Welcome to Selinda Adventure Trail

An adventure exploration safari experience of 5 days / 4 nights the Selinda Reserve’s Selinda Spillway, offering either a canoeing and walking adventure or pure walking safari experience.

This is an authentic African adventure discovering hidden wonders of an ancient waterway in the tradition of the explorers of old…

QUICK FACTS

Accommodation

Fully inclusive of all meals, all related activities, a reasonable amount of soft drinks, wine and beer at meal times and Selinda Reserve fees. Feel free to bring your own favourite beverage at no additional charge if we don’t have stock of it! Flights are additional.

Number of Guests

The route we follow will be flexible, changing with the season to maximise each guest’s experience. Please ensure that you have the correct information.

We also reserve the right to change itineraries due to water levels in the Selinda Spillway, unusual game concentrations or any reason beyond our control. If there is a change to an itinerary, this will be advised as timeously as is possible.

We recommend children join us from the age of 14 due to the daily walking distances that we can enjoy. For guests with children from 10 – 13 years, we look forward to consulting with you to create a private tailor-made safari, which may be subject to an additional cost.

Activities

Essentially we are governed by the availability of water in the Selinda Spillway and thus the Selinda Adventure Trail offers you either a combination of canoeing and walking experience or fully guided walking experience.

Helicopter transfer to the start of the adventure trail from Selinda airstrip. On completion of the Selinda Adventure Trail at Selinda Explorers Camp, a game drive airstrip transfer back to the Selinda airstrip – unless you choose to extend your safari at our Selinda Explorers Camp, Selinda Camp or Zarafa Camp and the Zarafa Dhow Suites (highly recommended).

Location

The Selinda Spillway is an ideal setting for this canoeing or walking adventure safari. The route begins downstream from the Selinda airstrip in the north-east of the Okavango Delta and migrates eastwards along the Selinda Spillway through the private 320 000-acre Selinda Reserve, ending near Selinda Explorers Camp.

An Overview of Selinda Adventure Trail

A FOUR DAY HELI-CANOEING/HELI-WALKING EXPEDITION ALONG THE SELINDA SPILLWAY

The high waters flowing through northern Botswana in 2009, together with subtle tectonic movements, caused the waters of the Okavango River to flow in a way that it has not done for nearly three decades, pushing east along the previously dry Selinda Spillway to meet the waters of the Linyanti in the west. This enabled adventurers the opportunity to experience a rare first, canoeing along the Selinda Spillway.

As the waters of the Selinda Spillway ebb and flow each year, some years with higher flood levels than others, so the name of the Selinda Canoe Trail was changed to reflect a more inclusive guided walking safari and is thus now known as the Selinda Adventure Trail.

The Selinda Adventure Trail team is run under the guidance of professional guides and occasionally led by Kane Motswana, a River Bushmen from the Gudikwa village located in Botswana’s Okavango Panhandle – an area to the west of the Selinda Reserve. Your guide’s intimate knowledge of the bush curates a memorable physical, spiritual and cultural journey through the wilderness.

The trail replicates the safari experiences of old as we chart a course along the Selinda Spillway and into the remote woodlands of the vast 320,000 acre Selinda Reserve. As over previous year’s we are always mindful of the climatic variances and changes that naturally occur in our remote locations. Following the ecosystem’s natural changes along the Selinda Spillway during the course of 2017, we have adapted the experience for 2018 to a 4 Day / 3 Night adventure.

The experience either entails a traditional canoe and walking safari following the route, whilst exploring side channels of the Selinda Spillway (subject to high-enough water levels); or a pure guided walking safari following a similar route (should the Spillway be dry or too shallow to canoe).

Please make sure you arrive at the Selinda Reserve airstrip by lunch-time on day 1 of the Adventure Trail so that you are able to join us on the scheduled helicopter air transfer which takes you to the starting point of your 4 day adventure. This may require you to overnight prior to commencement of the Selinda Adventure Trail, ideally at one of our camps such as Duba Expedition Camp or Duba Plains Camp.

The distance of the Selinda Adventure Trail differs depending on whether it is a walking or canoeing adventure. Walking distance is just over a total of 20 kilometers over the 4 days and canoeing is approximately 40 kilometers over the 4 days. Along either route we expect to come across several diverse species of wildlife that inhabit the Selinda Reserve. The area is well known for some of Botswana’s largest herds of buffalo, elephant, roan antelope and African wild dog.
Other possible sightings include cheetah, lion, leopard and a wide variety of other species. It is also a birder’s paradise with over 300 species possibly seen. The best time of year for canoeing is generally mid-June to end of August but water levels vary annually.

All three nights are spent in fly camps along the Selinda Spillway at pre-arranged sites. The days are spent paddling or walking along the Spillway and into the woodlands of the reserve, depending on which option is available at that time, with regular stops whenever there is something of interest to be seen along the way.

When canoeing, each canoe has two guests as well as their bed-rolls and soft bags. Participants paddle their own canoes each day. No previous paddling, canoeing or walking safari experience is needed as tuition and safety briefings are given – but participants must be fit enough to paddle their own canoes and be prepared to walk between camps when water levels are not sufficiently high on the Selinda Spillway.

Guests are not expected to put up their tents or help with the cooking and camp chores as our staff are always on hand to ensure your meals are spent relaxing. Walk-in canvas Kodiak tents are provided as they are comfortable and large enough for two people. Separate screened bucket showers with hot and cold water are also supplied.

When walking each guest will be supplied with a day backpack, which will include water and snacks. An armed, qualified walking guide as well as an experienced tracker will be with you at all times as you explore the banks of the Spillway as well as the more remote areas of the Selinda Reserve.

Walking is an integral component of the adventure and allows for access to new islands and lagoons. Even when you are on a canoe safari, each day includes walking experiences to investigate areas of regular predator activity or wildlife sightings. In addition if there happens to be wildlife activity that warrants investigation whilst canoeing, we stop on the banks and take a short walk into the bush.

Brunch is taken around mid-morning and light snacks are available throughout the day for sustenance until dinner. At night, the deep silence is punctuated by nocturnal sounds, from croaking frogs to roaring lion or the hyena’s whooping call.

On the last morning of the Selinda Adventure Trail, after a short morning walk or canoe, we end with a relaxed game drive from your final camp to the Selinda Airstrip for your onward departure. Ideally you could and should elect to stay on for an additional night or two at our Selinda Explorers Camp, Selinda Camp or Zarafa Camp and Dhow Suite.

The Selinda Adventure Trail truly defines adventure whilst bringing you closer to nature and creating a sense of being immersed within the wilderness.

Camp Access

The Selinda Adventure Trail begins with a helicopter air transfer from the Selinda Airstrip on day 1 and ends with a game viewing road transfer from Selinda Explorers Camp on day 5. The Selinda Airstrip is accessible by scheduled air transfers or private charters.

The private Selinda Reserve (Category B) airstrip is licensed for aircraft as large as a King Air, Pilatus PC-12 and Cessna Caravan. The co-ordinates are S18″33.95′; E23″30.73′.

Flying time in a Cessna Caravan from Maun to Selinda Airstrip is 45 minutes and from Kasane it’s 50 minutes. Flying times vary depending on the type of aircraft being used and prevailing weather conditions.

Our Footprint

The Selinda Adventure Trail is about as environmentally friendly as a safari gets, using nothing but human energy to walk the trail and/or paddle canoes when flood waters are high enough.

Our fly camps are literally here today, gone tomorrow and we leave no trace behind. The small group size and low volume results in minimal impact on the pristine wilderness along Botswana’s Selinda Spillway and surrounding woodlands. The trail operates on a scheduled weekly departure basis seasonally each year between May and October, our winter season where there is a good chance of the Spillway flooding to offer canoeing in addition to the guided walking opportunities.

We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for the Gudikwe School Initiative and the Gudikwe Artist Initiative, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our projects.