Chobe safari - hippo

Chobe National Park in northern Botswana is one of the best safari destinations in Southern Africa, due to its number of elephants and large predator populations. Chobe National Park is the second largest national park in Botswana and covers 10,566km².

ABOUT CHOBE NATIONAL PARK

Chobe River Boat Safari
Chobe River Boat Safari

Getting to Chobe National Park

Fly from the Okavango Delta or Johannesburg to Kasane. All Chobe lodges are accessible from there. Alternatively; Kasane is a mere 90-minute drive from Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe or Zambia). This makes it the perfect safari add-on for those with limited time. There are also possibilities from Windhoek (Namibia); so please do check with us.

A major feature of Chobe National Park is its elephant population; currently around 120,000. The Chobe elephant is migratory, making seasonal movements of up to 200 kilometers from the Chobe and Linyanti rivers, where they concentrate in the dry season, to the pans in the southeast of the park, to which they disperse in the rains.

Incredible safaris in Chobe National Park
Incredible safaris in Chobe National Park

The park is divided into four distinctly different ecosystems: Serondela, Savuti Marsh, Linyanti Swamps, and the Dry Hinterland.

Serondela

Serondela with its lush plains and dense teak forests is situated in the extreme northeast of the Chobe National Park. The Chobe River is a prime drinking spot for elephants and buffalo. Serondela is the most visited section of Chobe due to its close proximity to Kasane and Victoria Falls.

Savuti Marsh

Savuti Marsh in the western stretch of the park is about fifty kilometers north of Mababe gate. It is often described as one of; if not the best; wildlife-viewing areas in Africa today. Animals are present during all seasons, and at certain times of the year, their numbers can be staggering. The Savuti Marsh area of Chobe National Park is reputed for its annual migration of zebras and predators; particularly its resident lions and spotted hyena populations. Sometimes you will have them uncomfortably close; as both they and marauding hyenas do wander through the camps. Almost certainly you will hear lion at night.

Linyanti Swamps

Linyanti Swamps is in the furthest corner of Chobe National Park (to the north of Savuti) and is secluded and uncrowded. It is reminiscent of the Okavango Delta permanent waterways with papyrus-lined lagoons, reed-beds, and a towering canopy of trees. The Linyanti Swamp covers an area of almost 900km2; which follows the river and fills the area between the converging courses of the Kwando and Linyanti rivers. The national park only touches the river for a short section on the far eastern edge of the swamp.

The wildlife is plentiful; especially in the dry winter months when great concentrations of elephant, buffalo, and zebra congregate along the river, with giraffe, impala, and roan antelope being seen in the forests. The birdlife is diverse; if not overwhelming in its numbers. Waterbirds, including pelican, are common.
Game viewing is at its best during the dry season; when the majority of natural pans have dried up; and it is wise to avoid the Chobe Riverfront during the heavy rains from January to March.

Dry Hinterland

Dry Hinterland (central pans) lies between Linyanti and Savuti Marshes. It is hot and dry and little known.

Activities around Chobe National Park

There is so much to do in this area and we have given further details for Birding safaris but here are a few other things to do:

Chobe National Park Game Drives

Game drives in the Chobe National Park are a highlight of this region. This is what safaris are all about! Usually in open 4×4 safari vehicles that offer little restrictions between you and the wildlife. The drivers of the vehicles are amazing at getting you to the best spot to get that best sighting.
Usually departing in the early morning and later in the afternoon to avoid the midday sun. It is also the best time to catch the animals out in the open.

Chobe National Park Boat Safaris

Chobe boat safaris allow you to get up close to herds of game that come to the river to drink and graze on the sweet grass. These include many elephants, buffalo, giraffes, and other plains games. If you are lucky you may even see Leopards or lions! The hippo is also ever-present though you usually see their minute ears and large heads sticking out the water. They do sometimes venture out of the water too, and when you see their size; it is amazing they seem to float in the water!

Also, you will see many species of birds. Over 460 bird recorded species are found in Chobe, so a highlight for all ornithologists. Have a look at our Botswana Birding Safari page for more information.

Usually, boat safaris are done in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat of the day. Also, this is a great time for photographers to get the best photos on the Chobe River.

Chobe National Park Photographic Safari

The Chobe is one of the best wildlife photography destinations in Southern Africa. There is something for all photographers here; whether professional or wanting to learn how to take the best wildlife shots. You don’t even have to bring your own camera to some of our specialist photographic safari operators. There’s a budding photographer in us all!

Chobe National Park Hot Air Balloon Safari

Chobe hot air balloon safari
Chobe hot air balloon safari

A hot air balloon safari in the Chobe area is a fantastic experience. Drift over herds of elephants or lions chasing their prey! Take-off is just before sunrise. As the hot air balloon drifts across the African savanna, the sun starts to break the horizon, and the spectacle of the sights and sounds of the wildlife below begins. A flight of approximately an hour has you skimming across the treetops; perfect for game viewing, and ascending into the blue skies of Botswana for a panoramic view of the vast untouched wilderness below. The traditional celebrations with champagne are held in the bush, toasting this age-old adventure.
Operates daily from the 1st May to the 15th September yearly. It is advisable to pre-book as limited space.
We only book the Hot Air Balloon flight when you book your accommodation with us.

Cultural Namibian Village Tour

Visit a traditional village on the Namibian side of the Chobe River where you will learn about the cultures and traditions. The people of this village provide income for their families through traditional fishing methods as well as livestock.

Chobe Fishing Safari

Hook a tiger fish; or one of the many bream species; as you explore mile upon mile of the rivers in Chobe National Park.

The tigerfish is world-renowned for its fierce fighting capabilities, therefore has earned the reputation of being one of the world’s toughest freshwater fish to subdue. A true acrobat; taking long runs, throwing its body out of the water; shaking its head endlessly trying to dislodge any hook that comes into contact with its bony jaws.

June until August is probably the best time to fish for Tigerfish in the Chobe/Zambezi Rivers. This is when the wet and rainy season is ending and the waters begin to clear which means young baitfish begin to venture away from the smaller streams to the main channels.

Besides Tigers; there’s an amazing array of ‘bream’ species; catfish, African pike, upper Zambezi yellow fish, Nembwe, thin-faced, humpback, three spot tilapia, and green and pink bream; all of which also attract anglers to the region.

It’s not only about the fishing. Being located in such a diverse and rich habitat means you can spot curious elephants gazing at you as you ready your tackle. Hungry crocodiles could be floating mischievously as skittish antelope gather on the banks for an early morning drink of water, surrounded by the distinctive call of the African Fish Eagle. In fact, it is probably the most scenic fishing you will ever do!

This is not very common in other fishing areas, which is what makes fishing in the Chobe area so special. Book a special birthday or family holiday incorporating this to make for special bonding moments.

Get in touch with us to plan your Chobe safari now.