Chobe National Park is one of the greatest wildlife destinations you can ever visit in Botswana. It is considered to have one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa. Its vegetation is lush, dense and it consists of many different smaller ecosystems. If there is one thing you should know about Chobe is that it is the land of the giants, boats of having a large elephant population.
Although Chobe is worth visiting all year round, the best time to visit is during the dry months (May-October), when the animals stay close to the Chobe River for water. The rainy season is also good, especially for birdwatching.
Wildlife in Chobe National Park are wild dog, wildebeest, buffalo, civet, crocodile, giraffe, hippo, hyena, leopard, lion, puku, elephant, tsessebe, zebra, and much more. Birdlife in Chobe along the river is endless, over 400 species have been recorded!
Chobe National Park is located in the Northern part of Botswana and it expands across an area of 11 700 square km. This makes it the third largest park in the country after the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Gemsbok National Park. It is a GANP Ambassador park. The park can be divided into 4 different areas, The Chobe Riverfront, The Savuti Marsh area, Linyati Marsh, and Nogatsaa (each with different ecosystems).
Going on a Safari In Chobe National Park is like going to a wildlife haven. You will feast your eyes on the beauty of nature and appreciate the diversity in ecosystems. Your guide will be there every step of the way to explain in detail about the area and its wildlife. Your Botswana Safari might look something like this; you will drive for a few metres along the impressive Chobe Riverfront. An elephant family slowly walks across the road, intending to bathe.
You can hear the dull sound of heavy feet in the sand, breathing and whiffing, and occasional trumpeting from these beautiful, mighty creatures as you gaze at this amazing scene. The up-close and personal encounters with wildlife at Chobe National Park are among the most awe-inspiring safari experiences, and we can assure you that you will have many of them during your visit. Welcome to the park with some of Africa's highest game density.
There are several different ways that you can use to get to Chobe. The park has such a strategic location, close to several borders making it easily accessible from Zimbabwe, Zambia as well as from Botswana.
Getting To Chobe From Zambia
Livingstone is linked to the ferry at the Kazungula border by the M10 road. You can use this and then drive 80km into Chobe.
Getting to Chobe from Zimbabwe
The easiest way to Chobe from Zimbabwe is to use the A33 road that passes through Zambezi National Park from Victoria Falls on its way to Kasane in Botswana.
Getting to Chobe from Kasane
You can enter Chobe through several gates; there is Sedudu Gate near Kasane, the Ngoma Gate near Namibia and The Mababe Gate to the south that ultimately connects Chobe with the Moremi Game Reserve.
Chobe has a warm to hot climate, and it is characterised by a Dry and Wet season. The Dry season months run from May to August and are the coolest. The wet season runs from November to March and is the warmest season. Rainfall is highest between December and March. The average daily temperatures in the Dry season start at 30°C in April and by October they’ll be at a very hot 35°C. In the Wet season it can get extremely hot and temperatures can reach 40°C resulting in the heavy storms of January and February.
The last rainfall showers that mark the end of the Wet season usually fall in April. From May, the park becomes very dry. In June and July, the park experiences cool weather, the coolest all year round. Temperatures however begin increasing in August and are at their peak in October.
When choosing the Best Time To Visit Chobe National Park, it is important to consider the seasons and what to expect at that time. It is nearly impossible to choose between the two seasons however because Chobe deserves to be visited during both. Summer "green season" birding is at its best, and the area is at its most lush and beautiful. This is also the time of year when the Savute zebra migrates. In contrast, the dry season is notable for its elephant population.
Chobe National Park is open all year. The park's wildlife migrates with the seasons. The riverfront area is best explored during the dry season, which runs from May to October. The months of August to October are ideal for wildlife viewing here, but they are extremely hot. Many animals, particularly plains zebras, migrate to the Savute Marsh during the wet months, while Linyanti is best toured from April onwards.
The more money you have, the more private and exclusive your safari can be. Aside from personalised service and luxurious accommodations, the best advantage of staying in a private concession is the quality of game viewing available (not of the wildlife but of the actual experience).
During peak safari season (roughly July to October), Chobe National Park can become extremely crowded, and you'll most likely share animal sightings with other vehicles and groups, including self-drivers and day-trippers. A private safari includes a private guide, vehicle, and a slice of pristine wilderness to explore and although might be a bit expensive, is very worth it.
Chobe National Park is the world's elephant capital, with over 120,000 elephants roaming the park. With Chobe you are guaranteed to see elephants. The Kalahari elephant is the largest species of elephant, but its tusks are relatively short. Visitors will be able to see the elephants from the water as well as on land.
When visitors arrive in Chobe, they will be ecstatic to see their first herd of elephants. By the end of the day, the typical response is, "Oh, more elephants." The excitement for elephant sightings fades as the day progresses because there are so many of them. Elephant sightings in Chobe National Park are the closest thing Africa has to a guarantee of wildlife sightings. There are so many elephants in the area because of the amount of shade as well as the availability of food and water.
Abundant Wildlife & Birdlife
Chobe National Park has one of the highest concentrations of wildlife on the continent. Bird-watching enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunities that Chobe safaris provide. While heading down the Chobe River and along its banks, you can see a variety of bird species such as the Fish Eagle, Martial Eagle, Kingfisher, Pel's Fishing Owl, and many others. Egyptian geese, Sacred Ibis, and all rollers are among the other bird species. Lions can be found hunting elephants in Chobe National Park. They usually target young or tired elephants, but it is more popular in Chobe than in most other African national parks.
You can also see all the animals in the big 5. The Park also provides unique water-based game viewing. You will get the incredible opportunity to see elephant herds swimming across the river, crocodiles sunbathing and hippos opening their mouths up to 150 degrees. You will also encounter zebras, impala, giraffes, sable, Bat-eared foxes, waterbuck, puku and wild dogs.
There is so much you can do in Chobe, its dramatic, diverse landscapes and untamed wildlife can be explored in many different ways. You can explore on foot, by vehicle or by boat. For some, self-drive is the best option whereas to some having an experienced guide adds rich layers of detail and interpretation into the safari.
This is the most popular way to experience Chobe. Nothing gives more thrills than spotting game as you drive along the park. You can either do a game drive in your own vehicle or on a guided safari.
The Chobe River is a beautiful place to cruise along as you view wildlife that is common on the river banks. The river is the source of life to many animals that live in the Park so you are always in for a beautiful wildlife sighting. The most common animals you will see are the herds of elephants splashing their way across the river, crocodiles, hippos and you can hear calls of the African fish eagles.
For those who love fishing then Chobe has you covered. You can go fishing whilst you visit Chobe.
For those who love exploring and adventure mixed with photography then this might be a perfect opportunity for you. You will get the opportunity to capture wildlife and the beautiful scenery of Chobe with professional wildlife photographers.
A mobile safari ticks all the boxes for the ultimate adventure holiday. Small camps in the remote areas provide the best wilderness experiences. On a mobile safari, you move with your camp and staff to pristine locations.
Victoria Falls Day Trip
Whilst you are in Chobe, you can choose to cross into Zimbabwe or Zambia to see the Victoria Falls. This is good as you can combine Vic Falls with your Chobe Safari Trip because it will be nearby.
Chobe National Park has some of the best lodges and camps in the country and we recommend you stay at some of the few listed below.
Chobe Safari Lodge
Guests at the Chobe Safari Lodge have the opportunity to choose between a numbers of accommodation types. This makes it the best value for money lodge amongst all the lodges in Chobe. There are 22 luxurious River Rooms that overlook the Chobe River. Family Rooms are also available. The River Room complex has a beautiful garden next to the Chobe River and it is connected to the main building at the Chobe Safari Lodge by means of a viewing deck.
Chobe Savanna Lodge
Chobe Savanna Lodge sits on the bank of the Chobe River, right at the northern part of the Chobe National Park. The main emphasis of Chobe Savanna Lodge is to ‘chill down’ and it definitely is suited for that.
Muchenje Safari Lodge
Muchenje Safari Lodge is such a great value lodge. Out of all the Chobe lodges, it has the best views. It is privately-owned and is situated away from the crowds that the Park has become infamous for. The lodge has a great unpretentious safari atmosphere and is more economical than other lodges. Another advantage of Muchenje is that along with all the other activities like boating and game drives, you can do a walking safari and do night drives. This is the only lodge in the park where this is possible.
Chobe Chilwero is one lodge that provides luxurious accommodation in Chobe. It has great views, excellent service and absolutely beautiful rooms that make this one of the best choices for accommodation. It is beautiful and allows you to experience an epitome of luxury but however this camp is not for the authentic safari lover!.
Chobe Game Lodge
Despite the size of the lodge, there is no comparable experience in Africa. We love this place because of the amazing rooms, facilities, and service, as well as the best views and largest concentrations of game in Botswana. It's ideal for a two or three-night stop before heading off into deeper and more remote camps for the rest of your trip.
Chobe Under Canvas
This camp is run by & beyond, a company that is known for providing some of the best safari products in Africa due to their emphasis on quality food and drink as well as a high standard of guiding. Chobe Under Canvas certainly lives up to its name. Overall, a truly stunning mobile camp that is remarkably well-designed.
To be honest, you don't need a completely new wardrobe for a Chobe safari adventure. Simply leave your brightly colored attire at home and pack lightly. Bring some light fabrics and loose-fitting clothing in soothing colors that dries quickly.Bring a scarf and a warm sweater (or jacket). Temperatures drop in the mornings and evenings, so warm clothing is essential on a game drive. If you're still shivering, camps also offer 'bush babies' (and you will soon find out what those are).
Although Chobe safari lodges usually provide everything you could want, bringing your own tools is both fun and useful. So, what are you going to bring? Here are some things we always pack in our suitcases:
Summer December to February is peak rainy season in Chobe, and the Riverside area receives more rain than anywhere else in Botswana: up to 650mm a year. The great herds won’t be visiting the Riverside, but elephants and hippo are always present. Vegetation everywhere will be splendidly lush and the herds dispersed. By now, trees like the sour plum, African Mangosteen and marula trees are fruiting: taste them! “Green season” is the time to look for excellent accommodation specials. Savuti can be very good at this time of the year. Migrant birds will be swooping about all over the park. “Green season” is the time to look for excellent accommodation specials. Malaria risks are higher in summer, so get advice on the correct precautions to take before travelling.
Summer – the rains continue. Spectacular cumulus thunderheads build up and explode, drenching the earth in water and sound. For all the energy of the storms, most are over in a couple of hours. Nogatsaa can simply be too wet to traverse at this time. Birding is fantastic in all regions, with the migrants present and correct. “Green season” is also the time to look for excellent accommodation specials. Malaria risks are higher in summer, so get advice on the correct precautions to take before travelling.
Autumn – March usually sees the last of the rains and the bush is verdant. A lovely time for those happy to enjoy the space, big skies and landscapes and prepared to spend a little more time on the move looking for good game sightings. Nogatsaa can simply be too wet to traverse at this time. Zebra could be migrating through Savuti at this time. Nearby Victoria Falls will be in full flood if the rains were good, so consider an add-on. March and April are when the malaria risks are highest on the Chobe Riverside.
Autumn – Zebra and Wildebeest begin their return migrations towards the permanent rivers as water sources and the bush begins to dry out. Savuti and Nogatsaa can see a migration of zebra in April and May. Low temperatures drop below 20°. The last summer bird migrants are on the wing, heading north again until the next rains. A good time to visit Savuti – and the central areas of the park if not too wet.
Winter – Some say Botswana is the most beautiful country in Africa this month – and it’s still shoulder season, so specials can be found. Temperatures are definitely cooler in mornings and evenings, take layers. Kasane and the Chobe Riverside will be getting busier as high season approaches. Game of all kinds will start to be drawn to water sources and is easier to see, but it’s still a little early to guarantee enormous herds. Nogatsaa can see a mini-migration of zebra and wildebeest in April and May. Towards the end of the month, go tiger hunting – tigerfish that is, “18lb of pure fight”. This is when smaller fishes start moving back from the floodplains to the main river channels. Late May and June see feeding frenzies as tigerfish lie in wait.
Winter – It’s cold at night and in the early mornings (temperatures can drop close to 0°) so take warm extra layers for game drives, but sunshine is almost guaranteed. It’s the start of high season, so you will be meeting other vehicles on the roads and sharing sightings, especially on the Chobe River. But what sightings! Day by day there will be more elephant, plus buffalo, crocs and much more. Savute will be dry now, but permanent boreholes attract thirsty animals and competition for the precious water makes for great sightings. Self-driving adventurers can tackle the park’s dirt roads, not always possible in wet season: this is a good time to drive to Nogatsaa, although game will be moving north. It’s also prime time for tiger fishing at the Riverside.
Winter – The coldest month. Nights can get close to zero, although the days warm right up. The elephant extravaganza continues on the Chobe and Linyanti Rivers. Literally hundreds can be seen at the river at a time, as well as great herds of buffalo. It’s peak high season, which also means more park visitors – so if you want peace, it may be worth heading to the further reaches of the park or the private concessions of Linyanti and Selinda. Linyanti’s prime game watching window period is also the winter months, and the area is known for wild dogs. The dogs den this month, making these sought-after predators easier to find.
Winter – It’s still cold enough to really need warm layers for early mornings and evenings. Wild dog puppy season! (The Linyanti concession areas are the best place to see them.) And the numbers of elephant at Chobe Riverside proves why Chobe is rated one of the best places in the world to admire the giants. It’s still high season, which means more park visitors as well as more elephant – so if you want peace, it may be worth paying extra and heading to the further reaches of the park or the private concessions of Linyanti. The Selinda Spillway may have enough water for mokoro paddling. Fishing alert: there’s a barbell run in the Kasai Channel, and it’s still a good time for tiger.
Spring – It’s pretty hot by day now, with Kasane temperatures averaging about 30° Celcius. The first bird migrants return: yellow-billed kites and carmine bee-eaters are first back; woodland kingfishers come later. Botswana’s Independence Day is celebrated on 30 September. Dry season continues, so once again, the Chobe and Linyanti Rivers are the place to be for big game sightings. The Selinda Spillway may have enough water for mokoro paddling. Tiger fishing on the Chobe River should still be good (although the fish can be caught year-round).
Spring – One of the hottest months in Chobe, with temperatures hitting about 35° to 40°. Elephants will soon start to disperse from the permanent rivers, after which things quieten down a bit in Chobe Riverside. Shoulder season rates kick in, but as there is likely to be little rain, this is still a good month for travellers who like it warm. Good fishing around Impalila Island. Hot nights are also good for sleep-outs and camping.
Summer – Weather is still mostly hot and clear (lows average 20°C; highs 33°C), but “Green Season” begins. The first rains settle the dust (wet, hot African soil smells better than just about anything else on earth). Acacia trees, baobab, sausage tree and apple leaf begin to flower and nutritious grass sprouts up soon after the first showers, triggering calving season. It’s a baby bonanza with skinny-legged herbivores wobbling to their feet all over the bush. It’s also shoulder season, so look out for accommodation specials. November/December sees the beginning of the zebra migration: following ancient migration routes they head south from the Chobe River to enjoy the new grasses at Savuti Marsh and the Mababe Depression and will continue on to the pans further south; they return to the Chobe river area by May.
Summer – Humid, with rain. The wetter weather can bring cooler temperatures, so pack a jacket or jersey. The antelope baby boom peaks: by mid-month, most wildebeest, impala, tsessebe and warthog will have dropped their offspring. Good rains will have soaked the earth and termite alates (the ones with wings, often called flying ants) erupt from the ground, sparking bird feeding frenzies. Even raptors like Steppe eagles love termites. But many park roads become tricky or impassable, so self-drivers should pick a dryer month. A wonderful time to visit Savute.
Being home to 120,000 elephants, Chobe National Park holds the highest elephant concentration in Africa. The long stretched landscape and the ample wildlife make Chobe National Park worth visiting. On the banks of the Chobe River, a large number of rhinoceros and hippopotamus can be seen.
Chobe National park is famous for having the largest elephant population in Botswana. It is home to over 120,000 elephants making it one of the spectacular safari destinations. The Chobe National Park is also perfect for birding, and the Chobe River itself is the best place to see wild animals such as rhinoceros and hippopotamus.
Being the first National Park of Botswana, the Chobe National Park offers the best game viewing game experience. The Chobe National Park is famous for having the largest elephant population, more than 120,000. Not only elephants but also the other animals that can be seen here are lions, buffalo, antelopes, and hippos.
Located in the north of Botswana Chobe National Park is a safe place to visit. The closest city to Chobe National Park is Kasane. You can easily get to the Chobe National Park from Kasane Airport, by charter flight.
If have a very limited time, you recommend you spend at least 3 days and 2 nights. During these days you can go for an early morning game drive and a late afternoon game drive. A game drive in Chobe National Park allows you to see its pristine wildlife and nature.
Definitely, Yes. A safari in Chobe National Park takes you on a journey to explore its vast wildlife from a very close distance. You can easily spot the big five during a safari in Chobe National Park. The low-density tourism model means Chobe National Park never gets crowded, which gives you more exclusiveness to the surrounding nature.
$11, for non-citizens it costs 11 USD per person per day. But if you are from Botswana USD 3. The accommodation price may vary between $100 to $1000 depending on the types of lodges or hotels you choose.
Yes, Chobe National Park is eco-friendly and its primary focus is on developing sustainable tourism. The lodges and hotels also follow the same path. Some of the efforts that have been made are the recycling of plastic bottles and glass cans, biogas production, and grey water recycling.
Sure, you can self-drive in Chobe National Park. Chobe National Park is the easiest safari destination in Botswana if you are planning for a self-drive safari. In peak seasons like May to October, it may be not easy to go on a self-drive due to the high number of tourists.
What makes Chobe National Park special is its home to120, 000, elephants and is also known as the elephant capital. Along with this the game viewing experience also makes it the finest safari destination in Africa.
May to October is the best time to visit Chobe National Par. The low rainfall makes the game viewing experience superb. May to October is also the dry month in Chobe National Park. This is also the peak season which means more visitors.
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We travelled with Falcon Safaris in Zimbabwe and Botswana for 16 days. Falcon designed a wonderful trip with private guide to the most interesting sites in both countries. The organization of the whole trip was excellent, flights within the country, accommodation and activites. The guides were very knowledgable and told us a lot about the countries, their history, people, economy and much more. Wevisited the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, the Victoria Falls and a number of national parks in both countries.
Rhino tracking was a real adventure! We had tremendous further game drives and saw very many animals - we did the Big Five. We had much more activities than planned and enjoyed very much.We strongly recommend Falcon Safaris to everyone planning a trip to Southern Africa and East Africa.
Our Consultant Vimbai was very helpful and accommodating. We stayed at the Elephant hills hotel which was nothing short of amazing.Our activities included a helicopter flight, dinner cruise as well as a morning game drive. All the activities were absolutely amazing.
We worked with Gertrude to schedule and organize everything and she did an excellent job. I asked a lot of questions via e-mail and she answered everyone in a timely helpful manner. Our guide at Victoria Falls was also great. He met us at the airport, provided a thoughtful tour of the Falls and got us to our next guide in Botswana. Our lodgings at River View Lodge were just as described- very comfortable and excellent food. All the staff were so pleasant and helpful. If I had to do it again I would arrange a morning boat ride as well. We only did the sunset boat rides and they were the high point of our entire trip- we saw so many animals and our guide was very knowledgeable. Just a great experience. Our lodgings at Oddball's Enclave was rustic and we loved it. So great to disconnect from the world for a bit. Leo, our guide, was the best - got us out and about, saw fantastic wildlife and got back to camp safely each time. Doc manages the camp so well. This whole trip was planned and organized by Falcon Safaris and we could not have been happier.
Falcon safaris have given my the correct advice with excellent service. The only suggestion will be to work closer with the lodges to confirm bookings as soon as possible. We have booked and pay our deposit a year in advance. We have only receive our final convermation from Chobe Safari lodge a week before departure. I do realize its not within your controle but with limit alternatives and a group of 14 people it becomes an issue to find alternative accomodation if the booking was cancelled.
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