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Selinda Explorers Camp
Selinda Explorers Camp
Selinda Explorers Camp
Selinda Explorers Camp
Selinda Explorers Camp
Selinda Explorers Camp

Selinda Explorers Camp


18°32’12.2"S 23°29’6.8"E

Selinda Explorers Camp: Our full report

On the banks of the Selinda Spillway, Selinda Explorers Camp is the most recent addition to the private 1,350km² ...

... Selinda Reserve, having opened in August 2012. Although it is very like a classic mobile camp in style, albeit a relatively luxurious one, it is in fact permanent. Originally available on an exclusive-use basis only, it has since mid 2014 been bookable on an individual basis.

Selinda Explorers Camp was envisaged as a fancy version of a classic early explorer-style tented camp. It is certainly more modest in scope than its sister camp, Selinda Camp, and much more basic than the opulent Zarafa Camp, which are both on the same reserve. Yet with soft furnishings from Zanzibar and the East, and a slightly Middle Eastern vibe, the details are in the décor and – while it's supposedly a 'simple' tented camp – it feels as stylish as many of the permanent camps in Botswana – exactly what we would expect from the owners. Thus it is a good option for those seeking more of a wilderness experience, but still with high expectations.

The main area of Selinda Explorers comprises two open-sided semi-permanent tents. In one is a simple dining area and bar; in the other, a more lavishly decorated lounge, with huge floor cushions, Zanzibari chests and brass lamps. The mix of dark wood and leather campaign furniture with Arabian accessories results in a colonial explorer feel. Meals are taken either in the dining area or under the stars.

With just four Meru-style tents, Selinda Explorers remains a very intimate camp. The tents are spacious, and all can be made up as doubles or twins and one is family tent with two rooms either side of a shared sitting area. The beds are very comfortable, with high-quality cotton sheets and some of the biggest and softest pillows we have come across. An antique- style fan stands in the corner, along with a writing desk that blends in with the campaign-style furniture in the rest of the room. A slightly separate changing area has upright trunks adapted to provide drawers and hanging space. Here you will also find twin brass sinks, with jugs of water for washing. Drinking water and mosquito spray are provided, and electric lighting comes courtesy of solar power. Outside some of the tents, a hammock is strung up in the shade, providing the perfect spot for an afternoon siesta.

The canvas-walled open-air bathroom at the back of each tent has a 'garden' like feel resulting from bare sand floors and the use of natural materials. A wooden walkway allows you to cross from the flush toilet to the shower without walking on the sand. In the centre is a 200-litre bucket shower; with more than enough water, and hot water brought in the mornings and evenings, it is as good as any hotel shower!

Activities at Selinda Explorers Camp include both day and night game drives, but there is also a strong focus here is on walking and canoeing. Walking is best between the end of May and October, when there is good visability in the bush as the grasses have died back and the Mopane trees are bare. Canoeing takes place on the seasonally flooded Selinda Spillway, usually between May and September, when water levels are sufficiently high. Please do contact us for up to date information on the water levels and the possibility of canoeing.

We did not get the chance to do any activities from here on our most recent visit but during our last visit in April 2016 we found that the wildlife was impressive. Two prides of lion were present at the time - the Wakupa Pride (consisting of four females, two with cubs) and the Selinda Pride (six females with 10 cubs among them), both dominated by two adult males - wander between the unfenced border of the Selinda Reserve and the Kwara Concession. There were two packs of wild dogs in this area, too. The Selinda Pack, consisting of 14 dogs, was at the time denning in the Selinda Reserve, and there were hopes that the Explorers Pack, with five dogs and two pregnant females, would den in the reserve. The reserve did also boast ten resident leopards. From the end of April through December, Cape buffalo migrate into the area, leading to epic predator-prey encounters with lion. The June-July zebra migration from the Savute and Chobe area can bring up to a thousand zebra into the reserve, and guests can expect huge herds of elephant in the winter season (between about November and April).

During our last visit our birding experience here was not the best, however, we did see saddle-billed stork, African fish eagle, red-billed spurfowl, and lilac-breasted roller.


Our view

Selinda Explorers Camp is a great choice for a traditional tented camp experience, and its location beside the Selinda Spillway is lovely. It is very comfortable, and its focus on walking safaris and canoeing trips makes it different to most other places in the Delta. Thus it will work really well for those who want to be active, as well as enjoying the occasional promising game drive from a vehicle.

Chris McIntyre

Chris McIntyre

Botswana expert

Geographics

Location
Kwando-Linyanti area, Botswana
Ideal length of stay
Three or four nights at Selinda Explorers is fine. Because the activities focus on walking and canoeing, a stay here combines very well with time at Selinda Camp, or Zarafa Camp, in the same reserve – both of which put more emphasis on 4WD safaris.
Directions
Selinda Explorers Camp is accessed by light aircraft from either Kasane (50-minute flight) or Maun (45-minute flight), depending on where you stop along the way; it is then a 50-minute drive from the airstrip to the camp, depending on what you see en route.
Accessible by
Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Full Board & Activities
Food quality
We didn’t get the chance to sample the food and drink on our last visit but on a previous visit in April 2016 we enjoyed some very creative, delicious meals. Much like the food at Selinda and Zarafa camps it felt light and healthy yet at the same time was very satisfying and filling. The camp can cater for most dietary requirements as long as they are informed in advance.

One of the advantages of staying at Great Plains' camps is that the chefs have complete freedom to create their own menus. As a result, you can stay at different Great Plains' camps for over a week, yet not repeat a meal.

Breakfast included a choice of muesli, toast with a selection of jams, cheese, yoghurt, scones and fresh fruit along with tea/coffee/smoothie. Alternatively, breakfast can be packed for you to savour on a break during your morning activity

Brunch is served on your return from the morning activity. We were offered a delicious choice of lamb burgers, roast butternut and feta salad, quinoa salad with avocado, a big green salad, fresh bread rolls, a cheese platter and fresh fruit.

Afternoon tea, before the afternoon activity, includes both savoury and sweet snacks; we were treated to a delightful coffee cake.

Dinner is served shortly after your return to camp in the evening. We ate under the stars with our guide and camp manager and enjoyed a lovely grilled kudu fillet with grilled vegetables and lightly seasoned couscous.
Dining style
Group Meals
Dining locations
Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Further dining info, including room service
There is no room service at Selinda Explorers Camp.
Drinks included
All drinks that are stocked in camp, including premium brand spirits and champagne.

Guests are given a water bottle that is filled up for them before activities etc. Bottled water is available on request.

Special interests

Birdwatching
Located on the banks of the Selinda Spillway the camp offers a good mix of waterbirds and woodland species. The camp offers an honorary "membership" into the "111 Club", an honour bestowed for those who see 111 or more species during their stay.
See ideas for Birdwatching
Walking safaris
Selinda Explorers is a small, smart tented camp in a first-class area for big game; it offers walking and canoeing – and is an excellent camp for walking safaris in Botswana.
See ideas for Walking safaris

Children

Attitude towards children
Children aged ten years and older are welcomed by Selinda Explorers Camp.
Property’s age restrictions
Minimum age ten years.
Special activities & services
Selinda Explorers Camp has guides who are great with children, and can offer alternative and slightly tailored activities such as fishing or short canoe trips. The camp also offers the 'Young Explorers' programme, which includes child-friendly activities such as animal tracking, plaster casting tracks, and making traditional bows and arrows.

They can offer child minding from one of their housekeeping team, but not someone specially trained in child care.


Equipment
Selinda Explorers can provide triple rooms for families.
Generally recommended for children
Yes – but it's really best for older children who are also sensible and careful, ideally at least 12 years old. This is primarily due to Selinda Explorer’s focus on walking, which is a much more adult activity.
Notes
Children must be supervised at all times by their parents/guardians, as predators wander freely through camp, which is also surrounded by water.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Selinda Explorers Camp

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Selinda Explorers Camp have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.

Elephant

100% success

Giraffe

100% success

Hippo

100% success

Zebra

100% success

Lion

91% success

Buffalo

82% success

Spotted Hyena

82% success

Wildebeest

82% success

Leopard

73% success

Roan antelope

64% success

Wild dog

55% success

Sable antelope

36% success

Cheetah

27% success

Aardvark

0% success

Brown Hyena

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Communications

Power supply notes
Each tent has individual solar panel to power lights. However there is also a small generator used as a battery charging station in the main area.

Communications
There is no cellphone reception, but there is WiFi in each tent. The bandwidth is low - connection is nver guaranteed - but it's usually enough for text emails and WhatsApp messages. The camp has a satellite phone and radio in place for emergencies only.
TV & radio
None
Water supply
Borehole
Water supply notes
Selinda Explorers has a reverse osmosis machine for cleaning drinking water from the borehole. Guests are given a water bottle that is filled up for them before activities etc. Bottled water is available on request.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Yes
Medical care
All senior staff and guides have medical first-aid training. The nearest medical facility is in Maun and the camp has links to a flying- doctor service.
Dangerous animals
High Risk
Fire safety
There are fire extinguishers in each tent.

Activities

  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

    Birdwatching

  • Canoeing

    Canoeing

  • Guided walking safari

    Guided walking safari

  • Helicopter

    Helicopter

  • Night drive

    Night drive

Extras

Disabled access
Not Possible
Laundry facilities
Selinda Explorers does not have a laundry service. Washing powder is provided in the tents for items to be hand washed.
Money
There is no currency exchange here. There are safes in the tents.
Accepted payment on location
If you wish to tip, which is optional, then bring cash with you. Cash is accepted in any major currency and the camp has an old-fashioned swipe card machine for Visa and MasterCard, but not Amex.

Other lodges in Kwando-Linyanti area

Alternative places to stay in this same area.


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