Moremi Game Reserve

The reserve protects a pristine slice of Botswana's famous Okavango Delta, one of the top safari destinations in Africa. The eastern section of the Okavango was proclaimed a nature reserve by the local Batawana tribe in 1963 to try and tackle large-scale hunting and poaching. It is a seamless extension of the Okavango, both as an ecosystem and as a tourist destination.

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The Moremi Game Reserve's pristine wilderness of water and land is renowned for its beauty. This conservation area shelters a profusion of wildlife, including enormous lion prides and elephant herds as well as buffalo, leopard, wild dog, and cheetah – a testament to the conservation effort started over 50 years ago.

Chief's Island is notable and perhaps the Okavango's most famous island. Once the hunting ground of Chief Moremi, a traditional leader of the local tribes and a visionary conservationist. It now plays a vital role in rhino conservation. Rhinos, which no longer exist naturally in Botswana, are slowly reintroduced and closely monitored as the possible nucleus of a breeding program for the area. Birdlife is prolific here, and there are numerous waterbirds and forest dwellers. You will also find geese, ducks, and a variety of herons.

Bird Species
+/- 500
5 000 km²
Famous Feature
Part of the world's largest inland delta

Safari Packages that visit Moremi

12 Days From: ZAR 69,270 pp Top-End Code: S03

Some of Botswana's best safari camps and experiences make this fly-in package unforgettable.

7 Days From: ZAR 69,270 pp Luxury Code: S16

Visits to the two most popular safari destinations in Botswana precede two nights spent a the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls.

4 Days From: ZAR 69,270 pp Luxury Code: S21

A short safari that departs from Johannesburg and focuses on wildlife encounters in the Moremi Game Reserve.

Recommended Safari Camps

Moremi game reserve is home to some of Africa's most remote and exceptional safari camps.

Camp Moremi

Camp Moremi offers classic African safaris from a camp that consists of only twelve tented guest rooms.

Chiefs Camp

This small luxury safari camp on Chiefs Island in the heart of the Okavango Delta offers land- and water-based game viewing.

Mombo Camp

Mombo is one of Botswana's most revered safari destinations, with a prime setting on the northern tip of Chiefs Island.

Khwai River Lodge

Khwai River Lodge overlooks a floodplain in a private concession just north of the Moremi Game Reserve.

Reasons to Visit Moremi Game Reserve


Natural Water World

The annual rains transform Moremi into a world of islands and waterways. An abundance of animals come to the nurturing wetlands of the Okavango. Guests can enjoy water-based game viewing on different vessels, including powerboats and the traditional mokoro.



What is that? That's the question probably going through your mind as you try to figure out how to pronounce the word correctly. The sitatunga, also called the marshbuck, are swamp antelope. It is referred to as an amphibious antelope and is probably the only one in the world with physical characteristics that have adapted to a water-based.


Xakanaxa Lagoon

In the heart of the Moremi Game Reserve, where the desert meets the delta, you will find the Xakanaxa Lagoon. The varied vegetation creates different habitats that host a multitude of fauna and flora. It is an excellent place for birding and wildlife sightings that can include elephant, buffalo, giraffe, hippo, kudu, lechwe, and leopard if you're lucky.

Experiences to Savor in Moremi

Game-viewing experiences are unique to the area, focusing on the bounties of the delta's waterways. Mokoro trips are inherently characteristic of safaris in this area.

Appreciating the Natural World

There is no better way to experience the wonders of the Okavango Delta in the same manner that the locals do – by mokoro canoe. They are similar to the Native American canoes and offer a scenic view of the region.

A whole new world

Upon arrival at the Moremi, you will feel transported to a different dimension. The wetlands are indelibly unique, as are the wildlife and the people that call it home.

Just look down

As your light charter flight approaches the reserve, be sure that you take a moment to glimpse the region from your eagle's eye vantage point. The river veins into the plains, snaking in between the trees and shrubs, and animals will be visible.


Can the animals be viewed up close?
The reserve's animals are relaxed, often allowing vehicles to get close. However, remember that they are indeed wild and may feel threatened (and become potentially dangerous) if you get out of the vehicle.
Can we go on any night drives?
Unfortunately no, night drives are not permitted inside the reserve.
What currency do we need when visiting the reserve?
The currency used in Botswana is Pula (P), but US Dollars are also widely accepted - particularly for tipping.
When is the best time to travel to Moremi?
That depends on the activities you prefer. Please see Weather & Best Times to visit for more details.
Is Moremi child friendly?
Children over the age of 12 are welcome.
What are the area's tipping policies?
Tipping is not obligatory and depends on the quality of service received. Many lodges make use of tipping boxes to divide tips amongst the staff.
Is it safe to travel to Botswana?
Botswana is an incredibly safe travel destination. Wildlife on the roads at night is one of the only significant dangers. As with all cities, be wary of petty theft in busy centers.

Useful Travel Info

Getting There

By Air

Moremi is part of the greater Okavango Delta, and most of the area is water-logged. Driving in the Moremi is, therefore, a matter of extreme skill and knowledge of the area. An expert guide in a private, air-conditioned 4x4 vehicle will transfer guests with African Sky from the airstrip to their lodge.

By Road

Most of the area is water-logged. Driving in the Moremi is a matter of extreme skill and knowledge of the area. An expert guide in a private, air-conditioned 4x4 vehicle will transfer guests with African Sky from the airstrip to their lodge.

Weather & Best Time To Visit

The reserve can be visited all year round, although heavy rainfall in the summer season makes some of the roads inaccessible. The rainy season, which occurs from November to March, is the best birdwatching period. From April to October, the animals can be viewed best during the dry season, with September and October being the finest time to travel.

Contrary to popular belief, during the dry season, the Okavango water levels are at their highest, as the water originates from rains in the highlands of Angola and flows almost 2000 km before reaching the region. Moremi is unique because it offers various safaris, including boating and walking safaris, just beyond the reserve's borders.


The Moremi Game Reserve was officially proclaimed on 15 March 1963 and named after Chief Moremi III of the Batswana people. The reserve is considered one of the first in Africa that the indigenous people formed. It was not Chief Moremi III who started it, but his widow. She was concerned with the area's degradation due to unsustainable hunting and cattle encroachment. Initially, the reserve only included what is known as 'the Mopane Tongue,' but in the 1970s, it was expanded to include Chief Moremi's royal hunting grounds. Only a game reserve was proclaimed and not a national park, which allowed the indigenous people to continue residing in the area.

Ngamiland, that area around Moremi, was initially occupied by the Basarwa or Bushmen. In the 18th century, the WaYeyi, a Bantu-speaking people, moved there from north-western Botswana and northeastern Namibia. The Basarwa were led there by a local skilled fisherman and hunter named Hankuzi. Hankuzi married one of the WaYeyi women, forming a peaceful bond between the Bushmen and the WaYeyi. The Basarwa Bushmen taught the WaYeyi new fishing techniques, and the WaYeyi brought their canoe-building technology to Ngamiland. When the influential Batswana people arrived in the 19th century, the WaYeyi voluntarily became serfs of the Batswana, as it was suitable to be attached to a powerful household.


The life-giving waters of the Okavango Delta draw masses of wildlife. It is both a seasonal and permanent home to various species. Huge elephant and buffalo herds visit the area, and the endangered black and white rhinoceros occur only on Chief's Island. It is also one of a few places hosting brown and spotted hyenas. The very dangerous hippopotamus and Nile crocodile live in the delta. Plains game species like giraffe, Burchell's zebra, and blue wildebeest are abundant. Beautiful antelope species such as sitatunga, lechwe, the greater kudu, and sable antelope also occur.

Healthy populations of endangered African wild dogs reside here. The reserve offers one of the last natural and significant habitats for wild dogs. Cheetahs also inhabit the area. They are not easy to spot because they must constantly hide to avoid more formidable rivals like lions and leopards. The cunning black-backed jackal is always scavenging for sustenance, bringing the night alive with its calls. More than 400 species of bird are occurring here, including Pel's fishing owl, the lilac-breasted roller, and much more.

Vegetation & Terrain

This conservation area has received many accolades regarding its conservation efforts. In addition to being the first African reserve that residents established because they were concerned for their ancestral heritage, it is also the only officially protected area in the Okavango Delta. The reserve covers almost a third of the hallowed Okavango and boasts one of the continent's richest and most diverse ecosystems. The Okavango Delta is one of the largest inland river deltas in the world. Seasonally or perennially wet, it encompasses several waterways, pools, lagoons, pans, riverine vegetation, acacia, mopane forests, and grasslands.

The mopane forests are one of the main vegetation-related attractions of the park. The trees can grow to gigantic proportions, which dwarf everything below them. Other areas of interest include the swamp landscapes of the Black and Xinyi pools and the wide open spaces of the common floodplains. Moremi is known for its rivers -the Khwai and Joa Rivers and their tributaries, vein into the plains and sustain many life forms. Negotiations are underway to include the park in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, which will ultimately span five countries.


Moremi has been described as one of the most beautiful reserves in the world and has won numerous travel and tourism awards. The diverse landscape and ecology offer so much to see that the daily expeditions offered into various park areas are highly sought-after. The waterways outside the reserve are best explored by boat, and various water-based activities are available, including the traditional Mokoro outings (canoe-like hollowed-out tree trunk). Some areas are squarely in the wetlands and only offer water-based activities. Game drives are available in the drier regions, which may include night drives and guided walks (contingent on the water levels).

Landscape and wildlife photographers and cinematographers cannot put their cameras down. The lush green plains, along with the waterways' deep blue hues and an array of wildlife, make for seemingly endless picture-perfect moments. Be on the lookout for the Big Five, endangered African wild dog, and countless birds for which these wetlands are a natural habitat. Swimming in the rivers and tributaries is not allowed, and guests should remember that this is the domain of crocodiles and hippos. Some camps, however, have swimming pools where visitors can cool off. Fishing is also a popular activity at some camps in the region.