Moremi Game Reserve
The Moremi Game Reserve, situated in the eastern Okavango Delta, is bordered by the Chobe National Park. The Moremi Game Reserve covers almost one third of the Okavango Delta and is the largest inland river delta in the world. The Moremi Game Reserve consists of pans, floodplains, lagoons, grasslands, forests of acacia trees, savannahs and dense Mopane Woodlands.
This unique ecosystem, characteristic of the Okavango Delta, allows for a diverse spectrum of wild life and coupled with effective protective measures results in huge herds of impala and tsessebe and in the dry season large herds of buffalo, wildebeest, elephant and zebra come into the reserve from the dry Kalahari Desert in search of both food and water. The sitatunga and lechwe live in the papyrus banks of the waterways with lions, cheetahs and packs of wild dogs hunting in the open grassland. The Moremi Game Reserve is home to over 400 of the Okavango’s species of birds, including the African Fish Eagle, Crested Crane and Sacred Ibis. This vast array of mammal, bird, insect, plant, fish and reptile species have adapted to the Okavango Delta’s swamp conditions.
A Game Reserve, as opposed to a National Park, the Moremi Game Reserve was declared by the BaTawana people in 1963 and was the first wildlife sanctuary to be created by an African tribe in their own area. Concerned by the rise of hunting in the Okavango Delta, the Moremi Game Reserve was officially proclaimed by the BaTawana on 15 March 1963 and was initially run by the Fauna Conservation Society of Ngamiland. Since then the Moremi Game Reserve has since been extended to include Chief’s Island and in 1979 the park was taken over by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks.
The northeast tip of Moremi, Khwai is an area where evergreen trees line wide floodplains. It boasts excellent density and diversity of both predator and prey species with leopard sightings consistently good. From an ontological perspective, Saddle-billed storks, wattled cranes and many species of kingfishers and bee-eaters are common. In the heart of Moremi, at the tip of the Mopane Tongue, lies the renowned Xakanaxa Lagoon comprising mopane forests and a patchwork of deep waterways and shallow flooded areas, creating a beautiful area packed with game. Leopard and cheetah are regularly seen and the density of antelope is notable. The area’s birdlife is exceptional.
Moremi can either be accessed by air (light aircraft fly to the airstrips that service the lodges) or by road via Maun. A self-drive through Moremi is advisable only for experienced 4 x 4 drivers and only in the dry months. The summer rains can make some of the Moremi inaccessible and some lodges close over the December to February period.