This 6 night walking safari takes you on foot through two of Botswana’s iconic wildlife reserves – the Selinda and the Okavango Delta.
You will walk through the lush wetlands of the delta and then onto the endless mopane woodlands of the Selinda Reserve, home to thousands of elephants.
The Selinda Reserve, close to the Namibian border, is one of Botswana’s finest wildlife areas and the Okavango Delta needs no introduction.
A walking safari can be high on adrenalin but it is about more than your close encounters with the wildlife.
Maun is known as the gateway to the Okavango Delta, recently listed as the 1000th World Heritage Site. Only a short drive to the north of this frontier town are the waters of this wondrous world covering an area of more than 18,000sq. km during the high floods.
Thousands of palm fringed islands are surrounded by seasonal floodplains. Elephants cross these floodplains leaving clear paths for us to follow as we explore on foot this stunningly beautiful area on foot from our private camp .
When the flood waters have receded we too can walk from island to island but at times of flooding we will use the Bayei’s traditional way of traversing the Delta – a mokoro (dug out canoe) – so keeping the islands accessible to us.
Our temporary camp is simple but extremely comfortable sited on the edge of an island overlooking a river channel with the grunting of hippos and tinkling of reed frogs providing a nightly chorus.
On arrival this afternoon there will be time for a safety briefing and a short evening walk.
We may have been kept awake at night by the sound of elephants feeding around our tents or lions calling as they patrol their territory but days on safari must still start early whilst the day is cool.
The water, the floodplains and the islands of the Okavango Delta are a haven for wildlife. A morning walk will fill your head with so many memories – elephants swimming the deep channels, herds of red lechwe tripping through the shallow waters, glimpses of predators trying to stay hidden and brilliant birdlife everywhere.
And when the day heats up we will return to the shade of the camp or find a natural, crystal clear pool to have a refreshing swim.
In the early evening we will venture out again and marvel at the solitude and the extraordinary light across this extraordinary landscape as the sun sinks below the horizon.
Today we have the freedom to head in any direction that takes our fancy.
On safari it is important to be flexible and to allow your days to be dictated by the movement of the game rather than the time.
Perhaps we will have heard the sawing rasp of a leopard at night and we may spend the morning searching for this most elusive of cats. Or head to the nearby hippo pools to sit quietly and be entertained by their constant antics.
Back in camp after dark the incredible night sky will light up our camp fire stories.
After breakfast a short flight takes us onto the Selinda Reserve. During your drive from the Selinda airstrip to Selinda Explorers Camp you will begin to feel the true wildness of this remote part of Botswana.
Selinda Explorers Camp is situated on a bend of the Selinda Spillway, a remote waterway meandering through northern Botswana and attracting huge herds of elephant and buffalo, which come to slake their thirst and wallow in the refreshing waters.
This simple yet elegant camp is one of David’s favourite permanent camps in Botswana as it blends comfort with a raw edge. It is the perfect camp to safari on foot from as roads are few and far between yet the waters of the Spillway provide a lifeline for the wildlife.
During your stay you will spend most of the day on foot but there will also be some canoeing involved.
This afternoon we will take a gentle stroll in the vicinity of the camp before returning to camp for the obligatory sundowners and a delicious meal to set us up for an active day ahead.
The sounds of the night will almost certainly decide for us the direction we take!
The Selinda Reserve is home to over 12,000 elephants during the dry season attracted by the water of the Spillway as well as a high predator concentration with three different packs of wild dog known to den there. And where we are at Selinda Explorers you can also find some of the more unusual antelope species for Botswana – the magnificent sable and the rare roan.
During the heat of the day we will siesta in camp before heading out again in the late afternoon as the day starts to cool down.
Perhaps we will opt to jump in a canoe and paddle downstream passing a rich tapestry of water birds, always on the look out for the hippos who love to call the Spillway their home.
Downstream we will find something that attracts our attention and gets us out of the canoes and back on foot. Perhaps the early call of a Giant Eagle Owl or the alarm call of an impala herd as the day draws to and end and leopards start to move.
Upstream from camp the waters of the Spillway back up into a series of gorgeous lagoons surrounded by towering cathedral mopane woodland. Perhaps this is where our walk will lead us this morning.
Kudu, impala, baboon, buffalo and elephant love this area. From a shady spot overlooking one of the lily filled lagoons we will sit and watch whatever moves around us and to just enjoy the stillness and beauty of this magical place.
After another delicious lunch back at camp it will be time to explore the opposite banks of the Spillway. Hidden a little away from the main channel there is special spot favoured by the game where they can drink and feed undisturbed.
Hopefully we can sneak in there too and so enjoy and share with the wildlife a scene of timeless Africa.
Sitting still in the bush and waiting for the wildlife to come to you is the best way to safari! So this morning we may sit and enjoy the view from the camp.
And who knows what exciting things may happen – Selinda Explorers Camp has experienced many a wild dog hunt right through the camp!
This is a time to reflect on all you have seen, experienced and learnt before taking a light aircraft flight onwards to your next destination.