Camp Moremi: Our full report
Camp Moremi is one of three permanent, well-established camps located on the tip of the Mopane Tongue, in ...... Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve. Shaded by a variety of riverine trees, including leadwood and jackalberry, it is set in pleasant grounds directly overlooking the peaceful Xakanaxa Lagoon. NOTE: Camp Moremi will be closed between 1 December 2017 and 20 April 2018 for a full rebuild.
From the reception, a pathway leads to a large, open lawn with a covered boma on one side, where breakfast and brunch are normally served, and a two-storey thatched building on the other. The ground floor of this structure houses a curio shop and public toilets, while upstairs is the main area, where open-air seating affords views of the grounds and across to the lagoon. Indoors, a couple of couches and woven chairs form a lounge area, where books and magazines showcasing African wildlife sit on a wooden table, and there’s a proper well-stocked bar that can comfortably seat eight. Guests may surf the internet on the desktop computer – or, more fun, have a go at playing the antique marimba, or xylophone. In the evening, dinner is served up here around three large tables.
Across from the main area, along a boardwalk and up a flight of stairs, a raised viewing deck offers sweeping views of the Xakanaxa Lagoon. The deck is built around a large tree, which affords plenty of shade for the folding wooden chairs.
Particularly welcome in the heat of the day is a large swimming pool, which is raised on a wooden deck and kept in excellent condition. Shade is provided for the surrounding sunloungers by large canvas umbrellas.
Camp Moremi has 12 tented chalets, connected to the main area by a clearly marked dirt pathway. Raised off the ground on wooden decks, the chalets are pretty substantial, and are quite different in design and layout. A proper lockable door opens into what feels like a vestibule, with a vanity desk and mirror. From here, further doors lead to the bathroom and bedroom.
In the bedroom, twin beds – or a double – sit beneath a wooden canopy draped with mosquito nets. To each side are wooden nightstands with electric lamps made from kudu horn, and at the foot is a wooden luggage rack. There’s also space for a small writing desk with a mirror, a tea and coffee station, a chair, a pedestal fan and a wooden wardrobe with a small safe.
The bathrooms have both thatched and tiled walls. A wooden counter supports a white porcelain washbasin and an assortment of Charlotte Rhys toiletries, and there’s a simple flush toilet. The walk-in shower is tiled from top to bottom and is separated from the bathroom by a glass window.
From the bedroom, there are limited views through screened windows, which can be zipped up, or you can head through panoramic sliding-glass doors onto a semi-shaded deck. Here you’ll find two iron-framed chairs with comfortable cushions and a small table.
One of the chalets is a two-bedroom family unit, whose two identical tented chalets are linked by the vestibule area. Both bedrooms have two separate showers and toilets.
Activities at Camp Moremi include morning and afternoon game drives in open 4WD safari vehicles and boat cruises on the lagoon. Under national-park rules, night drives, off-road driving and walks are not permitted in the game reserve. Those heading out on boat cruises will depart from the camp’s on-site boat dock, where three canvas-shaded boats, seating between seven and nine guests, are moored.
On a game drive during our last visit, in September 2016, we were very impressed at our guide’s driving skills as well as his knowledge of the local flora and fauna. The vehicles were very comfortable, too – a real bonus in this area due to the rough roads. Each vehicle seats six guests across three rows, so everyone has a ‘window’ seat.
Guests should be aware that Camp Moremi is in close proximity to two permanent camps as well as a public campsite . This, and the fact that self-drivers frequent the reserve, can lead to heightened vehicle concentration, but we feel that the superb game viewing at Camp Moremi outshines the number of vehicles. We were treated to some of the most prolific and dense game we’ve seen in Africa, including wild dog, kudu, zebra (having a sand bath!), waterbuck, banded mongoose, two separate leopard sightings, elephants, hippo, crocodile, Cape buffalo, reedbuck and baboons. The birdlife was pretty good, too, with plenty of waterbird species, along with southern carmine bee-eater, wood hoopoe and white-backed vulture, and several raptors, including tawny eagle.
On the down side, Camp Moremi is fairly large by Botswana standards, and during our visit it was catering to large groups, which we felt detracted from the atmosphere for individual guests.
Camp Moremi is set in one of the best locations in Botswana for game viewing. Although there will be other vehicles in the area, we consider that this lack of exclusivity is more than outweighed by the density of wildlife. Our greater concern was the camp’s focus on large groups, which gave it a very busy feel with little sense of intimacy.
- Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
- Ideal length of stay
- Two nights are ideal at Camp Moremi.
- The flight by light aircraft to Xakanaxa airstrip takes around 25 minutes from Maun or an hour from Kasane, followed by a 10–15-minute transfer by game vehicle to camp.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- During our last stay at Camp Moremi, in September 2016, the food was quite good.
Before each morning game drive, a light breakfast of cereal, yoghurt, fresh fruit, cheese, and sliced meats is served in the thatched boma. In addition, there is a pancake and griddle-making station, and you can also try the local ‘pap’ (a bit like polenta). To drink, coffee, tea, juices, and water are available.
Guests usually return from their morning activities to brunch at the boma. We, however, had a bush brunch of green salad with feta cheese, followed by grilled chicken with stewed vegetables.
For dinner, we enjoyed a starter of grilled asparagus with a puréed cucumber sauce. Our main course, served as a buffet, was a choice of slow-cooked braised lamb or grilled hake in cream sauce, each with rice and broccoli. Dessert was chocolate mousse.
- Attitude towards children
- Camp Moremi welcomes families with children of six years and older, who are allowed on game activities.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Minimum age six
- Special activities & services
- Camp Moremi has a two-bedroom family unit, suitable for a family of four.
- Generally recommended for children
- There are large, open gardens that could make children feel deceptively safe, yet while there is a fence around the camp large enough to keep elephants out, it would be possible for a predator to get in. We also feel that Camp Moremi tends to focus on groups of adults rather than families, so we would not recommend it for those with younger children.
- Camp Moremi has open access to the Xakanaxa Lagoon and wildlife routinely roams through camp. Parents must take full responsibility and supervise their children at all times.
- There is no cellphone coverage at Camp Moremi, but there is a computer with an internet connection for guests’ use. The camp keeps in touch with Maun by radio, and has a satellite phone for emergency use only.
- TV & radio
- There is no television or radio at Camp Moremi.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- The camp uses a reverse-osmosis machine to filter water. All the bathrooms have plumbed hot and cold running water for showers as well as flush toilets.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The nearest doctor is in Maun. Management and guides are first-aid trained and medical evacuation is available in case of emergency. In addition to this, a mobile clinic frequents the area, provided by the government.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- Guests are escorted to their chalets after dark as dangerous wildlife is known to wander through the camp. 'Fog horns' are provided in the tents, to summon help in case of emergency.
There is a three-strand electric fence around the back of the camp. This is designed purely to keep the elephants out of the camp, as they can be destructive to the trees as well as dangerous.
- Fire safety
- Each tented chalet has a fire extinguisher.
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- Not Possible
- Laundry facilities
- A full laundry service is included.
- No exchange facilities are offered at Camp Moremi. Small safes in the tents can store travel documents, wallets, and phones, but are not large enough to fit a laptop.
- Accepted payment on location
- Mastercard and Visa credit cards are accepted (with a surcharge); Diners and Amex are not. Cash in the form of South African rand, GB sterling, US dollars, euros and Botswana pula is accepted.
Room types at Camp Moremi
This is a normal room at Camp Moremi
Other lodges in Moremi Game Reserve
Alternative places to stay in this same area.