Rhino Sightings In Xakanaxa, Moremi Game Reserve

For four days around 16th August this year, Rhino tracks were found along the road at Jessie’s Pools near Xakanaxa Camp! Guests staying at Xakanaxa Camp said they had seen it as they flew into the camp the day before. This comes as very exciting news and shows that the Rhino release efforts are bearing fruit and the animals are spreading around the Okavango Delta area.

In 2001 the first four white Rhino were released into the Moremi Game Reserve with funding from Tusk Trust. A further 22 Rhino arrived as a result of a swap between South Africa and Botswana called ‘rhino-for-roan’. Unfortunately in 2003 the project suffered a setback when two rhino were killed by poachers. Within a week security was upgraded, the poachers were caught and three new rhino were released. Since then more than 23 calves were born in the reserve since 2001 and there have been no further losses. The Department of Wildlife and National Parks’ Anti-Poaching Unit has been providing security and monitoring the rhino on a daily basis, as well as recording GPS positions through a radio transmitter which is implanted in the horn of the animal.

Currently the focus of the project is to bring in more black rhino in order to form a healthy founder population in the Okavango Delta. The team hopes that the rhino will begin reproducing and expanding their range into parts of Botswana where they have not been seen in many years!

Rhino distribution is largely influenced by the availability of water, food and vegetational cover. During the rainy season they are often in areas which are difficult to reach, due to flooding. With more rhino sightings, game viewing should be very exciting in Xakanaxa!!

Xakanaxa Camp has special rates for SADC residents which are available upon request. 

  

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HISTORY OF MOREMI GAME RESERVE AND XAKANAXA CAMP

LOCATION: In the beautiful Moremi Game Reserve, set on the banks of the Khwai River on the Xakanaxa Lagoon.

Moremi Game Reserve is unique in that it is the first wildlife sanctuary created by an African tribe, the BaTawana, in their own area. Chief Moremi III had started discussions to establish the Reserve and after his death, when the Reserve was proclaimed, the tribe was governed by his wife, as his son Kgosi Tawana was too young to rule at the time. Today he is the rightful chief of the BaTawana and a director of Moremi Safaris.

Xakanaxa Camp was the very first camp within the Moremi Game Reserve. As far back as the 1960s it was established as a crocodile hunting camp by Bobby Wilmot, as it was the easiest access point to the great lagoons and channels of the Delta in close proximity to Maun. This exact spot was also used by the current owner of Xakanaxa Camp, Wolfgang Burre, in 1968 when he first started exploring the Okavango Delta.

Later Doug Skinner converted the camp into a very rustic fishing camp and Wolfgang became his partner in 1982, as he had fallen in love with the area many years before. When Doug Skinner left for England in 1988, Xakanaxa Camp was entirely taken over by Wolfgang, who slowly made it to what it is today.

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Botswana is one of the most diverse and enchanting countries in the world. Here are some of the major reasons collected from tourists who have had the privilege of visiting the beautiful country and why they still consider coming back.

1. UNSPOILT WILDERNESS

Botswana practices a low tourist impact, and with its exclusive tourism policies, the wilderness attractions are largely unspoilt. Thus visitors are guaranteed a wonderfully unique safari adventure.

 

2. UNLIMITED WILDLIFE

Botswana houses herds of wildlife within its national parks and game reserves and is home to the largest population of elephants in the world. 17% of Botswana is set aside for wilderness preservation.

 

3. WHEN TO VISIT

There is no “best time” to visit Botswana as the different seasons all offer completely different experiences! Travel to Botswana is the ultimate game viewing experience no matter when you visit. Unfettered by fences, its wildlife is breathtaking.

 

4. DIVERSE EXPERIENCES

Botswana offers a wide variety of activities for almost everyone; FROM wildlife experience in the form of mokoro (traditional dug-out canoe), motorised boats, 4×4 open vehicles, interpretive game walks TO golfing, hot air balloon safari, fishing, birding, hunting, horse back safari, elephant interaction, scenic flights, cultural interaction.

 

5. A WIDE RANGE OF ACCOMMODATION

Botswana offers a variety of accommodation from luxury, fly-in camps or lodges to simple bush campsites. A variety of luxury lodges and camps allow visitors to experience the diversity of Botswana’s wilderness areas.

 

6. ACCESSIBILITY

Botswana is easily accessible from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and even Kenya! and has good infrastructure.

 

7. THE OKAVANGO DELTA

The Okavango Delta in Botswana, is the world’s largest inland delta – a labyrinth of lagoons, lakes and hidden channels. During Botswana’s dry winter months, the delta swells to three times its permanent size, attracting animals from miles around and creating one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of wildlife.

 

8. THE KALAHARI

The Kalahari is an extensive national park of Botswana making it the second largest game reserve in the world. The Central Kalahari is probably at its most enticing during the hot and wet season. At this time, the beautiful inter-dune valleys become lush with vegetation, attracting thousands of springbok and gemsbok. You’ll also find good numbers of ostrich and giraffe, herds of wildebeest, excellent cheetah and the Kalahari’s famous black-maned lions.

 

9. THE ART GALLERIES OF TSODILO

The Tsodilo Hills, which is located in the Okavango Panhandle, is a world heritage site, a sacred site of the Stone Age San. The Hills is the richest rock art site in southern Africa and have over 4,000 catalogued paintings.

 

10. BIRDLIFE

 The country is a birdlovers’ paradise with almost 600 species of birds including many unique and rare species which can be seen throughout the country. Offers superb birding in some of the greatest wilderness areas. an exciting array of aquatic and terrestrial species.  From the world’s biggest bird (the Ostrich) to the heaviest flying bird (the Kori Bustard) to the most numerous of all birds (the Red-billed Quelea), Botswana has a truly impressive variety and quantity of bird species.