Moremi Game Reserve
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Moremi Game Reserve is a National Park in Botswana. It rests on the eastern side of the Okavango Delta and was named after Chief Moremi of the BaTawana tribe. Moremi was designated as a Game Reserve, and not a National Park, since when it was created. The BaSarwa or Bushmen that lived there were supposed to be allowed to stay in the reserve.
In the 1960s, the government changed its mind and burned the Bushmen village and forced the villagers to move outside the park. They relocated on the other side of the Khwai River and named their new village Khwai. Within the village there is still a strong distrust towards the national government as there has been talk about moving the village once again.
The Moremi Game Reserve covers much of the eastern side of the Okavango Delta, and combines permanent water, with drier areas – making for some startling, and unexpected contrasts. Prominent geographical features of the Reserve are Chiefs Island and the Moremi Tongue. In the Moremi one can experience excellent savannah game viewing by 4x4, as well as bird-watching on the lagoons. There are also thickly wooded areas, which are home to the shy, and rare, Leopard. To the northeast lies the Chobe National Park which borders the Moremi Game Reserve.
Although just under 5,000 square kilometres (1,900 sq mi) in extent, it is a surprisingly diverse Reserve, combining mopane woodland and acacia forests, floodplains and lagoons. Only about 30% of the Reserve is mainland, with the bulk being within the Okavango Delta itself.
The Moremi Game Reserve, although not one of the largest Parks, presents insights and views even for the most experienced of travelers. Home to nearly 500 species of bird (from water birds to forest dwellers), and a vast array of other species of wildlife, including buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyaena, jackal, impala, and red lechwe. African Wild dog, Lycaon pictus, is resident and has been the subject of a project run in the area since 1989; thus this species is often seen wearing collars emplaced by researchers. The Moremi area contains one of the most significant extant habitat areas for L. pictus.
The Reserve offers the opportunity to explore not only in 4x4's but on foot and by mokoro—a dug-out canoe, hewn from either ebony or sausage-tree, and poled by your personal guide. Although, today most of the mekoro (plural of mokoro), are made from fibreglass, thus helping to preserve the magnificent, and old, trees of the delta.
Game viewing is at its peak from July to October, when seasonal pans dry up and the wildlife concentrates on the permanent water. From October until the start of the rains in late November or early December, the weather can be extremely hot.
Malarial mosquitoes are prevalent throughout the Reserve and it is strongly recommended that visitors should take precautions before, during and after a visit.
Botswana has been able to develop its tourism without the urgent need for revenues that face many other African countries. An eco-tourism policy of high yield, but low impact, has resulted in visitors being able to experience an Africa at its most natural, unspoilt and stunningly beautiful. Thus the Reserve itself has very few lodges, and only four areas set-aside for camping (at South Gate, Third Bridge, Xakanaxa, and Khwai). There are a number of lodges on the outskirts of the Reserve, whose guests visit on daily game drives.
Travel between lodges is accomplished by light aircraft transfers, as most lodges have their own airstrips. Therefore, you can easily combine a number of lodges in a variety of areas.
This park is considered for inclusion in the 5 Nation Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.
Coordinates: 19°10′S 23°10′E / 19.167°S 23.167°E / -19.167; 23.167
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