The western sector of Mashatu, which includes the Motloutse River and the Mmamagwa Ruins, offers incredible vistas characterised by the large sandstone outcrops in the area. The Mmamagwa Ruins are the sister ruins to the more famous Mapungubwe Ruins on the southern side of the Limpopo River in South Africa, and provide a fascinating insight into the early indigenous people of the Limpopo Valley. The Motloutse River is famous for being the river in which diamonds were first discovered in Botswana and which resulted in this country now enjoying the highest GDP per capita of any country on the African continent.
This spectacular part of Mashatu can be experienced through walking safaris over 2-3 days in the company of Stuart Quinn, an extremely qualified, experienced and interesting guide.
Botswana is not renowned for walking safaris, such as Zambia or Tanzania, but often, a walking safari will be interspersed with a mokoro trail (a dug out canoe) which one is poled in from island to island. This means there is about 2 hours of walking in the morning and in the afternoons on the various islands.
These islands do have wildlife and we have come across lion whilst on foot at Shinde Island. Exploring these islands on foot is always rewarding as one learns so much more on foot such as the medicinal properties of trees and plants as well as the folklore of the local guides. One stops and takes note of the smaller species, such as the termites and the dung beetles and their intricate role they play in our fragile environment.
Elsewhere, such as the Selinda concession and in Linyanti, we can offers some great bush walking. Linyanti in particular offers full day walks along the river bed in a beautiful area. This region borders Namibia. Selinda is renowned for its concentration of wildlife – including the African wild dog – Africa’s most efficient and elusive predator! This region also has an excellent cheetah and lion population. It is also noted for other rarer species such as the aardwolf.
There are two wonderful tented camps which offer just canoeing and walking on the Selinda concession which we can strongly recommend. The other camp offers walking, fly camping (so one can walk to a mobile camp erected just for you), canoeing, boating in aluminium boats and horse riding.
Whilst none of these camps offer a proper walking safari per se (please see our Zambia and Tanzania walking safaris for these), they do offer the best chance to walk whilst on a safari in Botswana.