Linyanti Reserve

The Linyanti River, which later becomes the Chobe, forms the border between Namibia and Botswana. The river’s course gentle till it descends upon a volcanic fault line which causes a dramatic 90-degree change of course from south-east to north-east. Inside the right-angle corner created at this juncture, a swamp has formed (on the Namibian side), similar in appearance to the Okavango Delta, with papyrus lined waterways leading to towering riverine forests of giant ebony and marula trees. This leads to an amazing dawn choruses of life produced by abundant birdlife, the incessantly grunting hippos and trumpeting elephants entwined by the roaring lions and laughing hyenas. It’s the region of the elusive sitatunga which antelopes have specially adapted hooves for marshlands and can submerge if frightened, it also has the magnificent sable antelope, the most stunning antelope of them all. Here whilst the Narina Trogon (bird) is a rarity elephants and zebras flock in vast numbers along with bat-eared foxes and the rare wild dogs.

On the southern banks of the Linyanti River (in Botswana), is the private Linyanti Wildlife Reserve. Here the marsh subsides into lagoons and steadily flowing rivers with riverine forests of jackalberry and sausage trees leading to open grasslands, and dry inland wooded areas.

The Linyanti Reserve is densely populated with animals particularly in the dry winter months when elephants concentrate in enormous numbers at the rivers and waterholes. 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 particularly beautiful sable and roan antelopes are found here and red lechwe and the aquatic sitatunga antelope inhabit the wetlands.

Lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and hyena are the main predators. A smaller yet incredibly handsome and efficient predator the serval is also seen here.

Rain falls during the warm months of November to March creating high temperatures and humidity. Mosquitoes breed well in these conditions. May to October is dry and as the months progress and surface water becomes scarce, animals congregate in huge numbers along the river. Game is at its most dense and easily visible. October is the hottest month.



  • Linyanti Wildlife Reserve covers and area of 275 000 acres (111 288 hectares)
  • It is a private reserve so night drives and off road driving is offered
  • This is a malarial area
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