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Chobe – Renowned for Its Gentle Giants

Chobe – Renowned for Its Gentle Giants

Chobe National Park is one of Africa’s finest game sanctuaries – famed for its herds of elephant and buffalo. The sheer volume and diversity of game makes this a magnet for seasoned safari travellers and its accessibility is particularly desirable for first time adventurers to Africa. 

Chobe, in northern Botswana, is a huge park with distinctive landscapes stretching from the top of Botswana to the fringes of the Okavango Delta, some 11,000 sqkms encompassing thick thorn bush, mahogany and teak woodlands, floodplains and swamps.  Such varied habitats attract a profusion of plains species including the endemic Chobe bushbuck and the puku.  Predator sightings are usually outstanding and you can expect to see leopard, cheetah, wild dog and large prides of lion.

Great game viewing in Chobe is virtually guaranteed all year round and when teamed up with a stay at Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, you will have an exceptional holiday combination!  It also has a superb selection of lodges and camps that offer some of the finest river safaris in Africa.  For those who want a longer safari, it is well worth continuing your journey further into Botswana or Zambia for an outstanding game viewing experience.

Chobe is a thrilling and romantic destination that is perfect for a honeymoon or for celebrating a special anniversary.

 

 

 

at a glance

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Introduction

Regarded as a classic location for safari and big-game hunters, Chobe is renowned for great predator populations and the world’s largest concentration of elephant. Covering 11,700km² and situated along the Chobe River, 60 miles west of Victoria Falls; the second largest park in Botswana offers a diversity of environments. Ranging from riverine forests, ancient floodplains and acacia woodlands to the Chobe River and Savuti Channel, the national park provides a chance to indulge your senses in a wealth of sights and sounds. Chobe offers a variety of activities to embark upon, ranging from game drives to river cruises and guided walks, all of which provide spectacular viewing and photography opportunities. Renowned for its spectacular Kalahari elephant population, the largest in size of all known elephants, populations can reach 50,000 in the dry season. Frequently spotted swimming the Chobe River from the northern swamps to the southern forests, boat cruises is one of the best ways to view these magnificent animals, along with further impressive waterfront wildlife. Crocodiles and huge pods of hippos are permanent residents, as are large herds of buffalo which gather on the river banks to drink during the dry season. Wildebeest, impala, zebra, vervet monkey and giraffe roam the area, along with lion and spotted hyena which are the dominant predators. Infrequent sightings of leopard and wild dog do occur with the best sightings of Cheetah on the Savuti Marshes. Towards the north of the park, black-backed jackals are occasionally spotted, whereas the side-striped jackals are most common in the southern areas. The Ngwezumba Pans are probably the only place in Chobe with a chance of seeing gemsbok or oryx, along with roan antelope. In contrast, the Chobe Riverfront region is more populated with bushbuck aside the river and red lechwe and puku on the floodplains. With over 450 species of birds, Chobe is one of the best locations for bird enthusiasts, particularly during the summer. The rare Pel’s Fishing Owl can be spotted at night as can migrant species such as Kingfishers, Reed Cormorants, Fish Eagles and African Skimmers near Hippo Pools. The lagoons attract pygmy geese and moorhens while storks, herons and egrets accumulate around island fringes and floodplains.  Forested areas are populated with oxpeckers and hornbills in contrast to the open grasslands which are home to yellow-throated sandgrouse, quail and Stanley’s bustard, with the occasional solitary secretary bird and kori bustard roaming. Chobe is also home to a wide range of raptors, snake eagles and hawks, however a highlight between February and April is in the acacia woodlands where rollers and whydahs are in full breeding plumage. The area has a collection of spectacularly situated safari lodges along the Chobe River which deliver first class spectacles of the local wildlife, all from the comfort of a deckchair. However, due to its close proximity to Victoria Falls, the area can get very busy in the dry season as it is a tourist honeypot site.

When To Visit

The Chobe is generally considered an all year round safari location; however its peak months are from May to October during the dry season. January to April:  January and February are the peak rainy months. The bush comes to life as stunning wild flowers emerge and bird life is abundant. Forested areas are populated with coucals, oxpeckers and hornbills whereas rollers and whydahs inhabit acacia woodlands in breeding plumage between February and April. Many animals give birth during this period of abundant grazing, such as zebra which foal in Savute between March and April, making these months a delightful time to visit. May and June: The beginning of peak season coincides with large migrations of game including elephant and buffalo congregating along the Chobe Riverfront and other permanent water sources when the hinterland begins to dry. Small flocks of African Skimmers (only found in Chobe) are best seen in June and early July. This is the most advisable time to go on a riverboat trip as the game viewing is second to none. July to September: During the dry season, large game populations remain around the Chobe River and permanent river sources which make these months a good time to go on a riverboat trip as game is most visible. However, zebra migrate to Linyanti concession in July so are less commonly seen. October to December: October is the hottest month, and although renowned for being the best time for game viewing, it is also the most uncomfortable due to high humidity and an abundance of mosquitoes. Birdlife is at its best and pastures burst into life at the onset of the rains in late November, bringing a colourful spectrum of African birdlife and numerous migrant species. This time of year is also the peak breeding period for antelope and zebra. Large herds begin to disperse 200km south and east into forests and open grasslands and much of the clay soiled land is inaccessible when the rains arrive.

Temperature & Rainfall

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Chobe Highlights

Chobe Elephants

Chobe Elephants

Chobe Elephants

The Chobe River supports the largest concentration of elephant found anywhere in Africa and ...

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Chobe Elephants

Chobe Elephants

The Chobe River supports the largest concentration of elephant found anywhere in Africa and especially in the dry season makes for spectacular game viewing.

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Mobile Luxury Safaris

Mobile Luxury Safaris

Mobile Luxury Safaris

Comfortable mobile safari tents with ensuite bathrooms with flush w.c. and steaming hot bucket ...

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Mobile Luxury Safaris

Mobile Luxury Safaris

Comfortable mobile safari tents with ensuite bathrooms with flush w.c. and steaming hot bucket shower enable exclusive game viewing in the game rich Chobe National Park.

Photo Credit: andbeyond

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Boat Safaris

Boat Safaris

Boat Safaris

The Chobe River is the scene for some of the best game viewing in Southern Africa, especially ...

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Boat Safaris

Boat Safaris

The Chobe River is the scene for some of the best game viewing in Southern Africa, especially during the dry season for huge herds of elephants, crocodiles and hippos.

Photo Credit: andbeyond

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Wildlife Spectacles

Wildlife Spectacles

Wildlife Spectacles

Safari highlights while on the Chobe riverfront obviously include hippos and crocodiles. But also ...

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Wildlife Spectacles

Wildlife Spectacles

Safari highlights while on the Chobe riverfront obviously include hippos and crocodiles. But also Chobe offers sightings of puku and Chobe bushbuck, two localised antelope species found nowhere else in the region.

Photo credit: Muchenje Lodge

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Zambezi Queen

Zambezi Queen

Zambezi Queen

The Zambezi Queen - A boutique floating hotel is a unique river safari experience traversing 25 km ...

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Zambezi Queen

Zambezi Queen

The Zambezi Queen – A boutique floating hotel is a unique river safari experience traversing 25 km of the Chobe River in luxury whilst soaking up the beautiful scenery that unfolds.

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Photographic Safari

Photographic Safari

Photographic Safari

The Chobe River is a great place to hone your photographic skills. Specialised safari workshops ...

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Photographic Safari

Photographic Safari

The Chobe River is a great place to hone your photographic skills. Specialised safari workshops run throughout the year focusing on both land and water based photographic opportunities.

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camps & lodges

Camp Linyanti

Camp Linyanti

Camp Linyanti is an undiscovered gem tucked away in the north western corner of Chobe National Park.   Remote, unspoilt, with the ... Read More

Chobe Game Lodge

Chobe Game Lodge

Iconic Chobe Game Lodge, on the banks of the Chobe River, is the only safari lodge within the Chobe National Park, and boasts panoramic views over ... Read More

Chobe Safari Lodge

Chobe Safari Lodge

Chobe Safari Lodge is situated in Kasane on the banks of Chobe River and borders Chobe National Park.  The Lodge therefore offers an excellent ... Read More

Chobe Savanna Lodge

Chobe Savanna Lodge

Chobe Savanna Lodge, located in the north eastern region of Namibia's Caprivi strip is the perfect hideaway from which to experience the Chobe River ... Read More

Chobe Under Canvas

Chobe Under Canvas

&Beyond Chobe under Canvas offers comfortable mobile safari tents at private campsites in one of the top wildlife areas in the world - Chobe ... Read More

Muchenje Safari Lodge

Muchenje Safari Lodge

Muchenje Safari Lodge is situated within the Chobe Forest Reserve on the exclusive western side of the Chobe National Park. The 11 thatched chalets ... Read More