Call an Expert on +44 (0) 1722 445 925
Linyanti Selinda and Kwando

Linyanti Selinda and Kwando

The great appeal of this part of Africa is that it feels and is extremely wild.  The experience is secluded and uncrowded.  A lucky few are accommodated in just a handful of luxury tents set within immense private concessions.

It is a wetland environment with a mix of rivers, marshes, spillways and channels, interspersed with open plains and riverine woodlands and is an epic safari location delivering sensational year round wildlife viewing.  During the dry season the permanent waters of both the Kwando and Linyanti rivers serve as important migration points for wildlife, including large herds of buffalo, elephants, wildebeest and zebra. Lion, leopard, wild dogs, hyena and all the smaller predators assemble.

Game is also prolific in the Selinda Reserve where adventurous travelers can walk in the bush with an armed guide or canoe down the Selinda spillway for thrilling wildlife encounters.

 

 

 

at a glance

Feeling inspired?
get the big 5 experience
Call 01722 445925
or Enquire Now

Introduction

Located in the north-east of the Okavango, this area of pristine wilderness is renowned for large elephant populations and predator viewing throughout the year. The diverse landscape of mopane woodlands interspersed with open floodplains and towering baobabs support fascinating floral and wildlife spectacles. Sustained by the Savuti Channel, Linyanti and Kwando Rivers, amazing game opportunities occur as the fertile marshes and waterholes attract great biodiversity. A range of safari activities can be undertaken; from day and night drives, to walking, boating and canoeing excursions. In recent years, this area between the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park has been divided into 3 concessions; Kwando in the north, Selinda in the middle and Linyanti in the east. The region evokes a feeling of remoteness and solitude and is widely regarded as one of the last unspoiled wilderness locations in Africa.

The varied vegetation and environments ensure a thriving game population, particularly in the dry season when the world’s largest population of elephant migrate through the reserve, often in excess of tens of thousands, and largely accumulate near the Linyanti River. The Kwando Concession contains more elephant than the whole of South Africa; however, the region is more famous for its predators. Lion and spotted hyena are the most common carnivores throughout the reserve, followed by wild dog. The Selinda Concession is considered one of the best reserves for wild dog and cheetah sightings in contrast to their small leopard populations. Both Linyanti and Kwando Concessions have reported decent sightings of Leopard. Additional migratory species include zebra, buffalo and tsessebe which peak in numbers during June and July around permanent water sources, with blue wildebeest and Burchall’s Zebra being a highlight in the Linyanti Concession in May. Horned Sable and Roan Antelope which are considered rare species throughout Botswana sometimes emerge from woodlands in the drier areas. In contrast, the deep reed banks of the wetlands are home to Red Lechwe and Sitatunga Antelope which are most commonly sighted on boat trips. Hippos and crocodiles are permanent residents to the area’s waterways including the Savuti Channel and the Linyanti River. Rich in nocturnal species, the region inhabits healthy populations of scrub hares, bush babies and porcupines which can be identified on night drives.

Famous for being a birdwatchers heaven, a wide range of species predominantly during the summer months reside. A highlight is spotting Carmine Bee Eaters hitching rides on Kori Bustards. Wahlberg’s and Steppe Eagles are frequent sightings as are hawks, snake eagles and raptors which are well represented throughout the reserve. The Selinda Concession is renowned for having the best birdlife as is home to a few rare species including Collared-Palm Thrush and an extensive family of courses. The open grasslands provide a popular home for ostriches, secretary birds, kori bustards and red crested korhaans between November and March, which are infrequently seen in the other concessions. The majority of European and Central-African migrants congregate in Selinda, apart from black egrets and rufous-bellied herons which are more commonly located in Kwando.

An extensive variety of lodges are available throughout the three reserves, all of which offer a range of exciting safari activities and views over the magnificent landscape.

When To Visit

The peak time for game is the dry season of April to October as migratory herds arrive in the reserve and cluster around permanent water sources. During the wetter months, animals disperse into forests and open grasslands so are not so densely populated. However, birdlife is better in the wet season when many of them are breeding (November-February).

January: The peak of the rainy season brings the bush alive with luscious flowers and foliage so photographers will be in their element capturing the landscapes colours and dramatic skies. Thousands of Zebra inhabit the Nxai Pans as they fill with water. Spectacular thunderstorms occur frequently during the afternoons and migrant bird species to Linyanti are at their peak breeding time. However, predator-prey game viewing in the Linyanti region is average.

February – Foragers including the Bat Eared fox provide entertaining viewing, along with mating populations of grasshopper, whose three phrase call can be heard at night. Lion and cheetah are often seen hunting in the pans and river valleys of the Kwando Reserve. In contrast, smaller species of colourful reed frogs and butterflies are most noticeable in the Linyanti Reserve. Best game sightings are by the main rivers.

March – At the peak of the gecko mating season, male barking geckos emerge during the late summer afternoons with a highly distinctive bark. Zebra have begun to move towards permanent water sources in the Makgadikgadi, so sightings are less common. Bull elephants are commonly sighted in the Linyanti Reserve near lagoons and Kwara camps whilst impala approach the rutting season. The rains by March are less frequent.

(January-March in general: Birding at its peak, breeding season. Mammals are located in small clusters nearer woodlands and open grasslands as the short grasses flourish)

April – The open pans of Kwando attract mammals, birds and reptiles with the most spectacular elephant viewings at the Nxai Pan waterhole. Exciting confrontations between rivalling male impala peak in April, with performances that continue day and night. Flowering sausage trees are prominent in the Linyanti landscape. The breeding season is fully underway for reptiles.

May – Flood waters from Angola begin to reach the northern regions of the Okavango Delta. Gemsbok calves are occasionally spotted on game drives when they venture into open areas. Vegetation begins to come to life, transforming the Kwando region. Herds of wildebeest and zebra arrive in Selinda and stay until November/December. Blue wildebeest are spotted in Linyanti along with growing herds of buffalo and breeding elephant at permanent water sources. The landscape of Linyanti fades so predators can once again camouflage themselves into the surrounding bush. Populations of birds decline as they migrate to breeding grounds.

June/July/August – the Kwando reserve is transformed into an arid expanse with little surface water. Visibility for game viewing is at its peak. Only highly adaptable species remain in the Kwando region, and many large herds and predators disperse or concentrate at permanent waters. In contrast, Linyanti Reserve experiences wildebeest, elephant and buffalo herds increasing in number and herbivores roam the flood plains to graze. June sees packs of wild dog thrive, offering some of the best dog viewing in Africa. Linyanti’s water birds are numerous with spectacular numbers of heron and stork congregating near Kwara. As a result of the delta filling, these winter months are the best time for mokoro boat trips.

September – to mark the end of the dry season, packs of black-maned lions are commonly sighted in Kwando from late August and vegetation begins to flower in anticipation of the oncoming rains. Sable and roan antelope appear in the drier areas while wild dogs are dominant from now until late May. Carmine Bee Eaters and many other migrant bird species begin to arrive, creating awesome spectacles in the skies. Elephant and buffalo herds are still large, which attract the greatest populations of lion of the year to Linyanti. The Selinda Reserve has been documented to hold an astonishing 9000 elephants at this time of year. For fishermen, predatory tiger fish are a highlight.

October – As this is the hottest month of the year with daily temperatures regularly peaking at 40°C, mammals are generally active at the beginning and end of the day to avoid the peak temperatures at mid-day. Therefore, the best game drives are at such times. The landscape is colourful as flowering plants add contrast to lighter sands and bushes. The unbearable daytime heat forces many animals to hunt at night, making October the best time of year to experience exciting night drives. This is also the peak breeding season for many herons.

November – Reptiles and insects become increasingly active along with playful springbok in the open plains. Night skies depict lightening and extensive cloud formations as the peak of the rainy season approaches. Birds begin to accumulate on the open grasslands such as ostriches, secretary birds, red crested korhaans and sandgrouse in Selinda. Herds begin to disperse and seek grazing elsewhere. This beginning of the birthing season in Linyanti marks a rise in predator-prey viewings as the vulnerable young are easy targets. An ideal time for budding photographers!

December – At the onset of rain, the pans are full of colour. Grasses begin to grow so grazing herds and predators are abundant at this time, producing excellent predator-prey activity. Birds such as Wahlberg’s and Steppe Eagles are attracted to the 1st flush of green in the Savuti Channel (stay until February), making December a prime time for birders. The rains bring heavy thunderstorms and dramatic skies in the afternoon which makes popular photographs.

Temperature & Rainfall

Temp & Rainfall Chart North West Botswana

Linyanti, Selinda & Kwando Highlights

Off Road 4x4 Game Drives

Off Road 4x4 Game Drives

Off Road 4x4 Game Drives

Game drives in these huge private reserves can be conducted off-road, and also into the night. This ...

read more
Off Road 4x4 Game Drives

Off Road 4x4 Game Drives

Game drives in these huge private reserves can be conducted off-road, and also into the night. This region is a stronghold for wild dog and there can be exciting day time hunts to witness. Equally, when the sun sets, the bush comes alive, with the other predators setting out on their hunts.

Photo credit: Russel Friedman

Feeling inspired?

Enquire now
Hospitality in the Bush

Hospitality in the Bush

Hospitality in the Bush

World class cuisine and impeccable service is part of the delight of a Southern Africa safari.Photo ...

read more
Hospitality in the Bush

Hospitality in the Bush

World class cuisine and impeccable service is part of the delight of a Southern Africa safari.

Photo credit: Mike Myers

Feeling inspired?

Enquire now
The Elephant Herds

The Elephant Herds

The Elephant Herds

The great appeal of this part of Africa is that it feels and is extremely wild. The experience is ...

read more
The Elephant Herds

The Elephant Herds

The great appeal of this part of Africa is that it feels and is extremely wild. The experience is secluded and uncrowded – huge private concessions boast some of Africa’s highest density of elephants.

Photo credit: Dana Allen

Feeling inspired?

Enquire now
Big Game

Big Game

Big Game

Big game roams huge private concessions inhabited by resident prides of lions, huge herds of ...

read more
Big Game

Big Game

Big game roams huge private concessions inhabited by resident prides of lions, huge herds of elephants, leopard,wild dogs and the elegant giraffe.

Photo credit: Mike Myers

Feeling inspired?

Enquire now
Luxury Lodges

Luxury Lodges

Luxury Lodges

This region boasts some sublime luxury properties set in huge private concessions. This is one of ...

read more
Luxury Lodges

Luxury Lodges

This region boasts some sublime luxury properties set in huge private concessions. This is one of Africa’s top destinations for exclusive safaris with guide and tracker.

Feeling inspired?

Enquire now
Aerial Views

Aerial Views

Aerial Views

We know camps that will give you helicopter flights between camps or scenic flights out of camp ...

read more
Aerial Views

Aerial Views

We know camps that will give you helicopter flights between camps or scenic flights out of camp that will give you unique spectacular aerial views of Northern Botswana.

Feeling inspired?

Enquire now

camps & lodges

Duma Tau

Duma Tau

Duma Tau is a luxury tented camp lying within the private 125,000 hectare Linyanti Wildlife Reserve in Northern Botswana, and bordered to the east by ... Read More

Kings Pool

Kings Pool

Named for Scandinavian royalty, Kings Pool overlooks the handsome oxbow-shaped Kings Pool Lagoon in the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve bordering Chobe ... Read More

Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp is located in the northern part of the Kwando River concession and is located beneath towering ebony and marula trees. This is one ... Read More

Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp is located in the southern part of the Kwando River Concession, home to the extensive grasslands and seasonal floodplains of ... Read More

Linyanti Bush Camp

Linyanti Bush Camp

Set within a private Concession located along the edge of the Linyanti Marsh and bordering the western boundary of Chobe in the Chobe Enclave, lies ... Read More

Linyanti Ebony

Linyanti Ebony

Set within a private Concession located along the edge of the Linyanti Marsh and bordering the western boundary of Chobe in the Chobe Enclave, lies ... Read More