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The great Linyanti swamp in Botswana has formed in the place where the Linyanti River dramatically changes direction and turns almost 90 degrees. At almost 900 square kilometres, the secluded Linyanti Swamp is an area that is further expanded by the Selinda Reserve in the west and Namibia’s remote Mamili National Park on the northern bank of the Kwando River. The area’s relative inaccessibility and remoteness makes it one of our favoured safari spots in Botswana.
The Linyanti is very similar to the Okavango Delta in appearance, wildlife and vegetation. Game viewing in Selinda and Zebalianja is of the highest quality, possibly even better than the Okavango Delta. The Linyanti is an inland delta with islands, streams and shallows. During the dry winter, as dust settles on the surrounding countryside, the Kwando-Linyanti-that-becomes-the-Chobe River floods and animals flock by their thousands to drink on the filtered water and feed on the lush reeds and grass.
The land is dark with wildebeest, zebra, tssessebe, roan, marching elephant and hundreds of crocodile and lazy lions predating on the ungulates. Shy lechwe look on as carmine bee-eaters swoop across the air strip, the only flat land colony of these birds. Dragonflies flit from water lily to water lily whose long stems provide tasty vegetarian fare for baboons.
As with the rest of Botswana, April to October is the best time to visit although the rainy season has some advantages as the landscape is green and beautifully decorated with wild flowers and the whole place is pretty much deserted.
The few camps that are in this area are reachable only by air and are booked on an exclusive basis. Flights are usually from Maun or Kasane by private charter although private flights can also be arranged from camp to camp.