The northern border of Botswana is home to a magical, wild and exclusive enclave, where abundant watercourses and swamps and varying ecosystems support a splendid diversity of Africa’s wild creatures.

The relatively remote Linyanti region is a picturesque but little-known gem that will enchant and captivate you.

North of Savuti where the northwestern corner of Chobe National Park meets the Linyanti River and the Namibian Caprivi border, you will find a remote and glorious safari hot spot. The Linyanti concession is a magical wonderland of channels and waterways lined with papyrus and extensive reedbeds that give way to riparian forest and grass-filled floodplains. This is part of a 900km2 marshland formed where the Kwando River, which flows south from Angola, spills over to slowly fill the Linyanti Swamps. The outflow in turn fills the Linyanti River, which itself flows east into the Chobe River.

Game viewing here is thrilling and productive, and the terrain is strikingly beautiful. With so much permanent water, it is no surprise that this is where wildlife congregates during the dry season (May to October). This is an important dry-season migration point for animals from much of northern Botswana, and thousands of zebra migrate here en masse after the summer rains from Savuti (which is where they birth their young). Expect large concentrations of elephant and buffalo, wildebeest, giraffe and baboon, as well as the inevitable hippo and Nile crocodile in the marshlands – where you can look out for the shy red lechwe and sitatunga. Other antelope include waterbuck, reedbuck, impala, kudu, sable and roan. And then there are the predators that track their food source with keen interest: lion, hyena, leopard, cheetah, jackal, serval, caracal and even African wild dog.

Linyanti falls within a designated Important Bird Area (IBA). Spectacular birding all year round provides additional delight, and the wet season (November to April) welcomes colourful summer migrant species. The host of resident waterbirds includes the rare African skimmer and slaty egret, while resident raptors and birds of prey include such notables as Verreaux’s giant eagle owl and the African scops owl.

As Linyanti falls outside the national parks, the area is open only to visitors to the private concessions – a wonderful side effect is that options for game viewing are wider and visitor numbers are tiny. As well as guided or self-drive 4×4 morning and evening game drives, night game-viewing drives and off-road viewing are both possible.

A Linyanti safari leaves you with a sense of rare privilege: its isolation and very low visitor numbers allow you an extraordinary degree of privacy and seclusion. The camps are small and intimate, and there is nothing between you, the timeless African bush and its myriad wild inhabitants.

Linyanti Wildlife Reserve

Things to do in Linyanti Wildlife Reserve

River cruises

Guided nature walks

Game-viewing drives

Accommodation in Linyanti Wildlife Reserve

DumaTau Camp

DumaTau – a small, luxurious tented camp close to the source of the Savute Channel on Osprey Lagoon – is tucked between two elephant corridors, which means it is excellently located for extremely rewarding game viewing on drives along the Savute. Its name means ‘roar of the lion’ – a clue as to what you can expect during a stay in this remote Botswana wilderness. DumaTau offer access to an excellent combination of habitats, from the Linyanti Swamps to floodplains and mopane woodlands. The camp is raised off the ground to take advantage of its astonishing river views, and has…

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Accommodation in Linyanti Wildlife Reserve

Kings Pool

Situated in the northern reaches of Botswana within the Linyanti Concession, this historic camp lies to the west of the Chobe National Park and overlooks the Kings Pool Lagoon and Linyanti River. While much has changed since King Leopold honeymooned here in the mid-1900s, the unique safari experience that’s fit for royalty remains. This thatch-and-canvas tented camp is well known for regular visits from local elephant herds who love to frolic in the lagoon, while there is a plethora of other wildlife in the diverse surrounding grassland and riverine landscape, from antelope to African wild dog and leopard. Each beautifully…

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Kings Pool
Accommodation in Linyanti Wildlife Reserve

Lagoon Camp

Overlooking Namibia’s gorgeous Mudumu National Park on the opposite bank of the Kwando River, this heavily forested site is home to a wide range of birds and mammals. Lagoon Camp’s eight traditionally styled tents are carefully designed to make the most of this proximity to Africa’s wildest inhabitants. Each tent’s private deck, living area and bathroom affords beautiful views over the river; in fact, you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your bed to enjoy these views of the river and the hippos and elephant that thrive here. En-suite bathrooms have an indoor and outdoor shower, as well…

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Accommodation in Linyanti Wildlife Reserve

Savuti Camp

Situated in the pristine and remote Linyanti Concession, Savuti Camp is an intimate, luxurious boutique safari camp with just seven sumptuous thatched safari tents. The family unit is raised off the ground and connects to the central thatched dining area, plunge pool and large viewing platform via wooden decks. A fire deck extending from the viewing area also provides exceptional views of the Channel and its abundant wildlife. Between game-viewing safari drives, relax at camp and gaze out at the innumerable elephant and other wildlife strolling past each day. With its elevated position on the Savute Channel (a watercourse that…

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Accommodation in Linyanti Wildlife Reserve

Zarafa Camp

Located on the far eastern edge of the private 130 000-hectare Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana, exquisite Zarafa Camp is an idyllic outpost that gives you entrée to the remote, game-filled wilderness that links the Okavango Delta and the Chobe/Savute corridors. This beautiful, four-roomed tented camp – designed in the best traditions of the classic safari era but with a contemporary focus on truly low-impact ‘green’ living – overlooks the crystal-clear Zibadianja Lagoon, the source of the famous Savute Channel. The lagoon is also the water source for a massive wildlife population, and dry-season sightings boast buffalo and elephant by…

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