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The Linyanti river forms a natural boundary between Botswana and Namibia at the northwestern corner of the Chobe National park and flows further to become the river Chobe.
Due to a volcanic fault line, the smooth flowing Kwando river dramatically changes course at almost ninety degrees from the south east to the north east and is then called the Linyanti. The Linyanti swamp created at the inner right angle of the course of the river on the Namibian side which is the northern bank has attracted prolific game and bird life.
The southern bank on the Botswana side is home to the Linyanti reserve that has gentle lagoons, beautiful riverine area, mature woodlands that lead to open grasslands and also dry inland woods and pastures.
The Linyanti swamp covers an area of almost 900 sq km. It is a secluded area further expanded by Namibia's remote Mamili National Park on the north. It is relatively inaccessible and the remote, hence a refuge for wildlife. It is also a delta like the Okavango complete with a network of waterways linking lagoons.
The Linyanti reserve on the other bank is a part of an enclave of 4 private reserves - the Kwando, Selinda, Linyanti and Chobe). It covers 1250 sq km area in which three camps operate. The enclave being continual land, wildlife moves freely, attracted by the permanent water bodies and the lush green grass.
Concentrations of elephant and buffalo are very high in this area. There are also many antelope like sable, impala, red lechwe near the water. In the forests and on the plains one can find wildebeest, kudu, baboons, giraffe, warthog, zebra and tsessebe.
Herds of eland and roan antelope can be found further away from the water. Though cheetah are not that common, there are numerous lion, leopard that prefer wooded areas and wild dogs that roam around the reserves and can be spot easily on the plains. Also spotted sometimes are the hyena, serval and bat-eared fox. Bird life is excellent and the area is known as one of the best places for dawn choruses of chirping birds.
The accommodation in the area is in the lodges located in the Linyanti area of the Chobe National Park. They are generally accessible by charter flights. There is a public campsite along the river accessible only by a 4X4 vehicle. Though winter is the best season to spot wildlife, rainy season is the most scenic with wild flowers and a relatively quiet tourist season.
Linyanti area is often one of the ignored spots in Botswana but among the top-notch wildlife destinations and hence makes a good visit for an exclusive safari experience.