An Introduction to Chobe National Park

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An Introduction to Chobe National Park

Ready to visit Chobe?
Contact Us

by Okavango Expeditions

Chobe National Park

Come to the Chobe National Park in Botswana, Africa and experience the planet’s most exotic flora and fauna. The park’s natural environment and amazing biodiversity create an unforgettable wildlife paradise set among stunning African landscapes.

Botswana is in the central part of southern Africa, and the national park is situated in the northern part of the nation near the vast Okavango Delta and along the winding Chobe River.

elephants at chobe national park

Getting to Chobe National Park

Visitors coming from the Zambian side of Victoria Falls can take the ferry over the river by the Kazangula border. The M10 from Livingstone leads to the border. This route is no more than 80kms and takes around one hour and 45 minutes. Another route similar in distance, but perhaps a bit quicker, is the A33 from Victoria Falls which passes through the Zambezi National Park and into Kasane.

We’re a 1300km drive from Johannesburg via Francistown and Nata. After crossing the border at Martin’s Drift, head straight to Francistown for the A3 which runs from Francistown to Nata and then on into Kasane.

Kasane has a small international airport that stays quite busy. Air Botswana offers services between Gaborone and Kasane, and SA Airlink has flights between Johannesburg and Kasane.

Several gates lead to the park. Sedudu Gate near Kasane is in the park’s northeast corner. The Ngoma gate near Namibia can be accessed by the road that runs through the park for 54 kilometers. This gate is convenient for visitors coming from Namibia and Chobe Enclave. The Mababe is the park’s southern entrance and is accessible via a route that connects to the Moremi Game Reserve.

lioness, chobe national park

Chobe’s wildlife

This very vast park is divided into four distinct areas: the Chobe Riverfront, Savute, Linyanti, and the Nogatsaa area. Each region offers spell-binding game rides and a huge variety of animals.

The Riverfront has the densest congregation of animals since during the dry season, between April and October, herds of elephants and Cape buffalo gather here. However, animals are present year-round, and a visit to this part of the park is perfect anytime.

Choose from a motorboat cruise or a 4WD drive along the riverbanks for close-up encounters with fascinating creatures such as giraffe, hippo, buffalo, antelope, zebra, and wildebeest.

In addition to this list of most commonly-seen animals, you may spot the more elusive leopard, the rare puku and red lechwe antelopes.

Savute is in a remote corner of the park and stretches from the north boundary to Linyanti River. The Savute Channel has begun to flow once again in recent years transforming the area back to its lush, marshy state and attracting large numbers of wildlife. Bull elephants spend the winters here, and zebras and impalas migrate to the grasslands for the summer. Giraffes come to feed around the tracts with Acacia trees.

leopard, chobe

Situated north of Savuti, the area of Linyanti is in another corner of the park and home to the Linyanti River. he Linyanti Swamp is gorgeous and tranquil with a large diversity of game. The beauty and remoteness of the area make it a favorite for safaris. Further west, you’ll reach the Selinda Reserve and the Mamili National Park on the Kwando River. ( Mamili is in Namibia )

At the start of the winter season, herds of elephants gather here and move back inland for the rainy season. Other animals commonly seen in this area include lion, hippo, roan, sable, and wild dogs. Birdwatching in the Linyanti region is spectacular all year. Listen for fish-eagles screaming overhead as they dive for fish. The marshes are also home to red lechwe, sitatunga, and crocodiles. Along the waterways, you’ll spot zebra, kudu, impala, buffalo, and waterbuck.

Even more remote and distinctive, the Nogatsaa area has vast grasslands with deciduous woodlands. Natural clay-bottom pans are full during the rainy season and are supplemented by borehole water during the dry season. Raised wooden platforms called hides attract amazing game such as herds of elephants and antelopes and curious species like the oryx, oribi, and eland. The Ngwezumba River originates here running west of the area and is lined with trees for an abundance of birdlife.

Chobe River Boat Cruise

Ways to Experience Chobe National Park

Whether by foot, land vehicle, or boat, visitors can experience this part of the African Bush with different perspectives through a variety of activities. The park has professional, local guides with many years of experience. It’s best to let them introduce the park and explain animal habitats and behaviour.

Game drives

Going on at least one game drive while visiting the park is a must-do. Driving by vehicle will give you a chance to note the stunning landscapes, ecosystems, and wildlife through close-up encounters.

Boat cruises

Sunset boat cruises are favourites for viewing the breath-taking beauty of Africa and are popular with birders and photographers. Going by boat is the best way to watch the large herds cross the river, and you’ll likely see a number of hippos and crocodiles.

Photographic safaris

Amateurs and pros alike will appreciate the availability of professional photographers and state-of-the-art-gear for a photographic safari. Fantastic wildlife photo opportunities await either by vehicle or by boat.

photography safari, chobe

Game drives

The river has an abundance of fish, and fishing is popular for both beginner and experienced anglers. Fishing trips are easily organized with an experienced guide and gear provided. Catch an iconic Tigerfish, several species of bream, and more.

Fishing

For the ultimate safari experience a mobile safari ticks all the boxes. Small intimate camps in remote areas of Chobe and Botswana ensure the very best African wilderness experience. A mobile safari experience means your camp and staff travel with you into remote areas and can vary from participation style camping to full-on luxury tents with staff and en-suite facilities.

Mobile safaris

For the ultimate safari experience a mobile safari ticks all the boxes. Small intimate camps in remote areas of Chobe and Botswana ensure the very best African wilderness experience. A mobile safari experience means your camp and staff travel with you into remote areas and can vary from participation style camping to full-on luxury tents with staff and en-suite facilities.

chobe sunset

When to visit the park

This area of Botswana has two distinct seasons. The rainy season lasts from November until the end of March with hot days and cooler nights. Most of the rain falls during the late afternoons and at night. The days are dry with relatively low humidity despite the warm temperature. April ushers in the dry season and daytime temps stay lower before rising again in October. Dress warmly for early morning game drives in the dry season.

Both seasons offer unique safari experiences. Chobe’s birdlife is best during the rainy season while the vegetation is lush and green. The Saute zebra migration also occurs. During the dry season, huge herds of the parks famous elephants and buffalos are drawn to Chobe’s river banks.

From May to December is the best time for camping safaris, but it’s great to experience the changing of the seasons, and you’ll see plenty of wildlife on day visits during the rainy season.

Visit Chobe to experience this unforgettable part of Africa!

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