Linyanti Reserve (NG15)

A remote and wild frontier in the far north of Botswana.

The Linyanti concession in northern Botswana provides a great contrast to the Okavango Delta.  The Linyanti is sandwiched between the Okavango Delta to the south and west and the Chobe National Park to the East.

The Linyanti reserve spreads across 1,250km² in the north east of Botswana, between Chobe and the Okavango Delta. This is a vast area dominated woodland and two water systems. The northern frontier of the concession is formed by the mighty Linyanti River, which also forms the border between Botswana and Namibia.

Deeper into the concession lies the Savute Channel, an ancient, unpredictable and slightly mysterious water course which flows from the Linyanti to the Savuti marshes in the Chobe National Park. Savuti Camp overlooks this channel, when it flows.

The northern section of the concession features beautiful open floodplains and lovely riverine forest while the south is dominated with thicker mopane forest. The area is famous for the immense herds of elephants which flock to the waters in their thousands in the dry season. Buffalo herds can be staggering too. The dry season yields the best game viewing in this area, with good predator sightings – including lion, leopard and even wild dog. The varied woodland and floodplain environments are home to a variety of species and offer an interesting safari experience.

The Kwando River flows from Angola into Botswana and, like the Okavango River, dissipates over the sand of the Kalahari Desert.  This overspill of water forms the Linyanti Swamps and when there is a big flood, the swamps expand to form a delta, with papyrus and reed lined waterways and lagoons.  A faultline drains the Linyanti Swamps into the Linyanti River, which ultimately flows into the Chobe River.

The Savute channel runs through the centre of the concession, west to east.

The Linyanti River to the north of NG15 is a permanent watercourse and is thus a magnet for the wildlife of northern Botswana and a destination for migration from the dry areas of northern Botswana.  Game viewing is therefore excellent, especially during the dry winter months when surface water from rainfall has disappeared in other areas.  Game is difficult to spot in the extensive areas of mopane woodland.  Game activities will focus on the open areas of floodplains and riverine forest.

Animals – In terms of fauna, lion is common along with spotted hyena.  Leopard frequent the larger trees in the riverine forest.  Antelopes such as kudu, impala, reedbuck and steenbok will be found all year round.  The area is a stronghold of waterbuck; these are found in few other areas.  Giraffe are stalwarts here as are warthog and baboon.  Wild dog traverse the area and are most likely to be seen in July and August in the Linyanti.

Large breeding herds of wildebeest, zebra, elephant and buffalo will be seen in the Linyanti from June to December.  In the first six months of the year, smaller groups and small bull herds of elephant will be seen.  Smaller mammals include side-striped jackal, bat-eared fox, serval and aardwolf.

Birds –Birdlife includes carmine bee-eaters which have learned to follow game drive vehicles to feed on the insects that fly up to avoid the wheels; a wonderful, colourful spectacle for the passengers.  Raptors in the area are martial and fish eagles and bateleurs.  Black and slaty egrets, wattled crane and African skimmers are found here.

Plantlife – The open floodplain areas are home to russet bushwillows and Kalahari star-apples and the riparian forest of the riverbanks hosts leadwood, raintree, knobthorn, and sycamore figs, to name a few.  Mopane and Kalahari apple-leaf are found further from the river.

Access –No self-drivers are allowed into this private concession and guests of the Wilderness Safaris camps will all fly in to the air strip near King’s Pool or to a strip between Savuti Camp and DumaTau.

Best months: Game will be drawn to the water of the Linyanti River in the dry months from June to November, but will dissipate to drier areas during the wet season.  Birdlife is at its peak in the rainy season when migrants appear decked in their breeding plumage.

Camps:  DumaTau, King’s Pool, Little DumaTau, Linyanti Tented Camp, Savuti Camp, Linyanti Bush Camp, Saile Tented Camp, Three Baobabs.

The Linyanti area is divided into three concessions: the Kwando concession (NG14) lies to the north and the Selinda concession (NG16) in the centre.  The area is one of diverse habitats which encompasses the Linyanti Swamps, grasslands and mopane woodlands.  All of this adds up to breath-taking scenery and fantastic, prolific wildlife.

Accommodation in this Area

From $546 per person

Linyanti Expeditions Camp

Linyanti Expeditions Camp is an exciting new camp set on the Linyanti Wilderness Reserve, a private concession in a remote corner of Northern Botswana between the Okavango and Chobe near the Linyanti marshes. This is a seasonal camp offering an authentic safari experience in the style of a mobile camp, with a light footprint but perfectly comfortable set up. Activities include walking safaris, day and night drives and river activities water levels permitting.

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From $609 per person

Linyanti Ebony Camp

Linyanti Ebony Camp lies in the remote and exclusive Chobe Enclave on the edge of the Linyanti Marshes – an interesting and rich game area wedged between the Okavango and Chobe National Park. This charming little camp has just 4 tents and offers an wide range of activities - day and night drives (with off-roading) as well as walking, boating, fishing and mokoro (water levels permitting). A small, friendly and authentic camp.

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From $793 per person

Savuti Camp

Savuti lies in the heart of the Linyanti reserve in the far north of Botswana. Once dry, the Savute channel is currently running, beckoning you to marvel at this incredible ecosystem. Savuti is an intimate camp of seven raised tents and a low-water hide- a favourite playground for cavorting elephants. Explore on land or by boat along the channel before dreaming away the African night in a unique starbed, waking up to the dawn chorus of birdsong and surrounding animal life.

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From $1678 per person

Little Duma Tau

Little DumaTau is the exciting new sister camp to DumaTau, in the far north of Botswana, opening August 2020. Overlooking the stunning Osprey lagoon, Little DumaTau is an intimate luxury camp with only four tented rooms, all extremely spacious with their own lounge, and individual plunge pools. With one of the most beautiful locations and fantastic game viewing Little DumaTau is sure to be among the best camps in Botswana.

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From $1678 per person

Duma Tau

DumaTau is a luxury tented camp with eight suites with panoramic views over the magnificent Osprey lagoon in the far north of Botswana. DumaTau will re-open on 1 August 2020 as a premier camp and it promises to be the height of luxury and innovation with a wellness centre, gym and lap pool. Set to be one of the best camps in Botswana. Activities include game drives, walking and boating.

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From $1205 per person

Kings Pool Camp

Situated on the edge of the oxbow King’s Pool lagoon, this elegant luxury camp is set on the large and wildlife rich Linyanti private reserve in northern Botswana. The area is pristine and remote and particularly known for its impressive elephant and predator numbers. King’s Pool Camp was treated to a major renovation in the first half of 2019 and offers both water and land activities.

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