Botswana. Central Kalahari, Moremi and Khwai. August - September 2021.

 3a.  Moremi Game Reserve - South Gate and Black Pools.


 I knew from the DriveBots Facebook group that, due to the good rains earlier in the year, Second Bridge and Third Bridge had been damaged and still hadn't been repaired.  It was possible to drive to Third Bridge campsite as there was a route around Second Bridge but you could not drive from Third Bridge to Xakanaxa which limited the driving that you could do from Third Bridge.  

I had hoped to book a few nights at Xakanaxa but it was fully booked so ended up with 2 nights at South Gate and 3 nights at Third Bridge.  Afterwards we had 3 nights at Mogotho which meant driving back to South Gate and then up to North Gate.

Map of Moremi and Khwai with campsites marked.

South Gate

 South Gate campsite is right next to the entrance to Moremi and was very quiet as most people drive striaght through to Third Bridge or Xakanaxa.  We had a walk around the sites and picked one that had good shade - a bit further from the ablutions but not a problem.  On the first afternoon we saw an elephant pass by and enjoyed watching the squirrels and birds around the site.

Our campsite under a large shady tree.

A nice shady tree to camp under.

Kevin sitting by the fire with the sun setting in the distance.


An arrow-marked babbler

An arrow-marked babbler at South Gate campsite.

sunrise at our campsite.


Black Pools Drive.

When we arrived at South Gate I had a chat with the lady at reception and she said that a drive down to the Black Pools area should be worth while as there was still plenty of water there.  The following morning we got up early and drove to the area.  

 A small group of wildebeast.

 A small group of wildebeast.

 A spotted eagle-owl in a tree.

 A spotted eagle-owl which we watched for some time. 

A pan with water and lots of birds.

Lots of birds at this pan.

2 zebra looking at us with others in the background.


Impala and elephants on the opposite bank of a large area of water.

We stopped for coffee and rusks and sat enjoying the nearby animals.        

2 female waterbuck looking at us.

 A pair of waterbuck, plus a great white egret and a hippo behind.

As we started to head back we spotted these cheetah on a termite mound.  There were 4 of them - mum and 3 nearly grown youngsters I think. They stayed on the termite mound for a while and then 1 moved to a nearby bush followed by the other 3.  We moved up the track and saw them sitting in the shade of a bush for a while before they got up and moved off .  Suddenly one of them spotted a warthog and chased after it but it was too far away.  After that they walked off into the distance.  A lovely sighting.   

4 cheetah lying close together on a termite mound.

There are actually 4 cheetah here.

3 cheetah moving off towards some shade.

 3 of them heading to a shady bush.

1 cheetah sitting up - the other 3 are lying under a bush.

One sitting up, the other 3 are lying down under the bush.

4 cheetah walking through the grass.

All 4 of them (well camouflaged) - can you spot them all?

South Gate to Third Bridge

 It's 46km from South Gate to Third Bridge and it took us about 3 hours.  There were a couple of diversions along the way as some parts of the track were still flooded and 2nd Bridge was broken.

An elephant in the track ahead of us with others in the bushes.

We stopped to let this heard of elephants cross the track.  

A large flooded area with trees in the water.

One of the flooded area that we passed.

An adult and juvenile ground hornbill.

An adult and juvenile ground hornbill.

A pair of carmine bee-eaters sitting on a branch.

A pair of carmine bee-eaters.

Last updated: December  2021