Khwai Private Reserve

Looking at a map of Botswana, you’d miss Khwai completely if you didn’t know it was there. Wedged between the big-ticket attractions of Chobe National Park to the east and Moremi Game Reserve to the south, Khwai exists as a significant big game destination of its own. Lying on the eastern fringes of the Okavango Delta with a rich wildlife population and no borders drawn around it on the map, Khwai is often overlooked in favour of its more famous neighbours. However, in the winter months, it can hold its own for the quality of big game viewing.

During your time here, you’ll spend most days exploring the narrow Khwai River, which forms the natural boundary to the Moremi Game Reserve on the south. The Khwai River is a beacon for wildlife. It plays host to leopards stalking lechwe in the long grass, lions swimming from the banks to save their cubs’ during territorial disputes and crocodiles competing with wild dogs for a midday meal of impala. As Khwai lies outside the parks, it offers the freedom and flexibility normally only possible with the heavier price tag of a private concession. Go off-road for a closer look at sightings, night drive in search of nocturnal species, and head out on game bush walks to track wildlife on foot.

Khwai is also home to a village community where people live side by side with the resident wildlife. Some camps will offer village visits for a dose of cultural insight to go with your safari. For those not visiting the water camps of the delta, many camps in Khwai offer the chance to get out on a mokoro (traditional canoe). However, excursions are less traditional in nature, skirting the riverbanks rather than open delta floodplains.

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