Chobe National Park, Botswana: Wildlife Paradise
If you’re a fan of the world’s biggest, gentle land giants, then the Chobe National Park needs to be your next safari destination. There are believed to be between 50 000 and 100 000 of these magnificent mammals in the park. If you’ve always wanted to see an elephant up close in its natural surroundings, the Chobe is the perfect place to do so!
The park also showcases one of the largest wildlife concentrations in Africa. With over 12 000 square kilometres of lush vegetation and diverse habitats, the Chobe offers some spectacular game viewing opportunities.
In this post, we’ll look at the Chobe National Park and how to get there. We’ll also explain why it’s the perfect spot for a safari vacation and look at some great Chobe lodges.
Chobe National Park: An Introduction
The Chobe National Park isn’t the biggest park in Botswana, but it was the first. It is also the most biologically diverse out of the country’s parks. The Chobe encompasses many different types of habitats including marshes, lush floodplains, thick woodlands, and of course, the Chobe River.
More About the Chobe Elephants
As said before, the park is incredibly famous for its elephant population. These are Kalahari elephants, the largest of their kind.
In the dry season, the elephants congregate around the Chobe and Linyanti rivers. During the rainy seasons, they embark on a 200-kilometre journey to the south-eastern region of the park.
Something interesting to note about this park is that it has a population of lions known to prey on elephant calves and juveniles. This is unusual of lions. It leads many to wonder if perhaps nature has found its own way of trying to keep the elephant population down.
How to Get to the Chobe, Botswana
Chobe National Park is situated in the north-west of Botswana, near to the borders of Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. A popular jumping-off point for the Chobe is Kasane, a small town near to the previously mentioned borders.
As the town is considered to be the gateway to the Chobe, many visitors fly into Kasane airport and then transfer to their respective lodges or accommodation in and around the park. We’d suggest booking a private charter flight to Kasane or a nearby airstrip, so you can travel in comfort while taking in the surrounds from a birds-eye view.
Why Book a Chobe Safari Vacation?
Asides from its hefty elephant population, what else makes the Chobe such an inviting safari destination? Here are three reasons for you!
Prime Birding Destination
Over 450 species of birds make the Chobe National Park a birder’s paradise. From pelicans to bustards to African fish eagles and giant kingfishers, you’ll be amazed at the colourful variety of feathered creatures.
It’s important to know that many of these species are migratory. This means that the wetter, warmer summer months are the best time to visit if you’re a bird watcher. Aim to plan a trip between December and March if that’s the case.
Unparalleled Water-Based Game Sightings
For those in the know, you can snap some breath-taking photos at the Chobe River. From witnessing a baby elephant being helped out of a mud trench by its family to capturing a bird of prey mid-dive, you’ll leave with a photo album filled with special safari memories.
An additional bonus is the availability of boat-based safaris. Seeing animals from a boat offers a completely new perspective and allows you to enjoy nature at a different pace. You’ll also be able to get close to crocodiles and hippos in their natural habitat from the safety of a deck.
If you book a boat safari, opt for an afternoon trip as you’ll see more animals coming down to drink during this time.
Great Combination with Victoria Falls
The continent’s largest waterfall and one of the seven natural wonders, Victoria Falls is legendary. It’s a bucket list destination and is only a short drive from the Chobe National Park. The waterfall sits on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe and is about 108 metres high and 1 700 metres wide.
Many Chobe trips and tours include a stop at Victoria Falls. But, if you’re staying in and around the park, it’s definitely a great move to spend a whole day at the waterfall. Then, you can see the falls from the Zimbabwean and the Zambian side!
Best Way to Experience the Chobe
The Chobe is positioned close enough to the Linyanti Wetlands and Victoria Falls to make for a multi-stop trip. You can experience the best in river-front game viewings in the park, head to Linyanti to explore the marshy wilderness, and also witness the spectacular sight of the Falls. All in one go!
Looking to add some striking destinations to your trip? Take a look at our Botswana Experience It posts to discover the best places to add to your itinerary.
Book a Stay at a Chobe Lodge
Image by Angie Göttling from Pixabay
To really make your safari vacation an unforgettable one, we’d recommend staying at a lodge in the Chobe. Since the area is in a highly concentrated “Lodge and Airstrip” region, you won’t have any trouble booking flights between camps and desired destinations.
Ghoha Hills Savuti Lodge offers a unique safari experience in an eco-friendly environment on the ledges of Ghoha Hills in the Chobe National Park. After a beautiful day exploring Africa, you’ll love retiring to your luxury tented room with plush bedding and atmospheric mosquito nets.
For a tranquil riverside retreat, Sanctuary Retreats‘ Chobe Chilwero Lodge is a fantastic option. This lodge is located on the edge of the park, on the outskirts of town – tranquility is key with only the odd roar of a lion or call of a hyena to be heard, and offers stunning panoramic views across the islands and floodplains as far as Namibia. There’s even a spa so you can relax and enjoy a pamper session.
If you’re looking for an exclusive wildlife safari vacation, consider Great Plain’s Selinda and Zarafa camps in Linyanti. Linyanti is a private reserve that borders the western side of the park.
Selinda Camp is located on a palm island with gorgeous views of the Selinda Spillway, palm trees, and yellow floodplains. Zarafa Camp looks towards the Zibadianja Lagoon and showcases four luxuriously appointed “marquis-style” tents for their guests’ pleasure.
Take a look at our map of active airstrips and lodges and begin planning your trip today!