Chobe National Park, in northern Botswana, has one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa. By size, it is the third largest park of the country, after the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Gemsbok National Park, and is the most diverse. It is also the country’s first national park.
Established in 1968, the park covers approximately 11 7 00 sq kms, encompassing floodplains, swamps and woodland. The Chobe River forms its northern boundary. There are four distinct geographical areas in the park: the Chobe Riverfront, the Ngwezumba pans, Savuté and Linyanti.
The most accessible and frequently visited of Botswana’s big game country, the Chobe Riverfront is most famous for its large herds of elephants and cape Buffalo, which during the dry winter months converge upon the river to drink. During the season, on an afternoon game drive, you may see hundreds of elephants at one time. As scores of family herds cross the main road to make their way to the river to drink, bathe and play.
Driving the loops that hug the river’s edge, you may see up to 15 different species of animals on any one game drive, including waterbuck, lechwe, puku (this is the only part of Botswana where they can be seen), giraffe, kudu, roan and sable, impala, warthog, bushbuck, monkeys and baboons, along with the accompanying predators lion, leopard, hyena and jackal.
A river cruise is another great way to experience the park and here you will have the opportunity to get close to hippo, crocodile and many different water birds. You will also see huge numbers of elephant and buffalo on afternoon cruises.
Over 460 bird species have been recorded in the park, making it one of Africa’s premier venues for bird Safaris. Common species to be seen include the Sacred ibis, Egyptian Geese, the ubiquitous cormorants and darters, Spur-winged Geese, pel’s Fishing Owl, carmine Bee-eaters, most members of the kingfisher family, all the rollers, the unmistakable Fish Eagle, the Martial Eagle, and many members of the stork family.
Because of its proximity to Victoria Falls, Chobe is a very busy park, so if you are after a more exclusive safari experience – we would either recommend looking at one of the other National Parks – or booking you into one of the lodges located in the Park away from the main hotels and lodges.