This is an authentic African adventure discovering hidden wonders of an ancient waterway in the tradition of the explorers of old … fly camping along the way. Dependent upon conditions, guests are offered either a canoeing and walking adventure or pure walking safari experience. Both options involve a helicopter drop at the start point of the trails.
The canoe trail begins downstream from Selinda Camp, northeast of the Okavango Delta, in the 320,000-acre Selinda Reserve and follows the Spillway as it meanders through the Reserve, passing through riverine forests, floodplains and open savannah.
Each day begins at the break of dawn in 18-foot Canadian canoes. Whilst paddling, wildlife is encountered along the Spillway’s banks, and guests can disembark to enjoy walks, looking for tracks and signs.
After brunch and a short siesta at midday the trail continues onward through the afternoon arriving at the campsite before dark. The 45 Km journey ends at the convergence of the Linyanti and Kwando waterways.
The camp is rustic by nature. The 9ft x 9ft dome tents are furnished with comfortable bedrolls and quality linen and towels and accommodate two guests. For every two tents, there is a safari ‘bucket’ shower and ‘short drop’ loo. The trail chef cooks tasty delicious meals over the fire and in the evenings guests gather around the fire and watch the culinary magic with a cool drink to celebrate the day’s achievement.
Mobile dome tents
4 tents – max 8 people
Open 16 May – 30 Sept
Weaving through the landscape of Botswana’s northern sector is not only the famous Okavango River, but also an equally vital but lesser known lifeline, called the Selinda Spillway.
Banished to obscurity by decades of dry, the Spillway came back to life during the high rains of 2009.
Since then, its beauty has been renewed after three decades, enabling adventurers like those of us at Great Plains Conservation, the rare opportunity of canoeing its waters.
Since 2009, the Selinda Canoe Trail has been the consummate favourite among those seeking a first in pristine wilderness.
Activities include canoeing, walking and wild-swimming.
The Selinda Canoe Trail’s season is during northern Botswana’s dry months when the game migrates to the Spillway.
The area is well known for elephant, buffalo, sable, roan, and African wild dog but you could very well come across cheetah, lion, leopard and a variety of other species.
Bear in mind that the mode of safari is by foot and canoe, so wildlife is mostly seen close to the shore of the Spillway or on walks nearby.
This is the only canoe trail in Botswana following the flowing Selinda Spillway for the first time in 2009 for 30 years.
The wet cycle is expected to last 5-10 years before drying up for another 20-30 years, so do it now whilst you still can!
You can also go wild-swimming in the Selinda Spillway!
Helicopter drops at the start of the trail