Moremi is accessed either by air (light aircraft fly to the airstrips that service the lodges) or by roadvia Maun, Botswana's tourism capital, or from the north by way of the equally rewarding Chobe National Park. However, the maze of sandy roads that takes you from Maun to Moremi South Gate deteriorate once inside the reserve and vary from deep sand tracks to potholed detours. A self-drive through Moremi is advisable only for experienced 4x4 drivers and only in the dry months. The summer rains can make parts of the Moremi inaccessible and some lodges close over the December- February period.
Travelling north-east from Maun, firstly along a fine full width tar road to Shorobe, then on a wide gravel road, a veterinary control fence is encountered - locally known as the buffalo fence, constructed to protect the flourishing cattle industry to the south from any diseases that may be carried by wildlife. Passing through the gate, a first glimpse of the reason that this is described as 4x4 country is obtained, as the deep sandy track ahead is in stark contrast to the previous road. After a short distance, a left hand fork in the track is taken, travelling through wildlife country of mopane and acacia woodland, interspersed by areas of open grassland. Low speed is essential on this route, due to the soft churning sand and the chance of viewing wildlife.
Eventually, after having travelled 99 kilometres from Maun, the southern entrance gate of the Moremi Game Reserve, Magwee, is reached. Here, nestling amongst a glade of tall mopane trees, is a shady camping ground with two small ablution blocks. Here it is essential to guard foodstuffs carefully against the unwelcome attentions of baboons and monkeys.
From the south gate of Moremi, there is a choice of roads. There is a direct route of thirty kilometres through to the northern entrance gate at Khwai, where the headquarters of the reserve are situated. At Khwai there is a large public camping ground situated in a well-shaded area overlooking the river.
Here at Khwai, a long bridge constructed entirely out of mopane poles, forms a picturesque entrance to the reserve for visitors arriving from the north. This bridge, which rattles and shakes as vehicles pass over it, must be one of the most photographed structures in the northern areas of Botswana and is so much a part of the character of Moremi. Smaller bridges, of a similar construction, can be seen in other areas of the reserve and, in all, a gang of thirteen men is required for continuous maintenance work.
From the south gate, another route goes for 58 kilometres north-west through some diverse scenery, across First and Second Bridges, to a further camping ground at Third Bridge. This area, which borders on the delta and Mboma Island, enjoys heavy concentrations of wildlife in the dry season and one stands a good chance of seeing elusive cheetahs hunting. The water that flows under the bridge here looks clear, cool and inviting - but beware, crocodiles would welcome anyone foolish enough to swim! Care should be taken if filling buckets (safer to use the standpipe) or undertaking any activity close to the water.
The third optional route from the south gate goes through the heart of the mopane forest for 42 kilometres to Xakanaxa. Here, once again, there is a public camping ground overlooking the edge of the delta. From Xakanaxa, a route can be taken to the north gate at Khwai, which is some 45 kilometres in distance, passing through a delightful area known as Hippo Pool, which is only 14 kilometres from the north gate. Hippo Pool lives up to its name, as there is an abundance of those creatures in residence. They can be viewed in comfort from an observation platform overlooking the pool.
It was near here that the Bugakhwe people used to have their village, but, with the creation of the game reserve, they were moved in 1963 to their present location near north gate, which is known as Khwai Village. The village boasts a population of only about three hundred people.
There are a few basic supply stores in the Khwai Village, which can be very useful if one runs out of something or would like the luxury of an ice cold drink! A few of these villagers have attractive basketwork for sale to visitors.