Linyanti, Selinda & Kwando Reserves
Safaris in Botswana’s excellent private reserves of Linyanti, Selinda and Kwando are an exclusive alternative to game viewing in Chobe.
The main purpose of my trip was to see wild dogs - I was not disappointed. I saw one pack with pups, lions with cubs, and a leopard with cubs, and one another occasion we tracked the adult dogs during a hunt.
The Linyanti is a vast area west of Chobe in northern Botswana. The important water sources here: the Linyanti and Kwando rivers, and the seasonal Selinda Spillway which connects the Okavango Delta to the Linyanti. These all attract some truly stunning wildlife viewing.
There are three private reserves here – Linyanti, Selinda and Kwando – plus another private area known as Chobe Enclave. There are no fences between these areas.
Being private, they all offer a much quieter and more exclusive wildlife viewing experience than Chobe, since this huge area is only open to people staying at the lodges within the reserves. And there really are some fabulous luxury lodges here. On top of this, there are fewer restrictions than you find in national parks, so walking, night drives and off-road driving are all available to guests.
Most people tend to fly here either from Maun or Kasane.
- Wildlife in the Linyanti-Selinda-Kwando region: From May/June to October, this whole area offers some truly top-class wildlife viewing. The rest of the year is less predictable, with the wetter months of January to April being our least favourite time to visit.
Large breeding herds of elephants are drawn to the Kwando and Linyanti rivers and Selinda Spillway from about June to November, with smaller numbers resident all year.
Other wildlife includes lots of lions, hippos and impala, plus red lechwe, giraffes, zebra, hyenas, and a very healthy population of wild dogs which are quite regularly seen throughout these reserves. There are also leopards and cheetahs but these are seen more rarely.
- Places to stay:
Linyanti has 3 luxury camps (King’s Pool, Duma Tau and Savuti Camp) run by Wilderness Safaris.
Selinda has two luxury camps (Zarafa and Selinda Camp) plus the more rustic Selinda Expedition Camp all run by Great Plains Conservation and all benefitting from regular sightings of the Selinda pack of African wild dogs and the famous Selinda lion pride that feature in Dereck and Beverly Joubert’s National Geographic film ‘Birth of a Pride’.
Kwando Reserve offers Lagoon Camp and Lebala Camp, both excellent luxury camps with superb guiding from Kwando Safaris professional team.
Lastly, Chobe Enclave has 3 camps run by African Bush Camps (Linyanti Ebony, Linyanti Bush Camp and Linyanti Expeditions) – all a very good high-end choice from a superb safari company.
There is really no bad choice when it comes to accommodation in this region.