Selinda Canoe Trails

Selinda Reserve

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The Selinda Canoe Trail begins a little downstream from Motswiri Camp in the north-east of the Okavango Delta and travels eastwards along the Selinda Spillway through the private 120 000-hectare (300 000-acre) Selinda Reserve towards the Kwando and Linyanti rivers close to where Selinda and Zarafa Camps are located.

The three-night/four-day safari covers approximately 70km while the nights are spent in fly camps along the way, set up wherever the canoeists end up. The days are spent paddling eastwards along the Spillway, stopping whenever there is something of interest to be seen along the banks, such as the many wildlife and bird species found in the area.

The area is well known for elephant, buffalo, sable antelope, roan antelope and wild dog, while cheetah, lion, leopard and variety of other species are also found. The Selinda is also a birding paradise with some 300 species or more to be seen.

Each canoeing day begins at first light when the Spillway is at its most peaceful. After an early coffee and snack, we set off for the day's adventure. Walking is part of the experience. If there happens to be activity that warrants investigation, the guide will stop on the banks and take a short walk into the bush. A brunch will be taken around midmorning and light snacks will be available throughout the day for sustenance until dinner.

Google Earth Map of the route through the Selinda Reserve

Selinda Spillway


Day 1(optional):  Arrive at the Motswiri airfield and transfer to Motswiri Camp for one night overnight full board.

Day 2:  If you spent the previous night at Motswiri Camp, then the canoe trail begins at 7.30am

Once the guide has briefed the group, the trail starts with a short walk to the canoe station. As there is no set distance to be covered on the first day and also due to the fact that all the equipment is carried with the group, we will paddle until we are ready to stop, just before sunset at a suitable site on the banks of the Spillway. The dome tented camp will be erected and we will enjoy well-deserved sundowners around the campfire before we have dinner, followed by a good night's sleep.

Those not electing the optional overnight at Motswiri Camp will arrive at the Motswiri airfield at approximately 1300h, and the safari will start further down the spillway with less time on the water.

Day 3:
After an early wake-up call, tea or coffee and light breakfast while the camp is being dismantled, we head out on the canoes for a full day of paddling, with lunch en route and the possibility of stretching our legs if we come across a situation worth investigating on foot. Tonight we camp in another suitable location as we gradually make our way down the Spillway.

Day 4:
An early breakfast once again, as camp is taken down before we continue along the water course by canoe for another full-day excursion and set up camp for the last night of this trail.

Day 5:
We head out after breakfast as we aim to finish at around 11h00, being met by vehicle and transferred by road either Selinda airstrip (or to Selinda or Zarafa camps for additional nights.


Camp after a full day of canoeing and hiking

Operates from 23 May to 9 Oct

2010 Rates

  • $1464 for 3 night canoe safari no air transfers
  • 4 night package - $2600 - includes flights to/from Maun, 1 night Motswiri Camp and 3 nights Selinda Canoe Trail, all inclusive
  • 6 night package price - $4375 - flights to/from Maun, 1 night Motswiri Camp and 3 nights Selinda Canoe Trail; 2 nights at Selinda Camp, all inclusive
  • 8 night package price -  $6660 - flights to/from Maun, 1 night Motswiri Camp and 3 nights Selinda Canoe Trail; 2 nights at Selinda Camp, 2 nights Okavango (choice of Chitabe, Chitabe Lediba, DumaTau, Jacana, Kwetsani, Little Vumbura, Seba Camp, Tubu Tree, Xigera

Exploring the habitat on foot is part of this experience


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