Travel to Okavango and Moremi GR

Okavango and Moremi GR

The Okavango is a labyrinth of lagoons, lakes and hidden channels covering an area of over 10,563 square miles and the largest inland delta in the world. Trapped in the parched Kalahari sands it is a magnet for the wildlife who depend on the permanent waters of this unique feature.

Sometimes called a ‘swamp’, the Okavango is anything but. Moving, mysterious, placid, gentle and beautiful, from a wide and winding channel it spreads through tiny, almost unnoticeable channels that creep away behind a wall of papyrus reed, into an ever expanding network of increasingly smaller passages.

These link a succession of lagoons, islands and islets of various sizes, open grasslands and flooded plains in a mosaic of land and water. Palms and towering trees abound, throwing their shade over crystal pools, forest glades and grassy knolls.  The Okavango’s water is remarkably clean and pure and this is almost certainly due to the fact that it passes through very sparsely populated areas on its journey from Angola. 

In the lush indigenous forests of the delta and its islands, and along the floodplains spawned by this great marriage of water and sand, more than 400 species of birds flourish.  On the mainland and among the islands in the delta, lions, elephants, hyenas, wild dog, buffalo, hippo and crocodiles congregate with a teeming variety of antelope and other smaller animals - warthog, mongoose, spotted genets, monkeys, bush babies and tree squirrels.

Moremi covers some 3,026 square miles, as the eastern section of the Okavango Delta. Moremi is mostly described as one of the most beautiful wildlife reserves in Africa as it combines mopane woodland and acacia forests, floodplains and lagoons.  It is the great diversity of plant and animal life that makes Moremi so well known. The reserve contains within its boundaries approximately twenty percent of the Okavango Delta.

Birdlife is prolific and varied, ranging from water birds to shy forest dwellers. There are many species of ducks end geese, as well as an amazing variety of heron.

Elephants are numerous, particularly during the dry season, as well as a range of other wildlife species from buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, hyaena, jackal and the full range of antelope, large and small, including the red lechwe.  Wild dog, whose numbers are so rapidly dwindling elsewhere, are regularly sighted in the Moremi and have been subject to a project being run in the area since 1989.


Botswana is one of the touristic jewels of Africa.  In addition to an abundance of natural beauty, shortly after achieving democratic rule from the British in 1966, three of the world’s richest diamond-bearing formations were discovered there. This has led to a high standard of economic stability, education and health care. Despite this, much of the country remains remote - a destination for the intrepid and relatively high end traveler.


The term “Batswana” refers to the ethnic group of people who speak the Setswana language and share the Sotho-Tswana culture, while in its common contemporary usage, it refers to all citizens of the Republic of Botswana, regardless of their ethnic background. The singular is “Motswana”: a citizen of the country. “Tswana” is used as an adjective - for example “Tswana state” or “Tswana culture”.


The national language is Setswana however the official language is English.


Batswana, a term also used to denote all citizens of Botswana, refers to the country’s major ethnic group (the “Tswana” in South Africa), which came into the area from South Africa during the Zulu wars of the early 1800s. Prior to European contact, the Batswana lived as herders and farmers under tribal rule.

In the 19th century, hostilities broke out between the Batswana and Boer settlers from the Transvaal. After appeals by the Batswana for assistance, the British Government in 1885 put “Bechuanaland” under its protection. The northern territory remained under direct administration and is today’s Botswana, while the southern territory became part of the Cape Colony and is now part of the northwest province of South Africa; the majority of Setswana-speaking people today live in South Africa.

In June 1964, Britain accepted proposals for democratic self-government in Botswana. The seat of government was moved from Mafikeng, in South Africa, to newly-established Gaborone in 1965. The 1965 constitution led to the first general elections and to independence in September 1966. General elections serve to elect members of parliament, and the presidential candidate from the party that wins the most seats in the general election becomes the president. Seretse Khama, a leader in the independence movement and the legitimate claimant to traditional rule of the Bamangwato, became the country’s first president, was re-elected twice, and died in office in 1980. The presidency passed to the sitting vice president, Ketumile Masire, who was elected in his own right in 1984 and re-elected in 1989 and 1994. Masire retired from office in 1998. The presidency passed to the sitting vice president, Festus Mogae, who was elected in his own right in 1999. Mogae won a second term in elections held October 30, 2004 and stepped down in accordance with national term limits on March 31, 2008. On April 1, 2008 former Vice President Ian Khama assumed the presidency. Khama was elected as President in his own right during the general election held on October 16, 2009.

Travel Guide


The currency in Botswana is the Pula (P) which is made up of 100 Thebe.  Pula means ‘rain’ in Setswana while thebe means ‘shield’ in Setswana.

Time Difference

9 hours ahead of Los Angeles
6 hours ahead of New York

Best Time to Travel

Game viewing is at its peak during the dry winter months of May to October when animals reliably concentrate at year round water sources. In particular, many experts regard the cooler months of June to August as the best time of year for a Botswana safari - the game viewing is consistently excellent, there’s virtually no rain and the weather is comfortable.  Prices are at their highest during these prime months.
Wildlife disperses and becomes harder to locate when the rains begin in January through April. However, several destinations such as Chobe’s Savute region and the Kalahari offer excellent game viewing at this time. One reason is that they lie on the path of migrating animals – such as zebra.
A year-round birding destination, bird watchers will find the migrant-filled summer months of the rainy season the best time to visit Botswana for both numbers and diversity of species.
December is a particularly good month as many antelope give birth then which means more predators come around to hunt.


Summer is from November to the end of March and usually brings very high temperatures. It is also the rainy season and cloud coverage and rain can cool things down, although only usually for a short period of time.
The winter season begins in May and ends in August. This is also the dry season when virtually no rainfall occurs. Winter days are invariably sunny and cool to warm; however, evening and night temperatures can drop below freezing point in some areas.
The in-between periods - April/early May and September/October - still tend to be dry, but the days are cooler than in summer and the nights are warmer than in winter.
Summers (particularly from December through to February) can become exceptionally hot, and rain may make some roads muddy and impassable.

What to Wear

Layers are best - you will be in open, moving vehicles before sunrise and after sunset, so even in summer it will be cool. Jackets, caps and gloves also recommended year round.

Health Requirements

No vaccinations or medications are currently required for entry to Botswana from the United States.

Africa Answers is unable to give personalized medical advice and requests that travelers contact their travel clinic regarding recommended medications.

Visa Requirements

A passport with at least six months of validity remaining is required. U.S. citizens are permitted stays up to 90 days total within a 12 month period without a visa. Passports must have 2 blank visa pages available.

Starting 1 June, 2017, a tourism levy of $30 US will be collected at all land border points and airports into Botswana by cash, debit or credit card.

Tipping & Porterage

Tipping guidelines will be issued with final documents.

Credit Cards

International Visa and MasterCard are usually accepted throughout Botswana but American Express and Diners Club are often not accepted.

Electrical Appliances

220-240 volts AC, 50Hz.


The country’s tap water is safe to drink. Most supermarkets, shops, camps and lodges also have bottled water available. When road traveling it is recommended to carry sufficient water at all times.


Explore the rest of our Botswana destinations:


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This Destination

Okavango and Moremi GR

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