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Bordering both the Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park in the northeastern stretch of the Okavango Delta, the private Khwai Concession is a well-kept safari secret in Botswana.
Spanning for 440,000 acres, this private reserve has one of the largest concentrations of wildlife and one of the most diverse ecosystems. The Khwai area is made up of open grasslands, floodplains, mopane forests and a maze of lagoons carpeted in blue and white water lilies, providing a beautifully scenic backdrop for your safari.
Head out on game drives for the chance to spot lion, leopard, cheetah, zebra, spotted hyena, sable and roan antelope, kudu, wildebeest, tsessebe, and the endangered African wild dog. You may also spot large herds of migrating elephants munching on the mopane woodlands in the central Khwai area.
A drive along the stunning Khwai River that flows through the concession offers the chance to spot a high concentration of animals, as this is the first major water source for wildlife migrating from the Linyanti Concession.
Birdwatchers have the chance to spot migratory, wetland and desert species, including Long Toed Lapwings, Senegal Coucals and Verreaux's Eagle Owl.
This massive private concession is an incredible community-based partnership, formed by the local Khwai villagers and managed by the Khwai Development Trust.
Once a hunting concession, the area is now an active conservation area, with the local communities running ecotourism initiatives that provide sustainable economic income and an environmentally responsible safari experience for tourists.
Made up of just 400 people of BaBukakhwe or River Bushmen decent, the Khwai community work to conserve the environment and manage the wildlife populations within the reserve.
Wildlife viewing in the Khwai Area is fantastic throughout the dry season from April to October, however, the best time is during the late dry season around July to October. As the water levels recede and vegetation thins, animals are forced to congregate around the few remaining water sources, making them easier to spot. The hottest month is October, with blazing temperatures that are slightly relieved as the rainy season starts in November.
Running from November to March, the rainy season brings beautiful lush scenery, newborn animals and excellent birdwatching as migrant birds return to the area. The thick vegetation and frequent downpours can make it difficult to spot big game, and some roads become impassable and lodges can close during the heavy wet season from January to March.
The Khwai Area is a highlight on our Botswana Safari & Victoria Falls holiday, with morning and evening game drives and relaxing expeditions on the waterways in traditional mokoros. On our Botswana Honeymoon Safari, you can experience the Khwai Area in the most romantic way, with a night under the stars at the Sky Beds overlooking an illuminated waterhole.
The Khwai Area has a number of luxury lodges and camps, including Jackal and Hide Camp, an intimate camp overlooking the beautiful grasslands of the private Khwai Concession, featuring eight Meru-style tents with plush bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms and private decks.
Hyena Pan Camp is also located with Khwai Concession, and offers a tranquil experience free from WiFi and modern distractions. Here you can relax on your private deck or starry Sky Bed with views over a game-rich watering hole.