Experience It – The Story Behind Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

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The Moremi Game Reserve is the oldest protected section of the Okavango Delta. The Botswana game reserve showcases marvellous eco-diversity, with a striking number of animals, birdlife, and landscapes. Picture fairytale lagoons and mopane woodlands, acacia forests and plains – it’s a montage of beautiful scenery!

The game reserve also has some impressive geographical features. Chief’s Island and the Mopane Tongue are two such highlights that offer phenomenal game viewing and picturesque surroundings. Along with the extraordinary wildlife and features, Moremi also has a fascinating story. Its story is rooted in the history of the region’s people.

In this post, we’ll look at how to get to Moremi Game Reserve and its story. You’ll also find out about the reserve’s features as well as the best way to experience this remarkable place.


How to Get to Moremi Game Reserve?

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Almost 5 000 square kilometres in size, Moremi Game Reserve covers a vast section of the eastern side of Okavango Delta. This area combines permanent water with far drier areas, which creates some striking contrasts in vegetation and wildlife.

For most, a Moremi trip will begin in Maun, Botswana’s tourist capital. You can reach Maun by flight from Victoria Falls, Kasane, Cape Town, or Johannesburg.

From Kasane, you can organise a small plane or one of our charter flights to reach your desired destination. Seeing the reserve from the sky is an experience all on its own!

Moremi Game Reserve: History and Highlights

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Moremi is a game reserve with a difference. It has a tale behind its name and some fascinating features. Take a look at some interesting facts about this reserve below.

Moremi: What’s in a Name?

The game reserve was named after Chief Moremi III, a leader of the BaTawana tribe. The area was designated as a game reserve in 1962/1963 – rather than a national park. This meant the BaSarwa (Bushmen) who lived there were allowed to stay in Moremi.

The Chief’s Island and the Mombo Concession

The Chief’s Island is a large sand island covering over 1 000 square kilometres of the Okavango Delta region. The Mombo Concession, one of the Okavango’s most renowned game-viewing areas, lies on the northwestern tip of the island.

The Bayei locals consider Mombo to be “the place of plenty”. It is one of the most fertile areas of the Delta, supporting a huge diversity of wildlife that you’d struggle to find anywhere else. You’ll find the Mombo near where the Okavango River diverges into three main channels.

When the Okavango River waters rise, many animals go to the island in search of dry land.

Mopane Tongue

Another noteworthy geographical feature of the reserve is the Mopane Tongue. It is a dry peninsula that is located within eastern Moremi. This area leads into the Delta from the east, between the Mogogelo and Khwai rivers.

A riverine forest lines the Tongue’s edges, but the majority of the peninsula’s interior is covered in ancient mopane trees. It’s a sight to behold!

Endangered Animals

Moremi Wildlife Reserve is known for having some of the most endangered large mammals. These include black rhino, white rhino, and African wild dog. The reserve is also home to over 500 bird species, from birds of prey to water birds, and over 1 000 plant species. This is made possible thanks to the effective protection of Moremi.

This idyllic ‘Garden of Eden’ also gives you a great opportunity to see the Big Five and plenty of other stunning, interesting, and unique creatures. You’ll see blue wildebeest, hippos, warthog, and plenty of buck species. You’ll fill your camera roll with a variety of wildlife snaps!

Moremi Wildlife Reserve: Know Before You Go

If you’re planning on a safari vacation to Moremi, there are a few things you should know before you book. We’ve added some helpful information to make your trip that much better.

When to go

Botswana experiences both wet and dry seasons. The dry season, between May and October, is great for first-time visitors to the reserve as it offers ideal temperatures and good game viewing. However, if you’re looking for a more personal experience, the wet season is a good option.

The wet season falls between November and April, with January and February being the rainiest months. The skies are spectacular at this time of year and can change dramatically within minutes. There are fewer people during the rainy season, but waterproof clothing is an absolute must.

Malaria Area

The Moremi Game Reserve is in a high-risk malaria area. It is strongly encouraged that visitors take precautions to protect themselves. This can include:

  • Taking antimalarials
  • Using insect repellent
  • Wearing longer clothing in the evening (when the mosquitos are more active)

Bear in mind that the risk of malaria is the highest during the rainy season between November and April. You may want to plan your trip for a lower-risk time of year.

Where to Stay

The Moremi Game Reserve offers a number of superb safari accommodations. Here are three options for you to take a look at.

Camp Moremi is a warm-hearted camp that offers a classic and diverse safari experience. It’s located in an area with vast landscape variations, ensuring that every game drive reveals new sights and possibilities.

Camp Xakanaxa offers some spectacular views of fiery sunsets. There are no walls here, meaning there’s only canvas between you and the wild – a truly authentic experience! You’ll enjoy top-class comforts and refreshing sundowners at this beautiful tented camp.

For a place where old-world indulgence meets wildlife magic, you’ll want to visit Khwai River Lodge. The lodge’s luxurious tented rooms offer private panoramic decks, showcasing gorgeous views of the vibrant floodplains, majestic fig trees, and drama of the wild.

For serenity and simplicity, Machaba Camp is a traditional-style camp that is nestled in the Khwai area. This area is a 35 000-hectare reserve in the northeastern section of the Okavango Delta. The perfect home base for safaris into the Khwai Concession as well as for explorations into the magnificent Delta.

You can expect wildlife and action to go hand in hand with refinement and relaxation at Sanctuary Chief’s Camp. The stunning setting and expert guides are the hallmarks of the camp’s experience along with a strong environmental responsibility.

Best Way to Experience Moremi Game Reserve

A week’s stay at a lodge and a few different types of safaris make for a memorable game-viewing vacation in Moremi!

Go for a morning and evening game drive to see an array of daytime and nocturnal wildlife. Or, head out on a unique mokoro safari for an authentic experience where you can see the Botswana water life while floating along the rivers in a dug-out canoe.

If you’re using the town of Maun as a stop or home base, why not extend your trip beyond the Botswana borders? Jump on one of our Mack Air scheduled flights for an easy connection to Windhoek, Namibia, where you can experience the land of desert, mountain, and sea!