Selinda Canoe Trail

Selinda Canoe Trail is an authentic African adventure discovering hidden wonders of an ancient waterway.

Weaving through the landscape of Botswana’s northern sector is not only the famous Okavango River, but also an equally vital but lesser known lifeline, called the Selinda Spillway. Banished to obscurity by decades of dry, the Spillway came back to life during the high rains of 2009. Since then, its beauty has been renewed after three decades, enabling adventurers like those of us at Great Plains Conservation, the rare opportunity of canoeing its waters. Since 2009, the Selinda Canoe Trail has been the consummate favorite among those seeking a first in pristine wilderness.

2017 Rates

From $ 3 500 per person sharing for the 5 day / 4 night trail that departs on specific dates.

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Trail Overview

Selinda Canoe Trail begins downstream from Selinda Camp, northeast of the Okavango Delta, in the 320,000-acre Selinda Reserve. We follow the Spillway east as it meanders through the Reserve, passing through riverine forests, floodplains and open savannah. We begin each day at the break of dawn in our 18-foot Canadian canoes. Whilst paddling, we encounter wildlife along the Spillway’s banks, and disembark our canoes to enjoy walks, looking for tracks and signs. After brunch and a bit of a siesta at midday we continue onward through the afternoon and arrive at our campsite before dark. The Selinda Canoe Trail replicates the safari experiences of old as we navigate this rarely visited region, fly camping along the way. We complete the 45-kilometre journey close to the convergence of the Linyanti and Kwando waterways.

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All equipment is carried by canoe, so the camp is rustic by nature. The 3m x 3m dome tents are furnished with comfortable bedrolls and quality linen and towels and accommodate two guests. For every two tents, there is a safari ‘bucket’ shower and ‘short drop’ loo. Our trail chef cooks tasty delicious meals over the fire. Guests gather around the fire, chairs for all, and watch the culinary magic with a cool drink to celebrate the day’s achievement.

Best Time to Go

The Selinda Canoe Trail’s season is during northern Botswana’s dry months when the game migrates to the Spillway. The area is well known for elephant, buffalo, sable, roan, and African wild dog but could very well come across cheetah, lion, leopard and variety of other species. Bear in mind that the mode of safari is by foot and canoe, so wildlife is mostly seen close to the shore of the Spillway or on walks nearby.

The guaranteed set departures are for a maximum of eight guests and operate seasonally each year based on water levels.

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Room Types

All equipment is carried by canoe, so the camp is rustic by nature. The 3m x 3m dome tents are furnished with comfortable bedrolls and quality linen and towels and accommodate two guests. For every two tents, there is a safari ‘bucket’ shower and ‘short drop’ loo. Our trail chef cooks tasty delicious meals over the fire. Guests gather around the fire, chairs for all, and watch the culinary magic with a cool drink to celebrate the day’s achievement.

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Guest Details

Each departure with Selinda Canoe Trail is guaranteed with a minimum of two guests and each departure accommodates a maximum of 8 guests sharing in 4 tents. Should you be the only guest on a particular departure we may have to charge you for 2, but that should not stop you from experiencing one of Africa’s best safari experiences!

Children from 8 years are welcome. Where families travel with children between the ages of 8 & 11, the relevant departure will be closed off as a private departure to allow the guide and staff to maximize the experience around the younger travelers.

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Activities

The trail begins downstream from Selinda Camp, northeast of the Okavango Delta, in the 320,000-acre Selinda Reserve. We follow the Spillway east as it meanders through the Reserve, passing through riverine forests, floodplains and open savannah. We begin each day at the break of dawn in our 18-foot Canadian canoes. Whilst paddling, we encounter wildlife along the Spillway’s banks, and disembark our canoes to enjoy walks, looking for tracks and signs. After brunch and a bit of a siesta at midday we continue onward through the afternoon and arrive at our campsite before dark. The Selinda Canoe Trail replicates the safari experiences of old as we navigate this rarely visited region, fly camping along the way. We complete the 45-kilometre journey close to the convergence of the Linyanti and Kwando waterways.

A game drive takes place from the airstrip to camp one. After being dropped off at the trail’s starting point, then all wildlife viewing is by foot or canoe. Bird watching and swimming are also a fun and frequent option.

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