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Selinda Adventure Trail

The Selinda Trail is a true adventure experience which can be done in fully backed-up style, perfect for canoeing or as a pure walking safari experience.  The activities on offer depend on the ebb and flow of the waters.  So chart a course along the Selinda Spillway in northern Botswana as in the days of old.

Set off on foot or by canoe on the first afternoon and you’ll feel a real sense of wildness. If you decide to opt for the walking route you’ll cover around 20 kms over the entire route. Whereas the canoeing option is around 40 kms, which you’ll cover over 4 days.  Every trip begins with a thrilling helicopter flight from the airstrip to the start point.

  • Selinda Spillway, Northern Botswana
  • 5 days/4 nights

Highlights of  the Selinda Trail

The flood waters in Botswana in 2009, along with some subtle tectonic shifts, caused the water to pour into channels which had been dry for years. This allowed a rare first - canoeing on the Selinda Spillway. Since then the waters have receded somewhat, but it’s still possible to canoe at certain times. The walking trail is out of this world, a guided adventure into a pretty much forgotten area of this famous reserve.

  • walk and paddle (subject to water level)
  • excellent game viewing area
  • 320 000 acre private Selinda Reserve is packed with wildlife with elephant, buffalo, sable and roan antelope and African painted wild dog
  • canoe trail is easy, stopping off to explore the shoreline on foot
  • time for relaxation and stargazing
  • camp overnight on the Spillway islands (set up by the back up team)
  • enjoy freshly cooked meals around the camp fire
  • birders paradise

When is the best time to do the canoe trail?

April to early October - weekly set departures. Max. 8 guests canoe with our experienced guide. Extend the canoe trail and stay at the one of the two permanent tented camps on the Selinda Reserve.

Check out the full itinerary here

Other canoe option see the Mana Pools Explorer  For more canoe safari options look at the lower Zambezi Valley  For more walking safari options see our Walk through Hwange safari.

ItineraryFrom $3500

Day 1 - Selinda Spillway Day 1 - Selinda Spillway

You'll be met at the airstrip mid-afternoon, followed by a helicopter transfer to a remote point on the Selinda Spillway. Receive a safely briefing, then a short, late-afternoon canoe to camp.

Days 2 - Canoe the Selinda Spillway Days 2 - Canoe the Selinda Spillway

Early wake-up, tea/coffee, light breakfast. head out for a full day of paddling, with walking opportunities when something exciting appears. Lunch en route. Tonight camp further along Selinda Spillway

Day 3 - Spent on foot Day 3 - Spent on foot

We explore the maze of back channels and smaller island. Viewing antelope, large herds of elephant and buffalo, a humbling experience on foot. The length of day is tailored to you. Camp awaits.

Day 4 - Canoe the Selinda Spillway Day 4 - Canoe the Selinda Spillway

Up again for early breakfast before we continue along the water course by canoe for another full-day excursion before arriving in camp for the last night of this trail.

Day 5 - Game drive - Selinda Airstrip Day 5 - Game drive - Selinda Airstrip

We head out after breakfast, aiming to finish around mid-morning at Selinda Explorers Camp for a celebratory drink. We will then be transferred by road to the Selinda Airstrip, for our final farewell.

Useful info Tips and notesHow to get thereWildlife

Tips and notes

On the canoe safari, each canoe will have two guests, their bed rolls and bags. Participants paddle their own canoes or walk to their camp site each day. No previous paddling or canoeing experience is needed as tuition will be given – but participants must be fit enough to paddle their own canoes.


This safari is all about taking ourselves away from today’s world. The Selinda Spillway runs through a remote part of the private Selinda Reserve in
northern Botswana, in areas where you will be completely removed from the modern world. We will be carrying all of the equipment on the canoes with us. Your camp sites will be of a rustic but comfortable nature. Walk in 3m x 2.4m Flex-Bow tents are provided as they are comfortable and large enough for two people. They are furnished with comfortable bedrolls and quality linen. We provide enough camp chairs for dinners at a well appointed dinner table and for guests to sit around a fire at night. Our meals will be prepared on the fire by the cook, enhancing that safari atmosphere of old experience.


• Accommodation
• All meals from lunch on day 1 to breakfast at the
end of the scheduled safari
• A reasonable amount of soft drinks, wine and beer
at meal times
• Selinda Reserve fees


• All internal and regionals flights and air transfers
• Visas
• Compulsory medical and travel insurance
• All relevant entry and departure government taxes
• Gratuities
• Pre and post safari tours, meals or
accommodation before or after the safari.


No formal clothes are needed; however we recommend that you keep your luggage to a minimum. Bright colours and white are NOT advised and army camouflage clothing or army hats are strongly discouraged (this excludes khaki-coloured clothes). For safety and space reasons, we have a maximum 20 kg limit on luggage. Please ensure this is packed in a soft bag.  The lighter your canoe is, the easier it is to propel going forward. As
the dress code on this safari is very informal, we recommend that you take the minimum possible. It is highly recommended that comfortable and suitable walking shoes/boots, and a pair of strops/rafting shoes or “Crocs” are brought on this safari. Additional luggage can be collected off you at the Selinda Airstrip and stored for you, for your return. Please bring your own high quality binoculars and camera equipment to enhance the enjoyment. Waterproof camera bags are strongly recommended.

How to get there

Scheduled flight to Maun and then by private charter to Selinda airstrip. Please ensure that your departure flight from Maun, Kasane or Victoria Falls is booked for after 14h00 if your regional or private charter flight back home is on the last day of this safari.

Weekly trips available.


Along the routes we expect to come across many species of wildlife. The Selinda Reserve is well known for some of Botswana’s largest herds of buffalo and elephant, roan antelope and African wild dog. Other possible sightings include cheetah, lion, leopard and variety of other species. It is also a birder’s paradise with over 300 species possibly seen.

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