Botswana 2022/23: Linyanti

The Linyanti Marsh, located at the northwest corner of the park and to the north of Savuti, is adjacent to Linyanti River. To the west of this area lies Selinda Reserve and on the northern bank of Kwando River is Namibia's Mamili National Park. The area around the two rivers consists of riverine woodlands, open woodlands as well as lagoons, and the rest of the region mainly consists of flood plains. Here there are large concentrations of lions, leopards, wild dogs, roan antelopes, sable antelopes, hippopotamuses and above all enormous herds of elephants. The rare red lechwe, sitatunga and crocodile also occur in the area as well as the rich birdlife. The camp site overlooks the river and the Caprivi Strip in Namibia on the opposite bank.

🙂 Incredible location! True wilderness.

🙁 Sparse Game despite all the literature raving about the abundance of animals – we later learnt that the area has been heavily poached hence why animals were so skittish.

Monday 2 January 2023 – Wednesday 4 January 2023: Linyanti, Chobe 35C

The drive from Savuti was sandy as expected but nothing compared to the previous day’s road! It took a mere 2 hours to get to Linyanti Entrance Gate after passing a few herds of ellies, impala and ground hornbills on the way.

We checked in (using Whiteheads permit!) and were directed to the best spot: RV02 at the end! Clean ablutions. FANTASTIC location over looking the river onto the Caprivi Strip. About 10 hippos were out grazing – spectacular.

We chilled and read and relaxed until about 18h00 and then went for a sunset drive. This was Ollie’s first time driving! Very scenic until we came across a nervous herd of elephants which we gave a wide berth before heading back to our camp. On the way there was a convoy of Americans including parents all sitting on top of the roofs of their campervans – they were lucky that they had missed the agitated herd of elephants as things may have turned into more of an adventure than they had anticipated.

We headed back and enjoyed a braai and fell asleep to the sounds of hippos grunting and Americans talking loudly! LOL.

We left a wildlife cam where we had seen evidence of hippos feeding that morning and were rewarded by this capture:

They really are massive.

We were up at 04h45 and headed on a morning drive…quiet again … but saw baboons, waterbuck and impala. Photos to follow from main camera.

It was really interesting to see where a (large!) snake had shed its skin and then gone back into a hole in the tree!

Here you can see the skin imprint of where a baby elephant had been sleeping.

We used a road less travelled where tree had fallen over and cover the track so Paul used his axe and chopped our way through! At least it came in useful!

Headed back to camp. Paul made bread.

We had collected wood which he chopped (you are allowed to do so). We chilled, read and relaxed – just lovely.

Met two nice chaps from SA who had a great camper and had been travelling a while and warned us about the cheeky Chobe elephants!

A perfect day was followed by a braai and a great nights sleep! Nearly a full moon…

This place is just stunning and we loved the peace and quiet. We had been told the place is teaming with game – unfortunately this was not the case. What little we did see was incredibly skittish – we later discovered that poaching is rife from the Namibian side? So if true, makes sense … we will just have to try again – perhaps in the dry season.

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