In the Kwando-Linyanti area of Botswana lies the Selinda Spillway, a dry riverbed for nearly thirty years until Summer 2009 when the Kwando-Linyanti river system and the Okavango delta both overflowed into the spillway. These waters crept along the riverbed and finally met, creating the spillway that we know today – a strong, deep, flowing river, and a mecca for all the wildlife which moves between the Delta and the Linyanti. The area was transformed, with lily-covered lagoons and tributaries springing up, waiting for adventurers to explore them!
The Selinda Canoe trail takes perfect advantage of these wonderful surroundings, being a 4-day, 3-night trip along the banks of the spillway. Your accommodation is in a comfortable flycamp, set up new every evening. After a day’s canoeing, the spirit lamps of your camp will guide you in, warm water will be waiting for you along with a cool drink, and you can relax around a roaring camp fire as the friendly camp staff prepare a delicious dinner.
The Canoe Trail is by no means a routemarch – the pace is gentle and unhurried, with frequent stops along the way to birdwatch, or drift slowly up to larger game such as elephant and buffalo. Frequently, the canoes will be moored and the party will set out on foot to explore remote islands, or meander along the bank whenever something has been spotted. The trail is led by a professional and experienced guide, who will gently introduce his guests to the wonders the Spillway has to offer. The canoes used on the trail are large and stable Canadian canoes, with comfortable seats (each with a back-rest), and a bit of space for each guest to take along their day pack and camera – the photo opportunities are incredible!
The Selinda Canoe Trail works perfectly in conjunction with other camps in the Okavango or the Kwando-Linyanti – and also forms part of the spectacular “Saddle and Paddle” trip which we are delighted to recommend! Ask us for more details!
The safari team sets up canvas tents dome tents nightly. They are furnished with comfortable bed rolls with thick foam mattresses, linen and pillows. Communal bathroom facilities containing a buckets shower facility and bush lavatory are also set-up. Towels are provided.
Children over 12 years are welcome to join the Selinda Canoe Trail. However, parents should be warned that as the trail runs though a wilderness area with no fences to stop dangerous wildlife cutting across your path, children will need to remain under close supervision by their parents at all times.
When to travel
Botswana’s winter is during our British summer, and the weather is hot during the day, but it isn't a stifling heat, and cold at night. The summer months (British winter) can be hot and humid and there is a chance of rain. Botswana has one rainy season which runs between mid-December and runs through to mid-March.
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Location and directions
The Selinda Canoe Trail runs along the Selinda Spillway (also known as the Magwegqana Spillway), located in the 1,350km² Selinda Reserve. The reserve extends from the Okavango Delta to the south to the Linyanti/Kwando rivers ecosystem to the east, with the Spillway connecting the two.
How to get there
Fly into Selinda airstrip (a 30-minute flight from Maun or a 50-minute flight from Kasane). Then two to three hour transfer by 4WD to the start of the trail. Fly out from Selinda airstrip at the end of the canoe trail.