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Selinda Adventure Trail
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The high waters flowing through northern Botswana in 2009, together with subtle tectonic movements, caused the waters of the Okavango River to flow in a way that it has not done for nearly three decades, pushing east along the previously dry Selinda Spillway to meet the waters of the Linyanti. This enabled adventurers the opportunity to experience a rare first, canoeing along the Selinda Spillway. As the waters of the Selinda Spillway ebb and flow each year, some years with higher flood levels than others, so the name of the Selinda Canoe Trail was changed to reflect a more inclusive experience that now includes guided walking safaris and is thus now known as the Selinda Adventure Trail. The trail replicates safari experiences of old as we chart a course along the Selinda Spillway and head into the remote woodlands of the vast 320,000 Selinda Reserve over five days. As we are governed by the availability of sufficient water in the Selinda Spillway, we offer two distinct adventures here for you to enjoy. Depending on water levels at the time of your arrival, we will offer either a canoeing and walking experience, or a purely guided walking experience. The canoeing experience entails a traditional canoe and walking safari following the course, and exploring side channels, of the Selinda Spillway. The pure guided walking experience is an amazing, exclusively guided walking safari along exciting sections of the Spillway and inland portions of the famous Selinda Reserve. All adventure trails start at the Selinda Airstrip where you are met and immediately transferred by helicopter to the remote starting point of your relevant adventure. The distance of the Selinda Adventure Trails differ depending on whether it is a walking or canoeing adventure. Over the 5 days the walking distance is just over 20 km and canoeing is approximately 40km. Along either routes we expect to come across many species of wildlife. The Selinda Reserve is well known for some of Botswana’s largest herds of buffalo and elephant, roan antelope and African wild dog. Other possible sightings include cheetah, lion, leopard and variety of other species. It is also a birder’s paradise with over 300 species possibly seen. All four nights are spent in fly camps along the Selinda Spillway at pre-arranged sites. The days are spent paddling or walking along the Spillway and into the woodlands of the reserve, depending on which option is available at that time, with regular stops whenever there is something of interest to be seen along the way. When canoeing, each canoe has two guests as well as their bed rolls and soft bags. Participants paddle their own canoes each day. No previous paddling, canoeing or walking safari experience is needed as tuition and safety briefings are given – but participants must be fit enough to paddle their own canoes and be prepared to walk between camps when water levels are not sufficiently high on the Selinda Spillway. Guests are not expected to put up their tents or help with the cooking and camp chores as our staff are on hand. Walk-in 3m x 2.4m Flex-Bow tents are provided as they are comfortable and large enough for two people. Screened, bucket showers with hot and cold water are also supplied. On the pure walking trail each guest will be supplied with a day backpack which will include water. An armed, qualified walking guide as well as an experienced tracker will be with you at all times as you explore the banks of the Spillway water as well as slightly more remote areas of the Selinda Reserve. Ideally you could and should elect to stay on for an additional night or two after once you have completed the Selinda Adventure Trail at either Selinda Explorers Camp, Selinda Camp or Zarafa and the Zarafa Dhow Suites. The Selinda Adventure Trail’s camps bring you closer to nature. The overnight camp sites create that sense of wilderness with a clear emphasis on essential camp comforts and maximum wilderness experience.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed August 13, 2013

One of the best trips of my life. Well organised, meticulously planned and executed from start to finish in one of the most beautiful places in the world - what more could anyone want from a holiday?

Our two guides, Josh and Tim, were knowledgeable, relaxed and friendly. No matter the circumstances I felt safe and had full confidence in their abilities to read the animals and the situations.

Every evening and lunch time the camps were set up perfectly, with everything required (including a full bar) produced from only 4 canoes of gear. Nothing was too much trouble including showers in the morning and evening if wanted and hot water bottles in our beds at night. The Chef Mawinga (sp?) cooked some of the best food I have ever eaten in my life including producing a magnificent picnic every day on the river bank.

The tents were big enough to fully stand up in, bed rolls were comfortable and very warm on chilly nights. Even the long-drop facilities were excellent. My only complaint was that it was over too quickly.

Don't even bother hesitating any longer, just book and go if you are lucky enough to get a spot.

1  Thank gotravelgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9 - 13 of 18 reviews

Reviewed June 21, 2013

They say that certain events will divide your life up into 'before's and 'after's. This was surely one of them. Our family of nine just spent four days and three nights on the river with Josh and a fantastic support team of four. They exceeded our expectations in every way possible and left each one of us imagining our return in the near future.

True luxury was defined by percale linen, down duvets and warm showers underneath a power cable-less African sky. The chef prepared incredibly scrumptous meals (complemented of course by ice cold bubbly) which truly left us flabbergasted. Our guide (aka River God Josh) was so knowledgable and profession and managed to turn every walk, paddle or game drive into a riveting adventure.

Surrounded and intertwined by wilderness, we moved from the usual ecosystem-spectator role to an ecosystem-component role. Something which has never been achieved on any other of the safaris we have been on.

We highly recommend this trip to anyone wanting to experience untammed nature.

Thank Kerry T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2013

We had our canoe trip down the Selinda Spillway cancelled owing to low water at that time of year-mid October 2012- our party were extremely disappointed when we head this news and agreed to to "second option" that was offerred.Imagine coming all the way from NZ and this was the grand finale for our travels,the last camp of the 4 we visited and to have it cancelled. BUT, how amazing to decide after the first hour of arriving at the Explorers camp we were really pleased to have had that cancellation and to be in THE MOST amazing campsite we had ever experienced.We received the best of care from Dave,Josh and Dollar "the lead" team at the camp.Where else could you swim in the river when the heat started to get to you, flop in a hammock under a tree with your current read, have 5 star meals,fantastic red wine and excellent chats, The tents looked like the camp had just been transported from the "Out of Africa" movie and dropped on the side of a really lovely waterway. Animals every where,we walked, swam, and also got our canoe trip down the last part of the river that was still able to be navigated. We had it all, and would recommend it to you with enthusiam- do not hesitate, book go and enjoy this unique experience that this team have to offer. The canoe trip really wonderful, hippos and elephants to entertain us on the river all part of the adventure, just as you see in the video of the Selinda Spilway Canoe trip.What are you waiting for- go out there and do this camp- we did 3 nights and would have loved more.Thank you to the team of the Selinda Explorers Camp for having such a wonderful spot for us the visit and the excellent care you took of the 4 New Zealanders. Also received some good photography tips along the way from dave and Josh. Best wishes for a successul venture with this camp. Margaret Elliott- Nelson New Zealand

Thank MElliott_51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2013

Our canoe trail trip was cancelled in early October, 2012, due to low water levels. When we arrived & heard this news we were initally upset, but Josh assured us that we could sample the delights of the new Selinda's Explorers Camp instead, and what a treat that was! (We had been notified by email, but had not been accessing them in our travels.)

We were still able to do day paddles, & bypass the hippos and elephants from the water. No ticking off the Big Five by truck, just the absolute privilege of walking quietly through the bush, following footprints and animal/bird calls to spot all manner of creature. We learned so much through Josh, who is the perfect guide. Then there was the food! Delicious, fresh ... and out in the middle of nowhere. How did Dollar do it? An unexpected bonus was that the waterway in front of the camp is safe for a dip, divine in the 40+ temperatures.

The tents are done up in beautifully in 'expedition' style, & there is an environmental focus to the site, with solar power doing away with the need for noisy generators. Only 4 tents means that you won't be overrun with other people. We
hope to drum up a small group to pay a return visit in a year or so, we loved it so much.

We are travellers of about 40 years experience, but this would have to be at the top of the list! Thanks Dave, Josh and Dollar, and also Sussi of Livingstone Safaris in CapeTown who organised the trip for us from here in Australia.

2  Thank TravellerDi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

What a great time we had! Highly recommended. A real bush experience - not a telephone pole or any other sign of human encrouchment to be seen. And really comfortable beds as well!

Thank markSomersetWest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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