Moremi Game Reserve: in detail
Moremi safari holidays: the full story
In 1962 the local BaTawana people set aside a third of the Okavango Delta to protect it for the future. They called this the Moremi Game Reserve and it encompasses a large area of the Delta's wetlands and the main dry peninsula that juts into the Delta, known as the Mopane Tongue.
Moremi protects the core of the Okavango Delta, and several safari camps are built within it. However, most of the Okavango's small safari camps and wildlife lodges lie outside Moremi – in their own private wildlife reserves. (Read more about the private safari reserves of the Okavango Delta …)
Moremi is lush and varied – a patchwork of lagoons, shallow flooded pans, plains and forests. It is one of Africa's finest areas for wildlife, with particularly high game densities. The animals found here are numerous and relaxed, often allowing vehicles to approach closely.
Moremi's finest area is probably Chief's Island, where you'll find several of Botswana's top safari camps. However, there are several prime areas on the edge of the Mopane Tongue, where the land meets the Okavango's permanent waters, which can also be reached with a mobile safari, including the Khwai River (or North Gate) area, Xakanaxa Lagoon and Third Bridge.
Safari areas within MoremiSome of the areas of Moremi can be accessed by vehicle, others require you to fly in. Some are private, others are open to the public.
Chief's IslandDespite what you might imagine, many areas within the Okavango Delta are largely dry. Chief's Island is huge and perhaps the Okavango's most famous island. It was once the royal hunting reserve of Chief Moremi, the traditional leader of the local tribes. He gave it to supplement Moremi Game Reserve in the 1970s, and it is now one of the region's best areas for game. Although part of the Moremi Game Reserve, Chief's Island is private. Though camps here do still abide by the national park's rules on walking and driving at night, you will have a very personal, undisturbed time here as there's no vehicle access by the public to this area.
Khwai RiverOn the northeast tip of Moremi, Khwai River is a lovely area where tall evergreen trees line a wide floodplain. It boasts an excellent density and diversity of predator and prey species. In recent years there's been a large pride of lion here, hunting buffalo and elephant, while leopard sightings are consistently good. Saddle-billed storks, wattled cranes and many species of kingfishers and bee-eaters are common.
On the north side of the Khwai River, outside the park, are a handful of lodges in the Khwai Community Reserve. Many of these overlook Moremi Game Reserve in this particularly scenic area, and we'd included these lodges in this section of our website for simplicity.
Xakanaxa LagoonIn the heart of Moremi, at the tip of the Mopane Tongue, lies Xakanaxa Lagoon. Here the mopane forests meet a patchwork of deep waterways and shallow flooded areas. It's unforgettably beautiful and packed with game. Leopard and cheetah are regularly seen and the density of antelope is amazing. The area's birdlife is exceptionally varied, from innumerable herons, egrets, storks and other waders to many species of harriers, buzzards and kites.
Third BridgeA short drive from Xakanaxa, in the heart of Moremi, Third Bridge stands on an island with plenty of thickets and several large, open plains. There are campsites for mobile safaris and lots of animals – a combination that has brought it fame for close encounters of the animal kind! Being on the boundary of the land and water areas of Moremi, mobile safaris will often organise boat trips from here, or sometimes excursions to sleep out on the islands.
South GateAt the southern entrance to Moremi, in quite a thickly forested area, is a campsite that is used by mobile safaris and the public. The area south of here, just outside the game reserve, has more open areas and some attractive stands of acacia which attract surprisingly prolific game, often including herds of giraffe.
Small group safaris to Moremi with Wild about AfricaAre you thinking about travelling to Botswana on safari and joining a small group for a comfortable camping adventure or luxury camping safari? Or are you planning to visit the Moremi Game Reserve on an exclusive private guided camping holiday? Wild about Africa can give you excellent ideas for Botswana safaris to Moremi Game Reserve.
Where to stay in Moremi
Our suggestions for safari camps in Moremi Game Reserve
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings in Moremi
This is their success for sightings in Moremi Game Reserve.
Click on a species for more detail. How we work this out.