Moremi Game Reserve - Africa's First Reserve Established by Local People
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The Moremi Game Reserve extends from Chobe's southwest corner into the Okavango Delta. At some 1200 square miles, the reserve protects a great variety of habitats in the Okavango and surrounding areas. Since there are no fences separating Moremi, Chobe, and the Okavango game is free to wander throughout this vast territory. Taken together these areas are essentially one contiguous area designated for wildlife conservation.
Moremi was created from the traditional hunting grounds of the local BaTwana people and named after Chief Moremi III. Within 100 years of the arrival of the first Europeans, the game was rapidly disappearing. Established in 1962, it originally protected a peninsula in the eastern Delta known as the Mopane Tongue. Subsequently, Chief's Island, the royal hunting grounds of Chief Moremi, were added. Moremi was the first reserve in Africa created by the local people unlike the early parks that were set aside by the colonial governments.
Moremi is very flat but within its borders can be found numerous types of habitat. The range of ecosystems found in Moremi includes floodplains, waterways, marshes, and lagoons as well as dry scrub and mopane woodlands. Chief's Island and the Mopane Tongue are the only large land masses with the reserve. As it's name suggests, the mopane is the dominant tree (in some places the exclusive tree) on the Mopane Tongue. The tall, graceful mopane trees with arching branches high above gives the forest a cathedral-like feeling. Palm trees line the waterways while the camelthorn acacias prefer the open savannas, creating that quintessential African landscape. Over 1000 described plants grow in Moremi, a rich diversity that in turn supports an equally rich diversity of wildlife.
As one of Africa's great wildlife reserves, Moremi supports an astonishing amount and variety of wildlife. Over 400 species of birds can be found in the reserve. The wetlands are home to a variety of aquatic birds: herons, ibis, jacanas. While in the open areas of the park secretary birds, kori bustards and ostriches can be found.
During the rainy season (November-May) much of the game is dispersed. As the dry season takes hold (June-October) the animals congregate at the permanent water and population numbers swell. Giraffe, impala, eland, kudu, lechwe, waterbuck, bushbuck, duiker, warthogs, and vervet monkeys are all found with in the reserve. With such high numbers of prey items, the predators aren't far behind. Lions, leopard, cheetah, and spotted hyenas can be spotted. Moremi is one of the best places in Africa to see one of the world's rarest canines, the endangered African wild dog. These beautifully marked dogs hunt in packs and are much more efficient hunters than lions. Their incredible stamina allows them to run over long distances until their prey succumbs to exhaustion.
All of our Botswana Safaris will take you deep inside the Moremi Reserve. For adventurous travelers, see the Best of Botswana, a 14 day camping safari. For a combination of lodges and camping, see our 13 day Lodge & Camping Safari.