Chobe boasts one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Southern Africa. It is home to hippos, antelope, tens of thousands of elephants and numerous predators, including the rare African wild dog and a pride of lions known for hunting elephants. Chobe is the site of a spectacular yearly zebra migration, a must see for safari-goers.
Chobe National Park takes its name from the Chobe river, which forms its northern boundary. The landscape and vegetation of Chobe National Park varies: from the lush vegetation in the floodplains surrounding the Chobe river (Serondela area), to the often dry Savuti Marsh, the lagoons of the Linyanti Marshes and the dry hinterland between.
Not all areas of Chobe National Park are accessible, even by four-wheel drive. The Serondela area along the Chobe riverfront is possibly the most visited, as it is accessible on a day trip, is close to Victoria Falls and provides some stunning game viewing.
In the western region of Chobe lies the Savuti Marsh. Due to tectonic shifts, the lake that once occupied the Savuti Marsh area is now dried up. Water flows erratically into the Savuti marshes, via the Savuti Channel, depending on tectonic activity. The Channel was dry between 1982 and 2010, when waters from the Channel reached the Marsh for the first time in almost 30 years!
In the Northwest corner of the Park, north of Savuti, lies the Linyanti Marsh. Here you will find riverine woodlands, open woodlands, lagoons and floodplains.
Widely considered to be one of the best locations in Africa for a
wildlife safari, Chobe National Park is a must-see on any trip to
Botswana. It is home to around 50-120 thousand elephants; you'd have to be
blind not to see some. The concentration of wildlife at the Chobe river
is staggering. You have excellent chances of seeing various antelope,
zebra, hippos, and buffalo. It is also one of the best places for
viewing predators - lions and leopards abound, and it's not uncommon to
spot cheetah, African wild dogs and hyena. You are not likely to get a
glimpse of any rhinos here, however, as they have been hunted out of the
Chobe is the site of a staggering yearly zebra migration
at the beginning and end of every wet season (roughly November and March). There are times when the
zebra are so numerous, you'd be lucky to move your vehicle.
The Savuti Marsh is home to a pride of lions that is famous for their daring ability to hunt and kill elephants. In recent years, however, this activity has declined somewhat, though the lucky safari-goer may get to catch a glimpse!
A leisurely drive through the game reserve watching wildlife.
Walking through the game reserve and game viewing
Air Plane Safari
Go for game viewing in a small aeroplane or glider, you can cover a lot of ground really fast and see a lot.
For bird-watchers, the wet season (November to March) is the ideal time to visit. At this time you are likely to see large numbers of carmine bee eaters, ibis, spoonbills, various species of stork, duck and other waterfowl as they flock to the area decked in their breeding plumage.
The dry season remains the best time for game viewing, as the herds congregate around the permanent water sources. During the rainy season they disperse into the grasslands to take advantage of fresh vegetation, giving the vegetation around the permanent water sources a chance to recover.
Savuti tends to have good game-viewing year-round, however, with particularly interesting sights available around April, May and November.
The wet season runs from November to March, with the heaviest rains
falling between December and February. The rains make many tracks within
Chobe virtually impassable, even with the sturdiest of four-wheel
drive, so it's important to plan your trip accordingly.
season runs from April to October. April and May are still very warm
during the day, with temperatures reaching into the mid 30s (°C),
and nighttime temperatures remaining pleasantly cool (15-20 °C)
until the end of May, when they begin to drop fairly quickly. June to
August are the coolest months, with daytime temperatures peaking around
25 °C, and nighttime temperatures dropping to a frigid low
of 2 °C. September and October see temperatures soaring
well into the high 30s and 40s °C, until the rains bring some relief from
the high temperatures in mid-November.
Even during the rainy
season, you can expect blue skies most of the time, with a buildup of
immense thunder clouds that roll in and release a deluge in the mid-late
afternoon almost daily, pleasantly cooling the landscape.