Shifts along the Linyanti fault line have rerouted a river that begins in the Angolan highlands and becomes the Linyanti River in Botswana. This region covers over 300,000 acres of deep channels, large lagoons, open grasslands, woodlands, and riverine forests. This area is home to abundant wildlife, including one of the world’s highest densities of elephants during the dry wcolumn inter months.
The famed Savute Channel begins its journey from the Linyanti River. This wide channel unexpectedly dried up in 1981 and remained as a ribbon of grassland for 27 years. In 2008, the channel began to flow again, and for now it remains a water-filled channel. This beautiful region is home to large pods of hippos and crocodiles, and is a magnet for the region’s elephants and birdlife.
The Selinda Spillway connects the Northern reaches of the Okavango Delta with the Linyanti. Just like the Savute Channel, the Spillway was dry for many years before it began to flow again in 2009. Water in the spillway flows in both directions depending upon water levels. This unique feature allows the channel to retain water during the dry season when it attracts large herds of buffalo and elephant to its banks.
Starting in April, temperatures drop throughout Botswana as the region moves into winter. Daytime temperatures remain comfortable, with cool, crisp mornings and evenings. Although this time of year experiences little to no rainfall, it is considered the wet season, as floodwaters from the Angolan highlands flow into the Linyanti River, creating swollen channels and lagoons. By August, the lack of rainwater and palatable grass draws wildlife to the banks of the Linyanti River and outstretching channels.
By September, the region transitions into summer. Days become longer and temperatures rise. Heat quickly escapes the area’s cool Kalahari sands, so with the sunset comes a drop in temperature that lasts into the early morning. October to March is typically the warmest time of year, when high temperatures average in the high 80s to low 90s. Summer’s warm temperatures and humidity build impressive thunderclouds ready to release the first rains. The first rains usually fall by the end of October or early November, cooling the warm summer air.
The Linyanti region provides spectacular wildlife viewing year round. From prides of lions, large clans of hyenas, to elusive leopards, predator sightings are always a highlight. Cheetahs and wild dogs also have strong populations in this region. The Linyanti River attracts large concentrations of elephants and buffalo that can be found in herds more than one hundred strong. With 400+ species of birds recorded, the Linyanti is also an amazing birding destination.