs are on the move, something exciting is going to happen! There are many lodges that boast resident packs in their areas but the best way to get an amazing wild dog experience is to visit Botswana on a mobile safari. Be sure to design your itinerary with your guide and ask to be in the best locations to see dogs and at the right time of year. It must however be noted that, even without trying too hard, wild dogs can be come across even on general safari itineraries. By far the best place to see wild dogs in Botswana is the Khwai Community Concession and the Moremi Game reserve. Good luck on your next visit!
Moremi was, for us, a quick stop after Chobe National Park. But it was an amazing time. We've spotted lions, leopards and wild dogs. The lions passed our campground one day (Khwai Campsite) and a bit after dark, hyenas came to check out bins and stuff. So it's definitely worth it taking a head torch to sleep and maybe a camera or binoculars. I think it was about 5 mins after I went to bed I heard the first noises from animals wondering around (but nothing dangerous). My other famous place is called Dombo Hippo Pool. As you can guess, a lot of hippos and crocodiles. They have a nice little lookout tower over the pool. But around this pool, we managed to see the wild dogs. They were actually hunting and they didn't care about us watching their amazing behaviours.
If you had limited time to safari in Botswana, Moremi would be the place to go! You can see all of the sought after animals in genuine "Okavango" scenery! The best regions of this park to visit are Dead Tree Island, Third Bridge, Second Bridge and Fourth Bridge. To get really remote, far from the established lodges, choose a "mobile camp" in places like Xinni Lagoon, Bodumatau or Mboma. Most specialist mobile operators like myself, choose Moremi because it can still be enjoyed without crowds of people and congestion. We like to set up mobile camps within the park for between 5-7 days. It is the sort of place you should make the "core" of your safari. There are boat stations within the public parts of the park that you can hire boats and take to the water. However, for an even better experience of the "swamp" parts of Moremi, it would be best to do a mobile boating safari starting and ending in Maun where you can boat and camp up at Chief's Island.
Moremi is located in the Okavango Delta. At first I wasn't sure why I would need to visit this area since I'd already done a trip down the river and thought I'd see ample wildlife. Moremi, however, is excellent for spotting large animals and I saw four of the big five here. I did not see a rhino. :( Only negative would be that it was pretty popular, which means pretty crowded. Would like to try again in a slower season.
The Moremi Game Reserve is stunning. Amazing wildlife sightings and a mix between African bush and Okavango Delta waterways. The water is in the north of the park, and you are able to do boat trips and mokoro (wooden canoe) trips with professional guides. The Game Reserves in Botswana are low impact, which means that unlike other countries - when you game drive, you dont have many other game viewing vehicles to compete with when spotting animals. The exclusivity in Botswana is stunning. Scenic charter air flights over the Okavango Delta are really worth doing. For unrivaled safaris, visit Botswana!
The southern entrance to Moremi is roughly 100 km from Maun. The first part of the journey is on a paved road, but the last part of the journey requires a 4x4, as it's mainly a sandy, wide-track road. The northern gate, Khwai, is roughly 2.5 hours from Maun. Khwai is where the current headquarters of the reserve are situated. It's important to note that there are no petrol/gas stations within the park.
In Khwai you will find a large public camping ground situated in a well-shaded area overlooking the river. At Khwai, a long bridge constructed entirely out of mopane poles, forms a picturesque entrance to the reserve for visitors arriving from the north. This bridge, which rattles and shakes as vehicles pass over it, must be one of the most photographed structures in the northern areas of Botswana and is so much a part of the character of Moremi. It's advisable to bring a jerrycan or two for reserves.
It is also possible to do a fly-in safari using a private charter. Many visitors use charter companies based in Maun to fly to the various lodges in Botswana. These include Delta Air, Mack Air, Moremi Air Services, Wilderness Air, Wildlife HelicoptersKalahari Air Services.
The following airlines travel to Moremi Game Reserve
Flying Mission Services is based in Botswana and provides flight and maintenance services throughout Southern Africa. Charter Flights FMS offers on-demand charter flights from Gaborone and Maun to points throughout Southern Africa. Many of these flights are flown from our secondary base in Maun to safari camps in the Okavango Delta. Air Ambulance Service FMS holds the exclusive contract with the Botswana Ministry of Health to provide emergency air ambulance service to hospitals throughout the country. Maintenance & Other Aviation Services FMS operates a fully licensed aircraft repair facility and has recently opened an aircraft maintenance training program. Visit website
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MACK AIR is a fixed-wing charter company operating from Maun International Airport in northern Botswana. Based in Maun, the gateway to the Okavango, our destinations are throughout Botswana and neighbouring countries reaching as far as Johannesburg, Victoria Falls, Vilanculos and Windhoek. Visit website
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Majestic Air provides a highly efficient service to travelers who wish to avoid the tedium of travel on South Africa's congested roads and in railways. Majestic Air is owned by David Maree who, as a businessman and commercial pilot, has used aircraft for business travel within South Africa and neighbouring countries. He has personal experience of the practical and cost-effective benefits of the use of aircraft as an alternative to travel by car and train. Majestic Air is operated by Multimedia Entertainment Group Air (PTY) Ltd) trading as MEGA Air as Air Charter & schedule Company in South Africa. The Company was established in the year 2004. Their aircrafts are capable of operating to smaller or rural airports where scheduled services are not able to. Visit website
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