Hippo submerged in water and surrounded by water plants

Safari Guide: Moremi Game Reserve

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Niarra Travel

One of the most beautiful areas in the entirety of Africa, the Moremi Game Reserve is truly an unrivalled safari experience. The unfenced reserve is made up of a patchwork of floodplains where a diverse range of flora and fauna flourish. Just under 5000 sq km and covering much of the eastern side of the awe inspiring Okavango Delta, the Moremi allows you to experience the wilderness of Africa in pristine and unspoiled condition.

The game reserve is home to some of the most diverse habitats and animal populations in the whole of Botswana. Its beauty lies in its range of ecosystems and landscapes, including winding waterways, vast grasslands, deep forest and mystical lagoons that are sure to enthral even the most experienced travellers.

Cheetah prowling through the water in the Moremi Game Reserve

The history of Moremi Game Reserve

The oldest protected reserve of the Okavango Delta, the Moremi Game Reserve has a rich and bold history shaped by the Batswana people. In 1963, the area was proclaimed Moremi Game Reserve after the Batswana people of Ngamiland who fought to protect the wildlife from overhunting and cattle encroachment on their ancestral lands. The reserve holds the important accolade of being the first in Africa to be formed by the indigenous people of the land. The conservation efforts were led by Elizabeth Pulane Moremi, widow to Chief Moremi III who the reserve is affectionately named after.

Expansive aerial view of the Okavango Delta within Moremi Game Reserve

In the beginning, the reserve consisted of the area known as the Mopane tongue, a peninsula in the far northeast of the territory that makes up the reserve today. In the 1970s it was expanded to include Chief Moremi's Royal Hunting Grounds, known as Chief's Island, which is the largest island in the Okavango Delta. This opened up the reserve to more of the area's diverse range of habits. Today the reserve operates as a colossal sanctuary for an astounding array of wildlife.

The best time to visit Moremi Game Reserve

The breadth of diversity in both the wildlife and habitats means there is never a bad time to visit this region, as its beauty can be felt year round. However, the type of safari experience you are after will determine the best time for you to visit. Like most of Africa, the Moremi Game Reserve is separated by a wet and dry season.

Dry Season – May to November

Average Temperature: 26°C - 30 °C

Average Daily Rainfall: 7mm

As the seasonal floodplains dry up, the wildlife migrate to find the permanent sources of water contained in the delta. This gives rise to exceptional game viewing as animals are concentrated in smaller areas in the centre of the reserve. The dry season is a popular time to spot Africa’s most iconic wildlife, from the big cats to the large mammals, and is ideal for first time safari-goers. During the height of the dry season rainfall is virtually non-existent and the days are mostly sunny without being too hot, perfect for an epic adventure in the bush.

Lioness drinking from a shallow puddle in the moremi game reserve

Wet Season – December to April

Average Temperature: 30°C - 33 °C

Average Daily Rainfall: 112mm

As the clouds gather and rain fills the floodplains the Moremi Game Reserve is transformed into a green and fertile land. For avid bird enthusiasts the wet season sees flocks of migrating birds looking to breed in the delta - one of the highlights of any bird watching in Africa experience.

As the water levels rapidly rise it opens up meandering tributaries, teeming with life. While the growing vegetation may make it more of a challenge on game drives, the wet season makes for ample opportunity to see baby animals spring into life amid the blossoming landscapes.

A bird flying towards a tree in the Moremi Game Reserve

During the wet seasons the days are hot with high humidity with the wettest months in January and February. Although afternoon rainstorms are plentiful at this time of year they usually subside within a few hours, ready for you to continue on your journey during the drier mornings.

Wildlife in Moremi Game Reserve

The Moremi Game Reserve is home to the most diverse array of wildlife on the continent and some of the best big game viewing in the world. Moremi Game Reserve is an encyclopaedic journey through enthralling African wildlife. Here you will find all of Africa's big cats including lions, leopards and cheetahs, along with the largest population of African wild dogs in all of Botswana.

Both predator and prey sightings are abundant as animals are drawn to the year-round water sources. During the dry season herds of elephant, buffalo, zebra and wildebeest all hail from the Kalahari Desert to quench their thirst in the permanent oasis of the Moremi. Through tireless conversation efforts both the black and white rhino have been reintroduced to the area and have steadily been increasing in population size.

Explore the labyrinthine of waterways on a water safari where you will see hippos and crocodiles basking in the sun as the gentle current carries you past. While out of the savannah is where you will find antelope, impala, and greater kudu grazing the plain.

Moremi Game Reserve has over 400 species of birds, making it a true bird watcher’s paradise. Out on the grasslands the air thrums with the vibrant calls of colourful finches and birds of prey. While long legged wattle cranes and energetic kingfishers can be found in the papyrus lined lagoons. Keen observers might spot the rarer bird species like the African skimmer.

Guests on a guided walking safari in Moremi Game Reserve to see buffalo.

The best lodges in the Moremi Game Reserve

Moremi is not just a safari destination, but a place where nature reigns supreme and the conservation spirit thrives. If you are wondering where to find the best Moremi Game Reserve accommodation then here are some of our most popular choices. These luxury camps and lodges allow you to explore all the reserve has to offer and discover the magic of this stunning region.

Camp Xakanaxa

Nestled on the beautiful banks of the Khwai River in the very heart of the Moremi Game Reserve Camp Xakanaxa is a luxury camp with a laid back feel. Featuring eleven double person tents, a two bedroom family tent, along with a thatched lounge and dining room made of local timber. This Moremi Game Reserve camping is perfect for those travelling as a couple or in a larger family group. Your stay here will be filled with adventure as you experience the abundance of nature in the immersive game drives and boating safaris on offer.

Outdoor dining experience at Camp Xakanaxa, offering panoramic views of the delta's waters

Xigera Safari Camp

Comprising twelve stunning luxury suites, the Xigera Safari Camp offers a tranquil retreat in picturesque surroundings. Overlooking the floodplains of the Okavango Delta, the camp has been specially designed to be an eco-friendly paradise, leaving as little trace as possible on the land which it sits atop. After a long day of wildlife encounters, rest down for the night amidst an expanse of lush wetlands, brimming with wildlife. Not only will you be charmed by the camp’s undisturbed beauty but its design pays homage to the art and creativity of the African continent making for a thoroughly enriching stay.

Lounge area at Xigera Safari Lodge in Moremi Game Reserve

Mombo Camp

Tucked away in the dense mopane woodlands of Chiefs Island’s northern tip, Camp Mombo allows you to explore the Okavango Delta in peaceful solitude. The area is renowned for offering game viewing that cannot be experienced anywhere else. The eight tented suites is the ideal place to unwind after a long day's safari. Cool off in the private plunge pools as you take in the Okavango Delta in all its glory. The camp promises to be an eco conscious travel experience that is.

Deck view from Mombo Camp overlooking Moremi Game Reserve.

At Niarra travel we provide one-in-a-lifetime experiences that have a lasting positive impact.

Our trips are curated with the local people and places in mind, helping them to flourish and thrive. Partnering with local communities and conservation projects across our destinations we promise an unparalleled travel experience with purpose.

If you would like to experience an African adventure unlike in other in the Moremi Game Reserve then get in touch with our expert travel team on +44 (0) 20 3821 5994 (UK), +1 (833) 215 9353 (US) or at explore@niarratravel.com and start creating your unforgettable Botswana safari today.

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