Moremi Game Reserve Botswana – rests on the eastern side of the Okavango Delta and was named after Chief Moremi of the Batswana tribe.
The Moremi Game Reserve covers much of the eastern side of the Okavango Delta and combines permanent water with drier areas, which create some startling and unexpected contrasts. Some prominent geographical features of the Reserve are Chiefs Island and the Moremi Tongue.
Moremi Reserve is the best place to experience excellent views of savannah game as well as bird-watching on the lagoons. There are also thickly wooded areas, which are home to the rare African wild dog and leopard. To the northeast lies the Chobe National Park which borders the Moremi Game Reserve.
The Reserve covers 5,000 square kilometres (1,900 sq mi) in extent, it is a surprisingly diverse Reserve, combining mopane woodland and acacia forests, floodplains and lagoons. Only about 30% of the Reserve is mainland, with the bulk being within the Okavango Delta itself.
Moremi is the home to nearly 500 species of bird (from water birds to forest dwellers), and a vast array of other species of wildlife, including buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyaena, jackal, impala, and red lechwe and African Wild dog.
A haven for African wildlife, the Moremi Game Reserve one of the best safari areas in Africa
From the smaller, luxury camps in the delta, activities in Moremi Game Reserve are usually included in the fully inclusive rates, and all your drinks and snacks or picnic meals would also be taken care of. Activities focus not only on impressive game viewing, but also on the beauty and unique scenery of the Okavango Delta. Each camp will have their own collection of excursions which a best suited for the time of year and the location. Moremi has few vehicles and people visiting at any one time, and this means that you get great game sightings with very few (if at all) other people in that same spot.
Traditional Canoe – The Mokoro
Moremi and the Okavango Delta have offer a unique activity – the mokoro canoe safari. Traditionally, a mokoro (or makoro) is a dug-out canoe made from hard wood, and used by Batswana to move through the channels. Powered completely by man, the mokoro is moved by poling through the shallow water – the poler stands at the stern and pushes a long sturdy pole to make the canoe move. Nowadays, mokoros are made with fibreglass in order to reduce the impact on the environment. This activity is a very relaxing way to enjoy the scenery and the crystal clear waterways. Birding and wildlife viewing is a bonus. Not every lodge or camp will offer this activity, so if it is something that is top of your list of things you want to experience while you are in Botswana Contact Great Adventure Safaris so that we can make suggestions for you.
Some mokoro trips may include a bit a fishing, but otherwise, fishing in the Okavango would be in a motor boat. Fishing is not a year-round activity in the delta – it is not open in January and February, and usually, safari camps will offer fishing on a catch and release basis.
It’s not a safari if you have not been on a game drive, and Moremi Game Reserve is no different. However, depending on the time of the year, the level of water in the Okavango can prohibit these game viewing drives in some areas. On the other hand, they may get a little wet if the water is on the high side, as safari vehicles cross channels and/or wooden bridges in search of wildlife.
Birding and Walking Safaris
Guided birding and walking safaris are also essential activities in some camps. Here, you get much closer to the magical ecosystem of the Okavango Delta, exploring from the tiniest flora and fauna to encounters with the unique plains game species that are found only in this region.
Some safari camps offer motor boat game viewing cruises, if the water levels are high enough, and sometimes as an alternative to game drives.
Very few luxury camps in the delta offer helicopter rides, but with an extra charge. This is a great way to have a bird’s eye view of the amazing landscape that the delta has, as well as the seeing the different wildlife from the air.
One other very special activity in a couple of camps is the elephant interaction, and walking in the wild with Okavango elephants. The elephants are orphaned and taken care of right by the safari camp, and guests are invited for morning walks in the bush with the giants, accompanied with brunch in the bush while the ellies browse and play.
Some safari camps offer horseback safaris – great for getting close to resident wildlife and bird species.
Other Activities in Moremi
In the eastern section of the delta, where self-drivers are allowed to explore, there are a few companies that offer some of the above activities. So if you are camping at one of the bridge campsites, you don’t have to miss out on the special mokoro trips, or the motor boat cruises in the lagoons and channels in that area.
Getting to Moremi by Road
Driving to Moremi Game Reserve restricts visitors to the dry land area east of the reserve – the South Gate, North Gate, Khwai sections. By road, Moremi can be accessed via two main entrance gates – North Gate near Khwai River which is accessible from Chobe National Park, and South Gate just 90kms from Maun and 30kms from the North Gate. The road from Maun is tarred for 60kms, and then it is gravel road into the reserve. The roads inside Moremi gate reserve change with each season, being waterlogged during the rainy season and dry and sandy in the hot summer months. Driving from Maun to the South Gate of Moremi takes less than 2 hours. The other access point into Moremi is via the North Gate of the reserve en-route from Chobe National Park. Self-drivers do require a 4 x 4 vehicle into the Okavango Delta. To get to the rest of the delta, however, you will need to fly in.
Flying In to the Delta
Moremi Game Reserve and the Okavango Delta are most easily reached by light aircraft or helicopter transfer from Maun town and other airstrips/airports. Maun is the nearest hub to the delta and has an airport. There are regional fights into Maun from Johannesburg and Cape Town (South Africa), as well as local ones from Gaborone and Kasane, near Chobe.
Charter flights are another option, and inter-camp air transfers are available when booking packages with sister camps in Botswana. Flights from Maun Airport into the delta take no more than 30 to 45 minutes. Almost all of the private safari camps have a nearby airstrip and charter companies have service to all of them. The transfers from the airstrips to the camps vary with location and season, and can be a combination of boat and game drive transfers.
Best time to visit Moremi Game Reserve Botswana
That said, we could definitely help you determine what the best time for you to go is. Botswana knows both wet and dry seasons. Most travelers pick the dry season for a visit, but the rainy season is definitely worth considering. During the wet season most accommodations have less visitors, so you are in for a very personal experience. Also child policies can be more flexible in this period. However, the camps and lodges of the Moremi Game Reserve always feel personal since all of them are intimate and small-scale.
Here’s a little bit about both seasons.