Southern Africa, Botswana

Moremi Game Reserve

Moremi Game Reserve

Situated on the eastern side of the great Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve is an area of striking scenic and wildlife diversity. The marvelously lush Delta is the result of the Okavango River’s failure to find an outlet to the sea, instead seeping with a liquid sigh into the dry plains of the Kalahari Desert; it is, as Frans Lanting has written, “nothing short of miraculous…like a dream.” In a matter of a few feet, landscapes change from green and watery to golden and dry.

Most of the Moremi Reserve is pure Okavango, that is to say a wondrous waterland of lagoons and lush channels thronged with animals. Micato safariers and their expert Safari Directors wend those waterways on motor craft and dug-out mokoro canoes, watching as elephants disport themselves, hippos bubble, and crocodiles watch impassively. But the drier parts of Moremi are equally enthralling from a scenic standpoint (infinite cerulean skies, rolling savannah, and acacia forests) and because of its abundance of animals: the Big Five (lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, rhinoceros, and elephant) of course, but rarer creatures like Cape wild dogs (who “live the life domestic dogs wish they could live,” zoologist Rosie Woodroffe says), and more numerous ones like impalas, stately red lewches, cheetahs, incessantly wily hyenas, jackals, and giraffes “floating across the plains,” as Isak Dinesen saw them.

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