Xakanaka, Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana
We stayed three nights in the Xakanaka Area of Moremi Game Reserve. It rests on the Eastern side of the Okavango Delta and was named after Chief Moremi of the BaTawana tribe. It is a Game Reserve with contrasts as one can find drier areas, savannah, thickly wooded areas and plenty of water. Only 30% of Moremi is actually dry land as the Okavango Delta is considered to be a part of Moremi Game Reserve.
We stayed at a private camping site in the Xakanaka Area, which is a beautiful part of Moremi. Here we camped in tents, “under canvas”, with just the tent fabric between ourselves and the wildlife. The sound that started at night was soothing in its own way. To fall asleep to this choir was not hard.
Video: The sound at night in Xakanaka, Botswana
I can´t compare this to living at a Lodge with all the facilities, waiters etc, but I found this to be too my liking. It is probably a bit on the rough side for many. Still I would recommend all to live some nights “under canvas” if they travel to Botswana.
I recommned “Under canvas”
Why you ask?
Because it is the true way to experience Africa, if you ask me. Give it a try. You will probably love it.
We travelled into Moremi by 4×4, a trusty Toyota Landcruiser that worked like a charm. The trip wasn´t the most exciting, but I don´t regret going overland. Flying by plane was also a possibility, but it is weight restricing. We now saw how fires had ravages the area and got news that fires still raged in Khwai. Our next stop on the way to Victoria Falls. It might be hard to understand that fire brings life to an area, but that is the case. I would be interesting to see the same area in the rainy season when everything is green and lush.
From Maun to Xaxanaka
We didn´t see much animals on the road to Xakanaka. Our guide was more interested in reaching the camp site so we all could settled down before our first safari drive the same evening. At camp Bubbles, our trusty camp assistant from Zimbabwe, put up our tents, the shower and dug the drop toilet. It took him no time doing this and I must say this was all one needed together with some shade and water to drink.
The heat in October can be really grueling, but I think the temperature stayed around 30 degrees during the days and maybe around 20 at night. More than pleasant I would say.
The schedule for the days was up early to be out on the morning drive just after 5:30. Depending upon the animals we saw we usually got back between 10 and 11. We had a coffee break during each drive where we could stretch our legs and do anything else that was necessary. At camp we had lunch, took a shower, used the facility and rested in the shade before heading out again in the afternoon. The afternoon drive, usually starting around 15:00, meant we would have a sundowner somewhere watching the sunset over the landscape while drinking a beer or two. A most pleasant thing to do I must say.
Video: Having a sundowner in Xakanaka, Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana
When we got back at camp Bubbles prepared dinner so we could just relax with a cold beer or two until dinner got served.
We did manage to see many things in Xakanaka during our three days there. We saw tree climbing Lions, Painted Wolves aka Painted Dogs, Side-striped Jackal, herbivores of all kind and many different birds. No Leopards, but I am sure they saw us more than once because we were in prime Leopard territory.
I have many good memories from the day’s there. The first I think of is the Elephant that lazily strolled through camp the first night. I woke up when I heard some small rattle outside the tent. I saw that Martin was staring out thru the tent netting and saw how the bushes moved. Elephant he whispered. I suspect it was a lone Bull that soon moved into the moonlight. We just sat there with dropped jaws watching it pass just a few meters from our tent. It’s amazing how silently it move when it went through our camp. An amazing experience that I rate a little higher than the 30 minutes we spent with a pack of 8 or 9 Painted Dogs.
I really treasure the time in Xakanaka and I’d like to go back soon.
The photos from the days in Moremi is found here: Moremi Game Reserve