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Selinda Canoe Trail

Chobe & the North

Rating: Simple    Price from: £1255 pp full board

Selinda Canoe Trail overview

Selinda Canoe Trail is an excellent way to explore this wonderful area while enjoying the benefits of fresh air and gentle exercise. It is a journey of some 45kms along the Selinda Spillway, which links the Okavango Delta and the Kwando and Linyanti waterways. Highlights include impromptu walks, easy paddling, hearty food, peaceful siestas and camping on remote islands under the stars.

The trail begins about 45kms downstream from Selinda Camp, reached by a 4x4 game drive transfer. From here you take to the canoes following the winding Selinda Spillway through the reserve. You'll be staying at fly camps along the route. The trail ends at Selinda Camp, close to the meeting point of the Linyanti and Kwando rivers. This region has abundant wildlife including elephant, buffalo, roan antelope and wild dog, but relatively few crocodiles and hippos, making for a more relaxing experience. You'll have opportunities to leave the canoes behind and explore on foot, led by your guide, picking up bushcraft skills as you search for tracks and spoor. You'll be travelling in the early morning and late afternoon, avoiding the heat of the day and arriving at camp before dark, in time for sundowners. 

The trail uses comfortable, 18-foot wide-bottomed Canadian canoes, with padded seats, which carry 2 people each. Drinks and snacks are available throughout the day, with each canoe carrying its own supplies. Trips are led by an experienced guide, assisted by a cook and 2 camp hands, who travel in their own canoes and carry most of the equipment. 

This trip is a wonderful way to enjoy the sights and sounds of this remote waterway and its inhabitants. With a maximum of 8 guests, this is a personal and intimate experience. It involves 3 full days and 2 half days paddling, which is generally easy, though a reasonable level of fitness is required. Each day is different and brings its own highlights. 


Open: The canoe trail usually operates from mid-April to early October each year, but varies according to water levels. 

Location: The trail follows the Selinda Spillway for approximately 45kms, ending at Selinda Camp. It takes places entirely within the 320,000 acre Selinda Reserve. You’ll need flights into the Selinda Reserve airstrip, about a 45 minute flight from Maun and 50 minutes from Kasane. 

Rooms: The dome tents accommodate up to two people and are equipped with 2 thick foam bedrolls laid on the ground. Bed linen and towels are provided. There are bucket showers with hot water available each evening. Each camp has a long drop toilet in a canvas tent places at a discreet distance. 

The trip begins with a 3-hour 4x4 game drive from Selinda Camp to the start of the trail. You’ll be paddling on the Selinda Spillway in 18-foot Canadian canoes which take 2 people. They have padded seats and are comfortable and stable. Each person is given a single paddle and a life jacket. There are opportunities each day for guided walks on the islands. The guide carries a rifle for safety while canoeing and walking. You’ll be setting out just after dawn each day, while predators are still active and may be spotted, stopping to enjoy a hearty brunch and a well-earned siesta around midday. You’ll head out again in the comparative cool of the afternoon, reaching camp before nightfall. The trail ends at mid-morning on day 5, when you can either transfer to the airstrip for your onward flight or extend your stay in the area at Selinda or Zarafa Camp. 

Facilities: You’ll be staying in fly camps erected by the staff each afternoon. Meals are cooked over the camp fire and sundowners are served each evening. Beer, wine and a selection of soft drinks are available, though you are welcome to bring any drinks of your own. Dining: Meals are eaten communally. 

Children: Children of 12 years and over are welcome to join the canoe trail, but there are no special facilities for children and they should be kept under supervision at all times. 

Health: This is a malarial area. 

Communication: There is no internet access on the trail. Notes: Most of the paddling is with a gentle current, but a reasonable level of fitness is required.

Map for Selinda Canoe Trail

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Amanda Marks
Tracy Edwards
Sinead Bailey
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