Chobe National Park
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Covering 11,700 km² of the northern Kalahari, Chobe is the third-largest and most visited national park in Botswana. Renowned for its abnormally large prides of lions and herds of elephants, Chobe is an wildlife-lovers paradise. The Big Five, African wild dogs, cheetah and a host of other iconic species can also be found in on a tailor-made Chobe safari holiday, viewed either from a 4×4 or on a river cruise.
About Chobe National Park
The Chobe riverfront is the most popular area with visitors to the park due to its close proximity to Kasane and Victoria Falls. Guests can enjoy game drives and river cruises as they search for the megafauna and flora for which Chobe is famed. Huge hippos and crocodiles patrol the waters as colourful carmine bee-eaters build nests in the riverbanks.
The Savuti marshes to the west of Chobe National Park are an exciting escape away from the often-busy waterfront. The landscape here is unique, having been arid for a period of 70 years before mysteriously flooding again in 2010. These irregular flooding patterns have been recorded for over 100 years and still confuse scientists. The marshlands host a huge amount of wildlife including an abundance of predators. Savuti’s lions are renowned elephant hunters, something you’re unlikely to see anywhere else in Africa. The Savuti grasslands are also the best place in the Chobe region to see cheetah, hyena and the African wild dog.
Chobe Wildlife Safaris
Chobe is widely regarded as the best place in Africa to see elephants. There are approximately 120,000 elephants here in northern Botswana, the highest concentration on the continent. Elephants migrate between the Serondela area (known as the Chobe riverfront) and the salt pans in the south-east of the park. During the dry season, some of the biggest herds in Africa form on the floodplains of the river. Massive herds of buffalo can also be found here during these months.
The famous Big Five can all be found on a bespoke safari in Chobe National Park although sightings of rhino are extremely rare. Lions are present across the park and sightings can be particularly exciting in the Savuti and Linyanti regions. Leopards are most commonly seen in the riverine forest but are characteristically shy cats so to see one is a real treat.
Other iconic species seen on luxury Chobe safaris include cheetah and the rare African wild dog, with both species preferring the open grasslands of the Savuti area. Giraffe, wildebeest, zebra and 19 varieties of antelope also make their homes within the park, whilst down in the river, crocodiles and hippos are often spotted.
Game drives and river boat safaris in Chobe are the best ways to enjoy wildlife viewing here, with specialist photographic and birding safaris also available. Leisurely lunch cruises are popular, as well as fishing and visits to local villages for authentic cultural experiences. Day trips to the thundering Victoria Falls can also be arranged from Chobe National Park.
Birding in Chobe National Park
There are over 450 recorded species of bird in Chobe National Park and the area has the highest concentration of raptors in Southern Africa. Chobe’s riverfront is a real birding hotspot. Giant kingfishers, carmine bee-eaters and green-backed herons can all be found in this area along with birding specials such as the malachite kingfisher and the African skimmer.
Chobe’s Linyanti marshland is widely regarded among the best birding destinations in Botswana. A combination of Okavango and dry woodland species can be found here, including the Dickinson’s kestrel, slaty egret and racket-tail roller. Bird watching in Chobe National Park is the highlight of many Botswana holidays.
Best Places to Stay in Chobe National Park
There is a variety of different options for Chobe accommodation, suitable for everyone from honeymooners to those on a Chobe family safari holiday. Some of the most popular lodges are located on the Chobe riverfront, but there are also options further upriver and in the Savuti and Linyanti areas for those looking to escape the crowds.
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Best Time to Visit Chobe National Park
Chobe’s dry season typically occurs from May to November. During these months wildlife tends to congregate closer to the banks of the Chobe River and so is easier to find. August to October is a particularly good period for game viewing.
The wet season occurs between December and April, when game viewing is still good and birding in Chobe is excellent. Showers tend to be short and do not cause too much disruption to travel.
Weather During the Year
How to Book a Chobe National Park Safari Holiday
To discuss your Botswana safari holiday, Chobe safari packages and tailor-made itineraries, speak to one of our Botswana experts today by contacting us.