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Photograph courtesy of Explore Inc
Botswana
Big Game by Boat

A few years ago, the 320,000 acres of land connecting the Okavango Delta with Botswana’s Linyanti marshes were a trophy hunter’s paradise. Then along came National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert, who bought and transformed the region into the Selinda Reserve, a private sanctuary for lions, elephants, cape buffalo, leopards, and the rare aardwolf. The reserve’s centerpiece is the Selinda Spillway, a river that pours across the savanna, linking the delta with the marshes and providing thousands of animals with a massive watering hole. This year, the Spillway is at its highest level in three decades, which means more buffalo and elephants will come for a drink—and with them, more predators. To showcase the gathering, Explore Inc will lead canoe-camping trips in 2010. Expect an old-school safari vibe—camp consists of simple dome tents and bucket showers—and a staff-to-guest ratio of 1:2. “You’re canoeing waters that have never been canoed before because they haven’t even existed for years,” says Cherri Briggs, Explore Inc’s owner. By boat you can drift silently up to thirsty animals and spot predators (like crocodiles and leopards) from the water, raising your odds of seeing a kill.

Outfitter: Explore Inc; exploreafrica.net
Price: $1,450 ($$$$)
Length: 3 days
Departs: May–October

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