Sweeping floodplains, panoramic views and giant riverine trees make Linyanti, tucked away in Chobe’s north-west corner, one of the park’s best kept secrets.
Part of the seemingly endless twisting web of marsh, lakes and rivers that form a green swathe between Namibia’s Caprivi Strip and the Chobe National Park, Linyanti is a unique location in Chobe because of its similarity to the more famous Okavango Delta.
The Linyanti area can be explored from the seriously luxurious Kings Pool Camp or the excellent Duma Tau Safari Game Lodge.
Linyanti is also an area where lions have evolved into specialist predators of hippo – titanic battles ensue as the prides work together to pull down these huge, aggressive animals. Large numbers of elephant, buffalo and zebra are found as well as a wide range of antelope species. Cheetah and wild dog favour the open floodplains while leopard frequent the tangled riverside vegetation.
Bird watchers will be able to spot river and wetland species as well as the birds more commonly associated with drier areas. Linyanti sees high concentrations of game during the dry season.
Slightly further to the north lies the Kwando region, named after the Kwando River before it becomes the Linyanti and ultimately the Chobe River. Kwando is a great mix of habitats – floodplains and twisting waterways, grasslands and mixed woodland – and it becomes a magnet for thirsty animals in Botswana’s dry season (May to October).
The sister lodges of Kwando Lagoon Camp and Kwando Lebala Camp are both well-placed to deliver a thorough safari experience: water activities, day and night drives and bush walks.
Like Linyanti, the Kwando region is a seriously good birding area and has a well-deserved reputation for raptors – expect to see lots of eagles, owls, vultures and everything else in between.
The Caprivi Strip may be part of Namibia but ecologically it sits firmly within the ambit of this maze of wetlands. The area has many good lodges and some excellent game reserves with exceptional birdwatching – including many species at the limits of their range.