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Linyanti in Northern Botswana is one of Africa’s ultimate safari destinations. A remote private concession between the Okavango and Chobe, this wilderness is a haven for some of the continent’s rarest and wildest animals.
This short article explains why it is so good. And also so expensive!
An exclusive private concession
Once a hunting concession, Linyanti was converted into a safari reserve almost 30 years ago. It is now one of Africa’s premier private concessions.
Access to the concession is restricted to guests staying at a Linyanti camp. That means less than 30 people at any one time. Of course, such exclusivity brings expense. A day in the Linyanti will cost you over USD 500. So is it worth it?
The wild Linyanti landscape
Linyanti is in the heart of the Southern African wilderness, many hundreds of miles from any town or major settlement. Sweeping grasslands and floodplains create a landscape of green here. Traveling south from Linyanti this landscape gets flatter and wetter, eventually merging into the Okavango Delta.
Linyanti’s plains also merge with mopane woodlands, attracting elephants from Chobe. Acacia trees dot the reserve, attracting giraffe and primates. The Linyanti river flows through and is packed with hippos.
Linyanti’s incredible wildlife
The diverse landscape attracts a very diverse animal population. This wildlife is also incredibly easy to find. Over a dozen different antelope species graze the plains and sometimes you can see thousands of animals in a single vista.
Predators lurk in the countless places to hide. Lion prides are joined by leopards and cheetahs. Hyena are abundant and scamper eagerly across the reserve.
Wild dogs make their dens here and guides know exactly where they stay. There is nowhere better in Africa for encounters with these endangered wild dogs.
The highlight of Linyanti is how many of these different animals are packed into a short space. Sometimes all this wildlife is encountered around the camps, including elephants and even lions.
The various camps blend into their surroundings. Without fences or barriers, these are very wild places to stay. You will hear the animals and watch them wander past. This is a major part of the excitement.
Linyanti Bush Camp is a (relatively) affordable option overlooking the Linyanti marshes.
Linyanti Ebony is in a similar style, with traditional safari tents and simplicity over opulence.
Activities in Linyanti
All the incredible wildlife can be discovered on a complete range of activities. Game drives will go off the trail, which is essential for getting close to the predators. Nighttime game drives are part of the daily program and provide an entirely different experience.
The game walks are really thrilling, given how many large mammals live here. Then there is the beauty of sitting back at the camp and watching the wildlife roll by.
Planning a Botswana Safari
Linyanti is one of three private concessions between Chobe and Okavango. It is also worth considering Kwando and Selinda.
Unless you are driving a fully equipped four-wheel drive vehicle, the only way to reach Linyanti is on a safari flight. These operate from Maun and other safari destinations in Botswana.
You should allow a minimum of 48 hours and ideally three nights. Anything less isn’t worth the expense of a flight.
After visiting Linyanti there is no need to visit neighboring Chobe as the experience will be similar just not as good. Rather choose the Okavango to diversify your Botswana safari. A common itinerary is to land at Victoria Falls, spend three nights in Linyanti, then end the safari in the Okavango.