Kings Pool Camp
Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, Botswana
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View images of Kings Pool Camp: Kings
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KINGS POOL CAMP RATES: Kings Pool
KINGS POOL CAMP - LINYANTI WILDLIFE
Kings Pool camp is located in the Linyanti Wildlife
Reserve, bordering the western boundary of the Chobe National Park. The
Kings Pool Lagoon and the Linyanti River. The private reserve is characterized
by open grasslands, Mopane and mixed terminalia woodlands, riverine forest
and the now dry Savuti Channel. This camp is well-known for its herds
of Elephants. The camp and its lagoon take their name from King Leopold
of Sweden who honeymooned here in the mid 1900's. Kings Pool Camp is
owned and operated by Wilderness Safaris.
For images of Kings Pool, click Kings
Pool Images For Layout map of Kings Pool Camp, click Kings Pool
Nine well-appointed tents of canvas and thatch each have a large bedroom area, lounge, private plunge pool and 'sala'. The spacious en-suite bathrooms are tiled with double showers and hand-basins as well as an outdoor shower for those who wish to shower close to nature! Raised walkways allow animals to wander freely through the camp to and from the water. The lounge, dining room and pub areas are on expansive raised decks and there is a pool and an open-air 'kgotla' for dining under the stars.
Kings Pool Camp overlooks the Linyanti River and the oxbow-shaped Kings Pool Lagoon, apparently named after a Scandinavian monarch who spent a number of nights camping out on the banks of the lagoon, long before any camp was built here.
Activities include day and night game drives and walks, while boat cruises along the Linyanti River (water levels allowing) offer spectacular viewing. The reed and papyrus swamps are ideal for numerous and diverse species of birds and are a magnet for game in the dry winter months.
Kings Pool is famed not just for the sights but also the sounds of wildlife all around, to say nothing of its two hides: one located at the western end of the camp where one can spend one's entire siesta time watching game come down to drink. The other is an original underground hide, with the water at eye-level - seeing elephant feet and trunks almost within touching distance while safely inside is an extraordinary experience.
Perhaps the most topical issue for Botswana at present is its very large elephant population and the possible impact on vegetation and other animal species. As a result and in recognition of the fact that in the Selinda and Linyanti Concessions Wilderness Safaris is responsible for one of the two highest-density elephant concentrations in the country, we have facilitated and partially funded two MSc studies examining vegetation impact and are currently hosting a PhD and further MSc researcher examining additional elements of this puzzle.
Botswana has a well-developed network of protected areas, and these include concessions that allow hunting as well as photographic safaris. We have chosen not to hunt in the concessions in which we operate and forfeit approximately US$1.2 million per annum in hunting quotas that we choose not to take up in preference for photographic safaris.
The Linyanti area has a large wildlife resource with a wide variety of species, but it is most noted for its very large elephant population, which can reach enormous densities during the dry winter months. Other game is abundant, such as impala, lechwe, kudu, zebra, giraffe, buffalo and bushbuck, and their predators: lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and spotted hyaena. Rarer species such as sable and roan antelope emerge from the woodlands during the dry season.
NG 15 - The Linyanti Wildlife Reserve
The 125 000-hectare (308 000-acre) private Linyanti Concession bordering Chobe National Park's western boundary is an enormous, wildlife-rich area, shared between just three small camps (DumaTau, Kings Pool and Savuti), which creates an unrivalled atmosphere of remoteness and space.
There are three main features of the Linyanti Concession: the Linyanti River, the woodlands of the interior and the well-known Savute Channel, famous as a sporadic and unusual watercourse. The Channel stopped flowing between 1980 and 2008; during this time it was an open grassland, home to a wide variety of animals. In 2008, the Savute Channel once more flowed, creating a water source that rapidly filled with aquatic life, wide varieties of waterbirds, and hippo, amongst other changes. With two-thirds of the Channel located in the concession, Wilderness guests have private and exclusive access to its abundant game.
These three features together with the floodplains, woodlands, grasslands, palm islands and scrub vegetation of the area harbour one of the densest dry season concentrations of elephant in Botswana - at times the Linyanti must have several thousand elephants roaming around. This phenomenon is one of the main attractions for travellers to northern Botswana, but the area is also important in holding good numbers of predators, providing an integral stronghold for species like the critically endangered wild dog, as well as lion, cheetah and spotted hyaena. The roan antelope found in the area can provide an equal thrill however, as can the high concentration of birds of prey, seasonal zebra congregations and the cathedral-like woodland of mature mopane trees.
Aside from roan, other plains game includes red lechwe, Burchell's zebra, blue wildebeest, impala, common waterbuck, sable, eland, southern giraffe, chacma baboon, vervet monkey, warthog, hippo and Cape buffalo. Nocturnal species often seen are lesser bushbaby, spring hare, aardwolf, serval, large spotted genet and if you are extremely lucky the elusive pangolin!
Birding is outstanding here ranging from the Okavango specials, such as Slaty Egret, Hartlaub's Babbler, African Skimmer, Allen's Gallinule and Wattled Crane, to the drier mopane woodland species like Racket-tailed Roller, Bradfield's Hornbill, White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike, Bennett's Woodpecker, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater and Arnott's Chat. This area is also excellent for Kori Bustard, Ostrich, Secretarybird, and Ground Hornbill with Southern Carmine Bee-eaters in summer. The Savute Channel is famous as an area with a high concentration of eagles and raptors and this area is internationally recognised as an IBA (Important Bird Area), particularly for birds of prey like Dickinson's Kestrel and waterbirds. There are also various owl species to be seen here such as Verreaux's (Giant) Eagle-Owl and African Scops-Owl.
The many varied habitats within these areas - marshes, waterways, riverine forests, dry woodlands and grasslands - and the prolific and diverse wildlife and spectacular scenery together form a wonderful contrast to the Okavango. Adding this area to a Botswana itinerary makes for a varied and balanced experience of the country and in many ways it is an essential complement to a visit to the Okavango.
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