The Khwai Community Concession borders the Moremi Game Reserve, being seperated only by the Khwai River – the animals do not know the difference and most guides recognise that the game viewing is actually better outside the park! This concession is extremely productive for predator viewing and it is our “go-to” place to observe wild dogs.
Khwai is part of the Okavango Delta and so is influenced by the annual flood cycle of the Okavango River. Permanent swamps and rivers upsteam overflow, fed by the annual flood pulse from Angolan rain, to inundate the Khwai River. This sustains the life here, renewing the nutrient cycle. The water in fact, arrives in the lower reaches of the Delta in our “dry season” – between June and August. This “flood” is different from the local rains that fall in the delta between November and March! Game viewing is productive in both seasons (so all year). These events do influence where we can locate our campsites, although it is extremely rare for the concession to become totally inaccessible.
Game Viewing in Khwai
Khwai is a park for serious game viewing – a place where you could actually spend your whole safari! The Khwai River is at its most distal point here, drawing in cogregations of animals from great distances. This concession is a perfect location to follow the behaviour of predators, with interactions quite common as they share a confined resource. Indeed, in many instances, rival predators have to fight over kills and territory. One must also point out that Khwai has an excellent road network which makes tracking predators easier.
Leopards in Khwai: There are two fully habituated female leopards in this concession that frequent relatively small territories. These leopards have bought up many cubs over the years which therefore makes Khwai one of the best leopard viewing concessions in the country.
Wild Dogs in Khwai: Some of our guests return to Botswana repeatedly just to be able to spend time with the “Khwai” pack of dogs. This pack use the same den sites year after year, where they raise their puppies and hunt the area along the Khwai River. Their behaviour is relatively predictable and their territory small and constant enough for sightings of this pack to be extremely consistent. Visits to the den sites, following the dogs hunting, watching them “tree” leopards and fight hyenas over their kills are all possible sightings in Khwai – nowhere else can offer consistent wild dog sightings of this quality.
Hyena den: There is a very active hyena den in the Khwai concession.
Further, Khwai offers varied and productive game viewing, with healthy populations of all the antelope, giraffe and elephant.
Walking is allowed in the concession so we often track animals on foot if the vehicle can no longer pass through thick bush.
A highlight of khwai is that it offers a chance to see various animals swimming or crossing water. Elephants regularly cross rivers and you may even get a chance to watch wild dogs do the same!
Khwai is one of our best parks and we cannot recommend it highly enough. If you only had 2-3 days available to safari, in many instances we would take you to Khwai – you could tick off most sought after species just in this one location. This concession is located between Moremi and Savuti and so would fit into an itinerary as such. From Maun, it is a 3-4 hour drive on a gravel road. The campsites are wild and unfenced (as they should be). You have options to stay in the “Magotho” sites which are not completely private. Or, pay extra for exclusivity in the “Sable Alley” or Matswiri” private sites.
Khwai also fits in well with itineraries that move North or South between Maun and Kasane. There is also a bush airstrip in Khwai should you wish to combine this location with a lodge of your choice (we can pick you up or drop you off at the airstrip)
Experiences in Khwai:
- Outstanding opportunities to track predators and follow them hunting
- Follow wild dogs hunting
- Huge old bull elephants frequent the Khwai River
- Spend time at a wild dog den
- See predators cross the Khwai River
- Exceptional birding
- Unique Okavango scenery
- A paradise for wild camping on mobile safaris