Khwai Community Area

A wildlife extravaganza in the heart of Botswana’s wilderness

Photos

Where legendary rivers blend with the edge of the desert and wildlife abounds

On the outskirts of the beautifully preserved Moremi Game Reserve, is a wildlife-prolific and varied ecosystem which provides a patchwork of lagoons, shallow flooded pans, open grass plains and woodland forests. The Khwai area is without a doubt one of the most scenic areas in Botswana. Combine your stay at Khwai Tented Camp with a taste of culture in the traditional village of Khwai.

The Khwai community, adjacent to the northern region of Moremi Game Reserve, has a population of just 400 people who are predominately of either BaBukakhwe or River Bushmen decent. They are an inspirational example of a local community who live in peaceful harmony with wildlife.

The Khwai Concession is a 1800km area which is situated in the northeastern Okavango next to the Moremi Game Reserve. It was formed by the local Khwai villagers and is managed by the Khwai Development Trust. The area used to be a hunting concession but is now actively managed as a conservation area. The villagers took over the area when they moved out of the Moremi region when the Moremi Game Reserve was formed. The local community now runs ecotourism initiatives, actively conserve the environment and manage the wildlife in the concession.

Khwai Tented Camp

An authentic bush experience in the Khwai Community Area

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Khwai Bush Camp

A family-focused safari experience in the sought-after Khwai Concession

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Wildlife

Khwai is a predator-rich area. There are high concentrations of predators and a healthy population of wild dog. Wildlife is much the same as the Moremi Game Reserve. The magnificent Khwai river is the hub for some of the most outstanding wildlife viewing both on the Moremi and in the Khwai area. Species to be viewed include elephant, buffalo, zebra, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, giraffe, eland, sable, hippo, hyena and various other nocturnal species.

  • Moremi Game Reserve Botswana Leopard in Tree
  • Moremi Game Reserve Botswana Baby Spotted Hyena
  • Moremi Game Reserve Botswana Antelope Topi
  • Moremi Game Reserve Botswana Lioness
  • lion nxai pan national park

Seasonal Information

Find out the best times to visit the Khwai Community Area.

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  • Green Season
  • Mid Season
  • High Season
January is traditionally the rainy season in the Khwai and Moremi area. At this time of the year the vegetation is beautiful and green and the air crisp and clear making it one of the best times for photography. The large herds of animals usually found in the dry season have dissipated, but the resident animals like lion, leopard, wild dog and the older buffalo and elephant bulls remain. There are a lot of young plains game around which can make for some exciting predator/ prey interaction. January is one of the best months for birding as the migrants are in full breeding plumage. The days are fairly hot and humid with the occasional afternoon thunderstorm which usually passes to reveal bright blue skies. When it does rain the temperatures can drop making it fairly cool. Daily temperatures can range from low 20°C to low 30°C. A light fleece or rain jacket is advisable for when the temperatures do drop. Activities at Khwai include day and night game drives, walking safaris and mokoro excursions.
Plan your Safari

February is still a rainy time for the Khwai and Moremi area. At this time of the year the vegetation is beautiful and green and the air crisp and clear making it one of the best times for photography. The large herds of animals usually found in the dry season have dissipated, but the resident animals like lion, leopard, wild dog and the older buffalo and elephant bulls remain. There are a lot of young plains game around which can make for some exciting predator/ prey interaction. February is one of the best months for birding as they start to build nests and breed. The days are fairly hot and humid with the occasional afternoon thunder storm which usually passes to reveal bright blue skies. When it does rain the temperatures can drop making it fairly cool. Daily temperatures can range from low 20° to low 30°. A light fleece or rain jacket is advisable for when the temperatures do drop. Activities at Khwai include day and night game drives, walking safaris and mokoro excursions.

Plan your Safari
March is moving towards the dry season and so the rainfall starts to decrease, especially towards the end of the month. Temperatures remain similar to previous months, so a fleece and light jacket are advisable for when the sun starts to go down or for those early morning game drives. The vegetation is still green and air crisp making it ideal for photography. The youngsters have found their feet and generally keep up with the adults, which makes the predators jobs a little harder! Birding is still great as they rear their young. Khwai and Moremi are mixed habitats and so attract an array of stunning birds making it an ideal spot for twitchers.
Plan your Safari
As we move into April we get closer to the dry season and so rainy days and thunderstorms become few and far between. Temperatures range from mid-teens to around 30°, so make sure to bring a light fleece for those early mornings and evenings when out on an open game drive vehicle. The vegetation is still green and there is still a lot of surface water around, which means the herds are still spread out in the thicker Mopane woodlands. The resident game like lion, leopard, wild dog and the general plains game are still around. This is still a good time for photography as the vegetation is still green, the sky bright blue and the air clear of dust.
Plan your Safari
May is considered the start of the dry season as the rains are almost non-existent. Temperatures start to drop, especially in the evenings and early mornings when warm clothes are required especially when out on game drives. Blankets and hot water bottles are often needed (supplied by the camp) when you head out on morning game drives. The water levels of the Khwai River start to rise as the flood waters of the Okavango Delta push further south through the Kalahari sands. The vegetation is still green and the air is clear of dust. Towards the end of the month the animals may start to form larger herds as the surface water in the thicker Mopane areas starts to dry up. This is dependent on how late the rains were. This is also when the wild dogs start to den which confines them to one area as they have to return to feed the pups. As the puppies are still very young at this stage it is tricky to see them as they would not have emerged from the den. It is also dangerous to go to the den site (if anyone knows where it is) as the dogs could get nervous and decide to move the puppies which would put their lives in danger from other predators.
Plan your Safari

Towards the end of May things have already started to dry up and animals will start to form larger herds as the surface water dries up. Family herds of elephants and buffalo will start to be seen as they move from the drying Mopane woodlands and start their migration north towards Linyanti and Chobe. The wild dogs are still confined to their dens as the adults return to feed the puppies. In general this makes seeing these endangered animals more likely as they stick to the same areas. It is still not a good idea to visit the den as it makes the adults nervous which may cause them to move the puppies. This can be dangerous as they may encounter other predators. The vegetation is still green, but this will start to change towards the end of the month. The skies are bright and blue and the air still clear of dust. This is the start of the peak season in the Khwai and Moremi areas. The rains have completely stopped in June and temperatures range from below 10°C to maximum mid-twenties! Bring warm clothes as it will be cold in the early morning game drives and when sitting around the campfire in the evenings. The water levels of the Khwai River start to rise as the flood waters of the Okavango.

Plan your Safari
July sees the vegetation start to dry up and the animal numbers increase as water dries up. Family herds of elephants continue to move through towards the waters of Khwai & Moremi. Predator action is still good with leopards and lions the main the cats in the area. The dogs are still denning, although the puppies will start to emerge as they get bigger. They will still be dependent at the den site, but would have started exploring the area around it as they get to know their surroundings. Water levels in the Khwai area will be at their fullest as the waters of the Okavango Delta push through the sands of the Kalahari Desert. As the month goes on so the waters start to recede. In general the birding and game viewing in the Khwai and Moremi area is excellent due to the mixed habitats of woodlands, grasslands and wetlands. Temperatures are very similar to those in June with cold mornings and evenings and comfortable days as the sun rises. Bring warm clothes for those early morning game drives. Hot water bottles and blankets are provided by the camps for those chilly drives.
Plan your Safari
We are now well and truly in the dry season. The vegetation and surface water has dried up and the animal numbers are good. Family herds of elephants continue to move through the Khwai and Moremi Reserves as they migrate north to Linyanti and Chobe. Larger herds of plains game can be seen on the grasslands and near the water sources. The wild dogs should start to leave the den as the puppies are old enough to accompany the adults, although they won’t wander very far. Moremi and Khwai are considered some of the best places to see wild dogs as prey species are plentiful. The skies are still blue, but the air will start to become hazy with dust as things dry up, but this makes for some spectacular sunsets! Temperatures start to rise again, especially during the day and especially towards the end of the month. The temperatures range from about 10° up to about 30°, so layered clothing is essential. August is probably one of the most popular and therefore busiest times of the year in the Khwai and Moremi Reserves. The waters of the Khwai and Moremi start to recede as the sands of the Kalahari start to absorb this up.
Plan your Safari
Temperatures will start to rise and can become quite hot, especially towards the end of the month. Temperatures range from high teens to over 30°C, so layered clothing is essential, especially at the start of the month. There is little to no chance of rain and the air is generally quite dusty, which makes for some incredible sunsets. Most of the surface water has dried up and so animals are now congregating along the main water channels of the Khwai and Moremi Reserves. Larger herds of buffalo and plains game can be seen and family herds and lone bull elephants can be seen through the area. Khwai and Moremi Reserves are considered some of the best areas for wild dogs, but as they are mobile during September it does make it slightly harder to locate them as they move huge distances every day in search of prey. Leopard and lion are resident and so can be seen throughout the year. September is one of the best months in the Khwai and Moremi Reserves as this is now the peak of the dry season and game viewing can be spectacular.
Plan your Safari
Temperatures soar into the 40s this month. It is extremely hot with little to no wind to cool things down. Temperatures range from late teens to over 40° by the end of the month. There may be a sprinkle of rain towards the end of the month. This cools things down very slightly and can help clear the air. The air is generally hazy with dust, but this means some of the best African sunsets! The vegetation is generally dry except around the rivers and marshes. The surface water is almost non-existent and so this is one of the best times of the year for wildlife. Large herds of animals are now congregating around the main water sources making it easier to find them. The wild dogs are constantly moving around their home range making it hard to keep track of them. Lion and leopard are resident and so guests have a good chance of seeing these large predators. Only the deepest channels of the rivers retain water as the sands of the Kalahari soak up the shallow pools and streams. Even though temperatures are high in October, it is one of the most rewarding game viewing months of the year.
Plan your Safari
November is a mixed month as the dry season gives way to partial rains. Thunderstorms start to develop around the middle of the month as cells of clouds move across the different regions of Botswana. If it does rain then it is usually an afternoon thunderstorm that lasts half an hour or so before revealing blue skies. This can be a dramatic time of the year to be in the Khwai and Moremi Reserves and can make for some spectacular photographic opportunities. The beginning of the month can be very rewarding when it comes to wildlife as the herds are still around before the main onset of the rains. Once the rains start the herds will disperse into the thicker Mopane woodlands. The resident game remains and this can be a very rewarding time of year for a safari. Depending on the timing of the rains, the end of November is often when the impala start to drop their young and this can be a very exciting time as the predators take advantage of the plentiful and easy prey species. It is surprising as to how quickly the vegetation greens up after the first rains. Temperatures can vary in November, although it is generally hot (35°C). If it does rain it can cool things down quite considerably and so it is wise to have a light fleece or rain jacket for these occasions. November is considered by many top guides and safari connoisseurs as one of the best times for a safari as the seasons’ change and the area transforms from the dry arid region to a lush green haven.
Plan your Safari
As we head into December we start to see more frequent afternoon storms. As with November these usually last half an hour or so and then clear to crisp blue skies. Migrant birds start to arrive and start their courtship displays as they try and attract a mate for the season. The baby impala continue to provide easy meals for the wild dogs, lion, leopard, hyena and other resident predators. The larger herds have moved off by now, but the plains game remains and take advantage of the good food and plenty surface water. This can be a very rewarding time of the year for a safari to Khwai and Moremi. The daytime temperatures have dropped from previous months due to the rains which cools things down and makes it slightly more pleasant although the maximum can hit mid-thirties.
Plan your Safari