Chobe National Park
It is the second biggest National Park in Botswana, covering an area of 10566 km².
Located in the northern Botswana, the Chobe National Park attracts thousands of visitors every year due to its fame as one of the largest game concentrations in the country. Not only this, but this wildlife sanctuary also boasts the largest elephant population in Africa. Area wise, the Chobe national park is the most diverse and third largest park, but is the first national park in the country.
Flora and fauna
Chobe has one the greatest concentration of elephants of any national park in Africa. They are most visible during the dry season when they congregate around the water sources, especially the Chobe river.
You can see 4 of the Big 5 in Chobe: elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo - but not (or very rarely) rhino. Chobe has a multitude of antelope including the rare sable.
The park has a distinct wet and dry season, the wet being from December until May. As with much of Africa the animals may migrate further from the permanent water sources during the wet, and therefore are easier to view during the dry.
Tours operating from Victoria Falls will transfer you to the common river border between Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. A short boat crossing puts you in Botswana, only five minutes drive from Kasana and the Safari lodges.
Park entrance fees apply. Often these are included with the tour price, if you are on a guided tour.
The day-tours are often half a day by boat and half a day on land. The boat trip will allow you to see some crocodiles, and elephants and close quarters. The boat operators tend to keep their distance a little more from the hippos. You can expect to see a far greater variety of wildlife on land.
The roads are poorly developed, and a 4-wheel-drive properly equipped vehicle is essential if you want to drive yourself. There is a one-way system for getting around the park near Kasane. Read the signs at the entrance.
There is an abundance of safari-vehicles that will drive you around from Kasane or the safari lodges.
Chobe is home to vast herds of elephants. These are the Kalahari elephants and are the biggest in Africa but often have broken tusks, this is due to the lack of calcium in their diet which renders them brittle. All the other large animals are present except rhino which have been driven to local extinction due to poaching.
Guided tours are the best way to view wildlife, as tour guides are highly trained professionals, capable of spotting wildlife most people would never notice
- Chobe Chilwero Lodge borders the Chobe National Park and is situated above Chobe River, offering some good views. It is luxury accommodation and therefore not really cheap, but this is the case with most establishments in Botswana.
- Chobe Game Lodge is overlooking the Chobe River and the Caprivi floodplains, it is the only permanent safari lodge within the Chobe National Park.
There are some designated camping areas in the park, though it is highly recommended to not do so without a guide. Even then take some vigilance to assure safety.
The animals in the park should be respected at all times. Never try to interact with the wildlife.
- Drive to the Victoria Falls at the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Distance is about 60km.
- Go south into the Okavango Delta.