Lioness Portrait Wild dog puppy behind bush

About half the Okavango Delta region is made up of the gazetted Moremi Game Reserve which includes Chiefs Island. The Moremi is one of the most beautiful game reserves in southern Africa - an area of mopane woodland interlaced with giant fig and knobthorn trees, open vleis and river courses. Animals commonly seen in the area include elephant, lion, leopard, lechwe, wild dog, tsessebe, impala, reedbuck, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, genet, civet and serval, and many of the smaller mammal species. The birdlife of the region is equally spectacular. White rhino were re-introduced to Chiefs Island a few years ago.

Outside Moremi (close to the North Gate entrance in the north-east section of the reserve on the north banks of the Khwai River), the Khwai Concession offers excellent game-viewing as well as the chance to undertake walking safaris and night drives. Although the Khwai concession can occasionally be busier than remote parts of Moremi or Chobe, it is a natural stopping off point on the journey from Moremi and Savuti (or vice versa) and the diversity of activities on offer makes it worth including in most mobile safaris through northern Botswana.

The Chobe covers an area of 11,000 sq. kms and its habitats range from the floodplain and backwaters of the river to sand ridges, dry lake beds, riverine thickets/bush and mopane forest. The Chobe stretches south-westwards from Kasane and the river in the north, to the Mababe Depression (a dead lake area fed by the Savuti Channel). Except for the network of roads and one lodge along the river and three in the Savuti, there is little development within the park. Most travellers to the Chobe concentrate either along the river frontage, or in the Savuti area. Travellers using mobile tented camps may have the option to move away from these busier areas.

The birdlife is prolific - kingfishers, bee-eaters, the majestic fish eagle, martial eagle, ducks, egrets, plovers, herons, cranes, storks, geese, woodpeckers, shrikes, thrushes, buntings, chats and owls are just a few of the many species found here. However, Chobe is famous for its large animal herds, particularly elephant and buffalo which frequent the river courses, where hippo laze all day, to quench their thirst. Amongst the 16 antelope species present in Chobe, kudu are common, and the near endemic puku can also be seen. The Chobe bushbuck is a sub-species of bushbuck found only here.  Giraffe, lion, leopard, waterbuck, mongoose, tsessebe, roan and sable antelope, lechwe, impala, warthog, wild dog, hyaena, baboon and vervet monkeys are among the other animals to be seen.