The Moremi Game Reserve which is located in the North eastern part of Botswana is the largest game reserve in the country and considered to be one of the largest game parks in the world due to the fact that it has a large number of animals as compared to other game reserves. A short history about the Moremi Game Reserve is that it was created by the community of the locals who live around it in order to help in the preservation of the wild life in the area and it was named after their chief Moremi. It is located within the Okavango delta at a size of 1000 square kilometers and one of the best destinations for all those who want to spot the big five.
# 1 Moremi Game Drive Safari
Your trip to the Moremi game reserve is considered incomplete if you do not go for a game drive through the reserve although you must know exactly when you should visit that is you either visit the park during the wet or dry season. Due to its location in the Okavango delta, it is sometimes flooded making it difficult for you to go for the game drives in the reserve and the best time to visit is when the vegetation has not yet thinned out a lot but when the rainy season has ended. Some of the animals that can be viewed while on your game drive include buffalos, giraffes, zebras, lions, hyenas, the red Lechwe, jackals, the black rhinos, hippos, impalas cheetahs and many more other species.
#2 Horse-back riding through the reserve
Horse-back riding is one of the activities that is carried within the Moremi Game reserve although it is mostly done by camps found within. There are horse trainers that help all those that do not know how to ride and they also equip you with knowledge that relates to horse-back riding. It is one of the many ways that you can get close to the animals and birds that habitate within the reserve but you need to stick to the horse trails that were marked.
#3 Birding in the Moremi Game Reserve
Birding in the Moremi Game reserve is mostly done during the green season and this is because this is the time when most of the migratory birds fly into the country. These can be viewed either when you take a drive through the reserve, take a Mokoro drive or walk through the reserve especially in the mornings. Some of the bird species that habitate within the Moremi game reserve include the African fish skimmer, the slaty egret, the green winged Pytilia, the African fish eagle, marabou storks, the lesser jacana, the greater painted snipes, the gray herons, pelicans, the African pygmy geese and the goliath herons.
#4 Ride the Mokoro canoe
The Mokoro canoe which is a traditionally made canoe is Botswana by the locals is part of the activities that you can engage in when you get to the Moremi Game reserve. These are used by locals as they cross the different water bodies especially swamps or as they go about fishing and it has become a trend for tourists to take a Mokoro ride as it is one of the best ways to explore the reserve. The Mokoro are made of hard wood and carry only two people that is the person who poles it across the water and the passenger. The person poling uses a long pole while standing to push the Mokoro and it is one of the best ways for one to watch all the bird species that habitate within the reserve and some other aqua wildlife like hippos and crocodiles. Note that the Mokoro canoe ride is not offered often and therefore if you want to take one, you will have to inform your tour operator earlier so that it is made possible.
#5 Nature walks through the reserve
Nature walks through the reserve are normally carried out either in the evening or morning and during the driest months because the walk trails during the dry months are easily accessible unlike the green season where they are all muddy and flooded. When taking the nature walks, you have to go with a tour guide who knows all the safe routes to use so that you can avoid bumping into dangerous animals.
The different routes that are marked for nature walks also lead you to the villages nearby where you get to meet the locals who live in the area. The locals know more about the place since they are the ones who set up the game reserve and its one way of you getting to know more about the game reserve, why it was set up, enjoy the local food, songs and dances performed by the locals and get to know more about their culture and traditions.
#6 Enjoy the boat cruises in the reserve
The boat cruises in the Moremi Game reserve are mostly carried out when the level waters are high and this normally happens in the green season. Boats are always available and these can be hired out for a small fee but before you get on the boat make sure that you have a life jacket with you for safety purposes. The activities that you can do while enjoying a boat cruise include fly fishing, animal viewing and birding. Note that you cannot go for any of these activates if you do not have a tour guide with you.
#7 Enjoy helicopter rides within the reserve
Helicopter rides are offered to many tourists and although they are deemed to be extremely expensive, they are the best way for one to explore the whole Moremi Game reserve from above. The helicopter rides are also good for photo safaris and the view of the animals and birds give you a great and different point of view of the whole reserve.
The helicopter rides are normally done by the different camps that are located within the reserve and the best thing about the helicopter rides is that they are fast meaning you will get to explore the Moremi Game reserve within a short period of time as compared to the game drives.
#8 Go for elephant trekking
The strategic location of the Moremi Game reserve in the Okavango delta is what has made elephant trekking a possibility. The Okavango delta has a huge number of elephants and since the park is not fenced, the elephants move freely to the game reserve. The elephant trekking in the Moremi Game reserve is done in the mornings and you will need to have a tour guide with you because the elephants are extremely sensitive and if they sense that they are being watched, they tend to move away and the only way they can tell if they are being watched is by sniffing in the air using their trunks. Make sure that you keep to the tracks and make sure that you follow the tour guide.
9# Go for self-driving in the reserve
The Moremi game reserve’s landscape is good for a self-drive and all you need to do is to get a map and use GPS to get to all the corners of the reserve without getting lost. Self-drives within the reserve are the best as you get to drive yourself around the park while enjoying the wild, animal viewing and all the other activities that can be carried out within the reserve.
When to visit the Moremi Game reserve
When it comes to visiting the Moremi Game reserve you will need to first find out the weather patterns of the place and the activities that you want to carry out when you get to the reserve because these are what determine when one should go for a safari to the Moremi Game reserve. The Moremi is considered to be a destination that can be visited all year round but since the seasons keep on changing, the best thing to do is to get to know which season actually suits what you want to do that is either the wet or dry season.
The wet season also known as the green season comes in the months of December to April and during this time, the rains sometimes come in heavy whereas other times they are just drizzles. It is the best time to go for the Mokoro canoe ride, birding due to the increase in the water levels but you will need a four wheel drive car to pass through the water logged areas.
The dry season in Moremi comes in the months of May to November. It is the best time for all those that want to go for game drives through the reserve. It is also the perfect time for one to go for nature walks through the reserve but it being a dry season does not mean that you will not receive rainfall and therefore you have to be prepared for anything while in the Moremi.
MOREMI GAME RESERVE is situated to the north-east of the Chobe national park and Okavango Delta Botswana to the east. Moremi is covering around 5,000 sq kms of grassy floodplains, winding waterways, palm-fringed islands, mopane woodland forests and lush, lily-covered lagoons; only 30% of the game reserve is land. With this blend of diverse habitats, Moremi wildlife reserve is not only exceptionally beautiful but additionally provides refuge for an amazing quantity and variety of game.
The Moremi Game reserve was established in 1963 and can be divided into three areas: the permanently flooded delta, Chief’s Island and then the mainland areas – accessible by vehicle, Mopane Tongue and Mboma Island. It has become one of the most successful wildlife havens in Africa – a tribute to the founders and protectors of this sanctuary.
Moremi Botswana wildlife safaris
Moremi National park is where hippos wallow in crystal-clear lagoons, where huge herds of impala and tsessebe roam the savannah and where the rare sitatunga and red lechwe antelope live in the papyrus banks of the waterways. Elephant are a regular sight Around Khwai River during the dry season together with buffalos, giraffe as they come to visit the water pools for a drink. Naturally this profusion of life attracts predators and the Moremi offers an excellent chance at seeing lion, jackal, leopard, spotted hyenas, the endangered wild dogs and even cheetah.
Bird watching in Moremi Botswana is exceptional with many water birds visiting the papyrus swamp during the rainy season creating opportunities for sighting several migrant species. Regular sights include ducks, geese and herons among others.
Moremi game reserve offers opportunities to view game and birds on foot, on 4X4vehicle safaris or using a dug out sausage tree canoe ride on Khwai River under direction and lead of an expert game ranger.
Moremi Botswana accommodation
Moremi Botswana tourism is creating eco-tourism policies that aim to keep the park as natural and beautiful for many generations. The reserve includes a few Botswana game lodges located near the edge of the lagoon. There are 4 private camps near the south gate, Khwai river and Xakanaxa lagoon.
Camp Moremi located near Xakanaxa lagoon offers unbeatable game viewing especially for July when the dry season draws thousands of animals to the lagoon water holes. Banora Bush Luxury camp is another option with 10 tented canvas rooms located in Khwai river paradise east of Okavango delta.
Find other Botswana game lodge facilities from Kwai river lodge. Mombo camp, Baines camp, Sandibe safari Lodge, Xakanaxa Camp and many other options offering great value for money on safaris in Botswana
Most of the game lodges Botswana have private airstrips for light aircraft charters and transfer shuttles for game drives to the parks and neighboring Okavango delta or Chobe National Park. There are airstrips at both Khwai and Xakanaxa, but most visitors to Moremi drive in from either Maun or Savuti.