Gunns Camp, Moremi Crossing
Exploring Botswana’s Royal Island

Exploring Botswana’s Royal Island

Chief’s Island is the wild heart of Moremi Game Reserve that bustles with diverse wildlife and epitomizes the beauty of the Okavango Delta, and is possibly best explored by boat or on foot.

Dusk’s chorus of reed frogs looking for love, the exhilarating feeling of not knowing what’s around the next bush and the heart-stopping moment when the first African wild dog is sighted – this is the safari experience of Chief’s Island.

It is Botswana’s largest island, a sand ‘tongue’ measuring 60km long and 10km wide, found in the magical Moremi Game Reserve. Once the royal hunting ground of the local Batswana Chief Moremi III, the island’s status as a protected nature reserve, given to it in 1963, has ensured it has remained a preserved natural paradise.

Here’s why exploring this land of royal history, abundant wildlife and iconic landscapes by boat or on foot is an amazing opportunity to become immersed in the wilderness of Moremi:

By boat

Water safaris are almost guaranteed around Chief’s Island and the greater Moremi area as several swamps and rivers are permanent features of this area. When the Okavango Delta undergoes its annual flooding, animals are pushed up and congregate on higher ground on Chief’s Island.

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Glide through the waterways of the Moremi Game Reserve to Chief’s Island

Taking to the waterways by mokoro or speed boat is a unique experience. It gives a completely different perspective to the traditional game drive and places you within the watery territory of impressive animals, like hippos, crocodiles and even elephants taking a swim.

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Meet the curious glances of hippos at their level in the water

But it’s not only about the large mammals when you are out on the water. The colours and calls of 400 bird species along with small amphibians, reptiles and insects can all be glimpsed among the long reeds or flitting over the water’s surface.

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Look out for the small and sometimes hidden treasures of the bush

A boat safari is a great time to bring out your camera. Both while moving and upon stopping to look at something, the comfortable seated position of the boat offers allows you a chance to relax and snap away at your own leisure.

By foot

Going on a walking safari in Botswana is always a good idea. It is an intimate encounter with the bush that puts you in the midst of the beautiful and fascinating natural world. On Chief’s Island, you might learn how to track large game, identify different plant species and discover the extraordinary lives of insects, birds and snakes in one of the most exclusive wildlife areas in Africa.

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Keep your eyes to the ground as you never know what you might find

On a walking safari, you will be able to get to places that are inaccessible to the four wheels of a game vehicle. While Chief’s Island is known for having healthy populations of predators such as lion and wild dog, they can be a little harder to see whilst on foot.

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Encounter the game that is characteristic of Botswana

Nevertheless, the profound interconnectivity of the bush and the multitude of different creatures that call it home, will make up for it. The variety of habitats attract high concentrations of large and small game, such as buffalo, lechwe, impala, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, tsessebe and warthog.

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Search the sky and trees for feathered friends taking a break from flight

Gunn’s Camp and Moremi Crossing Camp are both ideally situated near to the Moremi Game Reserve for day trips to Chief’s Island.

If you are interested in finding out more about this boating and walking adventure destination, contact us and we will help you plan your perfect Okavango Delta safari.

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