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Moremi Wildlife Reserve
The Moremi Wildlife Reserve and its surrounds are the focal point for safaris in the Okavango and include habitats from both the permanently and seasonally flooded zones. Nestled within the Delta and completely buffered by wildlife management areas, it consists of permanent swamps with seasonal wetlands and dry land in the east.
With the exception of the eastern “tongue” of Moremi, access into the Okavango Delta is by aircraft. Activities include water based game viewing, usually by mokoro (dug-out canoes) or flat bottomed motorized boats; land based walks and game drives.
Game viewing is usually better in the dry season (April to October) as the game is more concentrated along the river courses. October is the best time if you can put up with the extreme heat – usually 38 to 45° Celsius.
Herons and other migrant birds breed from September/October onwards and the Khwai River is exceptional at this time of the year for numbers of raptors and concentrations of mammals. The heronries at Gcadikwe lagoon are a must for bird lovers and roosting is a jaw dropping spectacle in the evenings when all sizes and shapes of egrets and storks can be seen.
Plant lovers must visit the Moremi in the peak of the rainy season (January and February), but be prepared for heavy rainstorms and difficult roads. The other advantage of visiting at this time of the year is lesser visitor numbers, although Botswana is re-knowned for keeping its prices up to keep visitor numbers down.
80% of the dry land area is covered in Mopane woodlands (hardwickia mopane). The giant trees form a canopy which lends a unique atmosphere to this area of the Moremi.
Places of interest in the Moremi include Bodumatu pools near the fourth bridge for birding; Xakanaxa for its spectacular scenery and plentiful game. Dombo Hippo Pools have particularly good looking sunsets and plenty of hippos!
The best game in the Delta is probably found at Chief’s Island especially since rhino were reintroduced to the area and the Big Five can once again be seen in the wilds.
There are just 7 camps in the Moremi with 2 boat stations. The camps are all of a very high standard and are booked up months and sometimes years in advance. Camps within the park area have rules to stick to which include no night drives, walks or fishing. Camps outside of the game reserve, on the private concessions, can enjoy these activities in addition to game-viewing, bird watching, walking safaris and mokoro or boat trips.