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The Selinda Reserve is a 300,000 acre private wildlife sanctuary in the northern part of Botswana. Although there is a lot of hype which goes with eco-friendly projects nowadays, this project is serious about its conservation and unique in that it is shared by a maximum of 32 guests split between three camps and managed by a very experienced team of conservationists.
The reserve centres around the famous Selinda Spillway which weaves its way through the reserve, linking the outer reaches of the Okavango Delta in the west with the Linyanti Swamps in the east. As it is upstream of the Savuti system and west of the Chobe it has all the advantages of excellent game and bird viewing but with the huge advantage of being away from the main tourist routes.
When the waters are high enough, a very special and unique 3 night canoe safari runs from the north-east Okavango Delta just below Motswiri Camp and travels eastwards along the Selinda Spillway towards the Kwando and Linyanti Rivers. Read more about the Selinda canoe trail.
Wild dogs are known for denning in this area and many of our guests have superb photographs on record over the years. There are cheetah about as well as good prides of lion, hyena, jackal and leopard.
80% of this area was used for trophy hunting for many years but as with similar hunting zones, the hunting has been relegated to the peripherary of the main wildlife areas while photographic safaris have taken over using and conserving the most favored wildlife parts. There are three small camps to stay in around the Selinda Spillway.
The most rustic of these is also the remotest and probably the most true to original safari camps although the game can be difficult to track down at certain times of the year.
Motswiri Ketumetse is in the far south west of the reserve and has different animals and habitats to the two camps in the east - Selinda and Zibadianja. Activities include driving, walking and canoeing when it is wet enough (generally from around April to September).
Its good for viewing the less common antelope like roan and sable antelope, and eland particularly in the dry season. Lion are resident, cheetah are found on the floodplains in the north. Other common species include: buffalo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hyena, a variety of antelope, and the chance to spot a number of nocturnal species during the night drives.
Elephant are common, with densities during the dry (May to October) season on a par with those of the Chobe.
The eastern area where the two main camps are found, Selinda and Zibadianja, is famous for hippo hunting lions but there is so much other game that it is difficult to put them all down in a paragraph.
One of Africa’s most endangered predators, the Wild Dog, is usually resident and the Selinda pack frequently dens in close proximity to our camps. Other common species include: buffalo (that sometimes congregate in huge herds numbering many thousand), giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hippo, hyena, waterbuck, kudu, steenbuck, lechwe, impala. At night there is a chance to see the more nocturnal species like civet, serval, wild cats, honey badger, springhares, aardvark and aardwolf.
The Selinda Reserve is owned by a small group of good friends who believe passionately in their goal of making the Earth better. On the first day of “ownership” all hunting was stopped and the caretakers have seen a tremendous difference as the wildlife has responded in kind.
Elephants, always the first to take advantage of change, have sensed the difference and are relaxed and at ease with passing vehicles and guests. Lion numbers have increased and in general the whole area seems to have breathed a great sigh of relief.