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The Linyanti

Swamps, watersways and forest.

The 125 000-hectare (308 000-acre) private Linyanti Concession bordering Chobe National Park's western boundary is an enormous, wildlife-rich area, shared between just three small camps (DumaTau, Kings Pool and Savuti Camp), which creates an unrivalled atmosphere of remoteness and space.

There are three main features of the Linyanti Concession: the Linyanti River, the woodlands of the interior and the well-known Savute Channel, famous as a sporadic and unusual watercourse. The Channel last flowed in 1980; today it is an open grassland and home to a wide variety of animals. With two-thirds of the Channel located in the concession, Wilderness Safaris guests have private and exclusive access to its abundant game.

These three features together with the floodplains, woodlands, grasslands, palm islands and scrub vegetation of the area harbour one of the densest dry season concentrations of elephant in Botswana - at times the Linyanti must have several thousand elephants roaming around. This phenomenon is one of the main attractions for travellers to northern Botswana, but the area is also important in holding good numbers of predators, providing an integral stronghold for species like the critically endangered wild dog, as well as lion, cheetah and spotted hyaena. The roan antelope found in the area can provide an equal thrill however, as can the high concentration of birds of prey, seasonal zebra congregations and the cathedral-like woodland of mature mopane trees.

Aside from roan, other plains game includes red lechwe, Burchell's zebra, blue wildebeest, impala, common waterbuck, sable, eland, southern giraffe, chacma baboon, vervet monkey, warthog, hippo and Cape buffalo. Nocturnal species often seen are lesser bushbaby, spring hare, aardwolf, serval, large spotted genet and if you are extremely lucky the elusive pangolin!

Birding is outstanding here ranging from the Okavango specials, such as Slaty Egret, Hartlaub's Babbler, African Skimmer, Allen's Gallinule and Wattled Crane, to the drier mopane woodland species like Racket-tailed Roller, Bradfield's Hornbill, White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike, Bennett's Woodpecker, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater and Arnott's Chat. This area is also excellent for Kori Bustard, Ostrich, Secretarybird, and Ground Hornbill with Southern Carmine Bee-eaters in summer. The Savute Channel is famous as an area with a high concentration of eagles and raptors and this area is internationally recognised as an IBA (Important Bird Area), particularly for birds of prey like Dickinson's Kestrel and waterbirds. There are also various owl species to be seen here such as Verreaux's (Giant) Eagle-Owl and African Scops-Owl.

The many varied habitats within these areas - marshes, waterways, riverine forests, dry woodlands and grasslands - and the prolific and diverse wildlife and spectacular scenery together form a wonderful contrast to the Okavango. Adding this area to a Botswana itinerary makes for a varied and balanced experience of the country and in many ways it is an essential complement to a visit to the Okavango.






  

 

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