Moremi Game Reserve
Everything you need to know about Moremi Game Reserve
Located in Botswana, Moremi Game Reserve is situated in one of the largest inland deltas and premier wilderness areas in the world, the vast and virtually untouched freshwater wetland of the Okavango Delta. Covering most of its eastern sector, the reserve stretches across several thousand square kilometers, comprising of stunning landscapes of floodplains, lagoons, grasslands, forests of acacia trees, savannahs, islands, and dense mopane woodlands.
Regarded as the beating heart of the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve is the only proclaimed wildlife reserve in the Okavango Delta and boasts the most diverse habitat and wildlife populations in Botswana, it is also home to some of the best luxury safari lodges in Botswana.
**Interesting fact: The reason why Moremi was elected as a game reserve instead of a national park was to still allow the native Bushmen and people of Batswana (native to the land) to stay within the Moremi area in 1963, which made the Moremi the first protected reserve of the Okavango Delta.
In the 1970s, the royal hunting grounds, known as Chief’s Island, was added to the reserve, which increased its capacity by 70 x 15 kilometers (44 x 10 miles) and became a protected area for wildlife.
Best time to go
July to October (Best wildlife viewing)
July – October (High season rates may apply)
November – June (Low-season rates may apply)
5,000km² / 1,931mi²
935-976m / 3,068-3,202ft
Botswana | Okavango Delta
April – October
May – August (Mild – moderate day-time temperatures)
November – March
October (It gets extremely hot)
Moremi Game Reserve Wildlife
Extending into the immense Okavango Delta, the Moremi Game Reserve preserves the heart of Africa’s finest game viewing region. Well protected, the reserve provides refuge for an abundant and diverse population of African game as well as several rare and endangered wildlife species. Some of these remarkable species include, the endangered African wild dog, the Black-maned Kalahari Lion, Brown Hyena, African Skimmer, the rare Sitatunga, Puku and Red Lechwe antelope.
Due to the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve’s vast, vibrant, and varied landscapes, habitats, and eco-systems, it supports an abundant diversity of wildlife, including the renowned African Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino). While sightings are relatively rare (making it all the more worthwhile when you do spot them) Africa’s critically endangered black rhino and near threatened southern white rhino have both been re-introduced into Moremi Game Reserve.
Other equally incredible wildlife species that can be spotted in the Okavango Delta region and Moremi Game Reserve include, hippo, crocodiles, blue wildebeest, giraffe, cheetah, spotted hyena, greater kudu, sable antelope, plains zebra, warthog, as well as huge herds of impala and tsessebe. And that’s merely scratching the surface of the range of exceptional wildlife this pristine Okavango Delta wilderness gem has to offer.
Nowhere else in southern Africa will you find such a glorious and vast diversity of wildlife as that of Moremi Game Reserve.
*Unique wildlife sighting: While each wildlife sighting is exceptional, the graceful lechwe antelope is not only unique to the region, but entirely native to Africa. They are particularly notorious in marshy areas where water is prominent – hence their thriving presence in the Moremi Game Reserve and Okavango Delta region. Nowhere else in southern Africa will you find such a glorious and vast diversity of wildlife as that of Moremi Game Reserve.
Moremi Game Reserve Birdlife
Besides being one of the most sought-after wildlife and safari destinations in Africa, Moremi is a renowned bird lover’s paradise, boasting a vibrant and varied population of both woodland birds and waterbirds.
Avid birders travel from all corners of the globe to witness Moremi Game Reserve’s unrivalled and gloriously diverse birdlife, which consists of over 400 of the Okavango’s bird species, including the African fish eagle, crested crane, and sacred ibis.
Notable birds in the Moremi Game Reserve include:
- African fish eagle (common)
- African skimmer (common)
- Green-winged pytilia (common)
- Southern carmine bee-eater (common migrant)
- Slaty egret (rare)
Birding specials & real treats for avid birders in Moremi Game Reserve include:
- African pygmy goose
- African red-eyed bulbul
- Black coucal
- Black-chested snake eagle
- Bradfield’s hornbill
- Brown firefinch
- Chirping cisticola
- Coppery-tailed coucal
- Fulvous whistling duck
- Greater swamp warbler
- Lesser jacana
- Martial eagle
- Pel’s fishing-owl
- Rosy-throated longclaw
- Senegal coucal
- Slaty egret
- Swamp boubou
- Wattled crane
- White-rumped babbler
Best time for bird watching in the Moremi Game Reserve
Boasting great birding year-round, the best time for bird watching at the Moremi Game Reserve is during its wet season from November to April. This is the time of year when summer migrant birds make the reserve their temporary home. The month of April is a particularly great time for bird watching in Moremi, as well as the best compromise, as from January to March several areas of the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve become inaccessible and various lodges close down to visitors.
Best way to experience birding in the Moremi Game Reserve
All guides at Moremi Game Reserve are avid and enthusiastic bird watchers, which helps keen birders not familiar with the area navigate their surroundings in search of the very best Moremi birdlife sightings. While guided bush walks and walking safaris are considered one of the top ways to spot ample bird species, unfortunately walking is not permitted in the reserve.
Going on a traditional Mokoro (dugout canoe) trip in the Moremi Game Reserve is undoubtedly one of the best, and definitely the most thrilling, ways to not only explore everything Moremi and the Okavango Delta region has to offer, but enjoy spectacular bird sightings as several bird species tend to let you come very close when gliding on the water. Moremi’s most sought-after birding special is the rather ordinary-looking slaty egret, as well as the gracious wetland bird species, the wattled crane.
Moremi Game Reserve Scenery & Vegetation
Covering most of the Okavango Delta’s eastern sector, the Moremi Game Reserve stretches across several thousand square kilometers, comprising of stunning landscapes of floodplains, lagoons, pans, grasslands, forests of acacia trees, savannahs, islands, and dense mopane woodlands. Moremi’s unique and diverse landscapes and ecosystem, characteristic of the Okavango Delta, allows for a vast and varied spectrum of wildlife and birdlife to thrive.
Moremi Game Reserve offers visitors the very best of both worlds within the Okavango Delta with regards to game viewing and safari adventures and experiences. Its large wetland areas with papyrus-lined channels and floating water lilies, are perfect for bucket-list worthy Mokoro safaris, whereas Moremi’s big tracts of land are ideal for game drives and open vehicle 4×4 safaris. Its mosaic of lagoons and islands, boasting all kinds of habitats, from grassland to thorn scrub and mopane woodlands, makes exploring Moremi Game Reserve’s array of landscapes, scenery, and vegetation a real adventure.
Best Time To Go To Moremi Game Reserve
Best Time To Go
July to October (Best wildlife viewing)
July to October (High season rates may apply)
November to June (Low-season rates may apply)
May to August (Mild – Moderate day-time temperatures)
October (It gets extremely hot)
While Moremi Game Reserve is regarded as the ideal year-round safari and wildlife destination, boasting excellent year-round game viewing, each season has something unique and exciting to offer. The Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve is characterized by two distinct seasons:
- The Dry Season: April – October
- The Wet Season: November – March
Here are some of the seasonal highlights you can expect to experience during Moremi Game Reserve’s dry season and wet season.
Dry winter season in Moremi Game Reserve
The dry season is regarded as the best time to visit the Moremi Game Reserve as it boasts pristine game-viewing opportunities of Moremi’s vast and diverse wildlife.
Dry season highlights
Prime time for wildlife sightings
Optimal visibility due to sparse vegetation
Around 260,000 mammals congregate around the delta
Delta floods reach its peak | Great time for mokoro, boating & canoe safaris
Mild temperatures & minimal rain
Peak migration period for animals to the Okavango Delta
The reserve is largely mosquito-free
Wet summer season in Moremi Game Reserve
Wet season highlights
Lush greenery and lovely fresh landscapes due to high rainfall
The reserve is filled with newborn wildlife
Exceptional time for bird watching as migrant birds are present & in breeding
Prime time for predators
It is the low season which means the Moremi Game Reserve and Okavango Delta is far less crowded
Wildlife are in great condition
Moremi Game Reserve Weather & Climate
April – October
- Average day-time temperature throughout the dry season: +/- 26°C/79°F – 29°C/84°F
- June & July are the coolest months of the dry season
- Temperatures start rising in August & peak in October with an average afternoon temperature of 35°C/95°F
- Little to no rain resulting in dry reserve conditions | The last precipitation of the wet season usually falls in April
- Morning temperatures are cooler, especially early mornings | Early morning temperatures average around 8°C/46°F
- Night-time temperatures are typically mild
November – March
- Average day-time temperature throughout the wet season: +/- 29°C/84°F – 32°C/90°F | Day-time temperatures can reach up to 35°C/95°F, or even higher in extreme circumstances
- Early mornings are the most comfortable with average temperatures around 19°C/65°F
- Storms and short afternoon showers are typically experienced during the wet season & it rarely rains all day
- November & December are characterised by hot and mostly sunny conditions, with intermittent rainfall | When it does rain during this time, the relief is palpable as temperatures tend to build up significantly before precipitation and drop almost immediately afterwards – offering visitors a welcomed relief from the heat
- January & February are the wettest months of the season | Strong storms are frequent, especially in the afternoon | These storms don’t usually last more than a few hours
- Rainfall begins to taper off in March, although it still rains every couple of days | Precipitation is mostly in the form of thunderstorms
How to get to Moremi Game Reserve
Moremi Game Reserve can either be accessed by air (via domestic air travel as well as light aircrafts that fly directly to the airstrips that service the lodges) or by road via Maun. Whether you choose to drive or fly, may depend on where you are staying within the Okavango Delta region and Moremi Game Reserve.
Several lodges within the reserve are only accessible via chartered planes, however several lodges and safari destinations in the Moremi tongue can be easily accessed by means of 4×4 vehicles. Various safari operators run 4×4 trips to the Moremi Game Reserve and surrounds, but self-drive visitors can go independently, provided they have a 4×4 vehicle to safely navigate the terrain.
Getting to Moremi Game Reserve by air
The most convenient entry point into Botswana for visitors to the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve is through Maun Airport (MUB), the country’s main tourist airport. There are a couple of flight possibilities available for those travelling by air to Moremi. Maun has multiple daily connections with Johannesburg via O.R Tambo International Airport (Airlink and Air Botswana) as well as five weekly connections with Cape Town via Cape Town International Airport (Airlink).
It is also possible to travel domestically from Gaborone to Maun (daily). Flights from Kanane to Maun and return are offered twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday) and are ideal for travelers visiting the Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park areas.
Getting to Moremi Game Reserve by road
Besides travelling to the Okavango Delta or Moremi Game Reserve by air, the reserve is also accessible by road. A 4×4 vehicle is however required when embarking on a self-drive adventure to Moremi and is only advisable during the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve’s dry months. The wet summer season rains can make some of Moremi’s roads and surrounding regions inaccessible making it impossible to reach. Several of Moremi Game Reserve’s lodges also close to the public over the December to February period.
Traveling to the Moremi Game Reserve
Regardless if you choose air or road travel to get you to Botswana, you will always start your Moremi trip in Maun, the ‘tourist capital’ of Botswana. Once in Maun, it’s time for the REAL adventure to begin! From Maun, you will embark on a 30 – 45-minute flight to reach your final destination. To get to Moremi, you will hop on a small plane that will transport you to your desired destination / lodge within the renowned Moremi Game Reserve.
Once you’ve landed at the airstrip, your chosen lodge will pick you and transfer you to your final destination – It truly is personalised luxury travel at its finest.
**During your flight, be sure to look down and gaze at the 10,000 square miles of waterways, reed beds, water lilies and palm-tree islands beneath you – Welcome to Moremi Game Reserve!