Chiefs Island in Okavango Delta

Region explained

Chief’s Island was once the private hunting ground of the local Chief Moremi, but was incorporated into the wider Moremi Game Reserve in 1976. Roughly 60km long and 10km wide, the island is only accessible by boat or, more usually, by light aircraft, to one of the very few high-end luxury lodges and mobile camps that operate on the island itself. Day boat trips and overnight boat safaris can also be arranged from Maun, but in general the island sees very low visitor numbers and is certainly Botswana’s most exclusive wildlife destination.

Chief's Island is a playground for wildlife - from bird species to predators

Highlights

Rhino in the wild: Besides the small Khama Rhino Sanctuary in western Botswana, Chief’s Island is the only place in the country where you have a good chance of seeing rhino in the wild. Once common across Botswana they were completely wiped out by poaching, but were successfully reintroduced to central Moremi in the early 2000s.

Exclusive game viewing: Moremi is arguably Botswana’s best wildlife-viewing region, and Chief’s Island is undoubtedly the reserve’s most game-rich and exclusive area. It’s the only place in Botswana which supports all of the Big Five and excellent predator sightings are virtually guaranteed.

A leopard lounges lazily on a log in Chief's Camp

Practical advice

Chief’s Island’s two main lodges are among the most luxurious in Africa, offering all-inclusive, fly-in safaris, usually transferring through Maun. Day or overnight boat trips from Maun are the more affordable option, but however you visit you’ll need to book well in advance. The island can be visited at any time of year, but May to August sees extensive flooding in some areas. This can be a wonderful time to visit Chief’s Island, but the focus shifts to boat and mokoro excursions instead of game vehicles and walking safaris.

Try a mokoro boat ride for an alternative look at Chief's Island


Popular Okavango Delta Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Classic Botswana Family Safari (9 days)

Classic Botswana Family Safari (9 days)

Connect as a family while tracking wildlife and incredible landscapes through some of the most remote stretches of Botswana....

 | Botswana Green Season Safari (7 days)

Botswana Green Season Safari (7 days)

Experience three of Botswana's highlights – the Central Kalahari, Okavango Delta and Kwando Linyanti – wilderness areas that take you from arid desert to lush wetlands...

 | Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Experience the best of Africa, from the Okavango Delta – one of Africa's Seven Natural Wonders – to the endangered mountain gorillas and East Africa's Great Migration...

Family | Passage Through Southern Africa in a Luxury Train (10 days)

Passage Through Southern Africa in a Luxury Train (10 days)

Weave your way through a safari medley that introduces you to the mighty Victoria Falls, a remote slice of the Okavango Delta and the African gems in between....

 | Botswana Okavango Delta safari adventure

Botswana Okavango Delta safari adventure

Experience the jewel in Botswana's safari crown - the Okavango Delta....

 | Makgadikgadi Pans and Okavango Delta Safari Adventure (7 days)

Makgadikgadi Pans and Okavango Delta Safari Adventure (7 days)

From desert to delta, this safari will show you the two stunning contrasts of beautiful Botswana...

 | Camping in Moremi Game Reserve (5 days)

Camping in Moremi Game Reserve (5 days)

Watch the Okavango Delta come alive with the sounds of bird calls, the roar of lions in one of the most beautiful reserves in Botswana...

 | Expedition to Zimbabwe and Botswana (8 days)

Expedition to Zimbabwe and Botswana (8 days)

Explore the thundering Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and the wildlife wonderland of the Okavango Delta...

 | Enchanting Moremi Mobile Camping Experience (7 days)

Enchanting Moremi Mobile Camping Experience (7 days)

Moremi Game Reserve in the beautiful Okavango Delta is well-known for self-drive camper vanning. Explore this exciting way of travel with us ...

 | Wilderness and Wildlife in Northern Botswana (7 days)

Wilderness and Wildlife in Northern Botswana (7 days)

From the Okavango Delta to the Chobe, this one-week journey is the perfect balance of wildlife and wilderness wonders...

You might also like

Have some ideas?
Contact us and get a customised no-obligation itinerary

+27 (0)21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    Mon - Fri: 8AM - 9PM GMT+2