Botswana's forgotten paradise
In the furthest corner of Chobe National Park lies the forgotten paradise of Linyanti River and Wildlife Reserve where the marsh subsides into lagoons and steadily flowing rivers with riverine forests of jackal berry and sausage trees leading to open grasslands, and dry inland wooded areas. Wildlife is plentiful, especially in the dry winter months (April – October) when great concentrations of elephant, buffalo and zebra congregate along the river, with giraffe, impala and roan antelope being seen in the forests. Thousands of zebra spend the winter in the Linyanti before heading south to the Savuti in November in expectation of summer rains and good grazing. The main predators are lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and hyena. A smaller carnivore and efficient predator sometimes seen, is the serval. The birdlife is diverse, if not overwhelming in its numbers. Water birds, including pelican, are common. Access is rough and very sandy and the safari camps in Linyanti can only be reached by light aircraft.
Sporadically flowing from the Linyanti is the Savuti Channel; a vital water resource, with especially dramatic animal interactions at the end of the dry season. The Selinda Spillway links the Okavango in the west to the Linyanti to the east, which flowed for the first time in over three decades in 2009. The vast Selinda Reserve is renowned for vast concentrations of buffalo, elephant and predators.