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Chobe National Park

 

Chobe National Park is one of Botswana’s next most famous conservation areas, extending from northern Botswana to the edge of the Okavango Delta.

Chobe National Park has a wide range of landscapes, from the lush Savuti Marshes to the Chobe River’s emerald floodplains.

Chobe National Park’s main claim to fame however is the high concentration of elephant, which along with high numbers of buffalo, antelope, predators and birdlife make a visit to the Chobe National Park essential on any holiday to Botswana.

 

Discover Chobe National Park

Chobe Savannah Lodge

Riverside water-based camp in the Caprivi Strip, opposite Chobe Game Lodge. Ideal for 2 nights exploring the Chobe River.

Tailor Made Botswana Holidays
Water based Chobe Camp
2 Nights from
£509pp
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All Inclusive & Safari Activities

Chobe Game Lodge

Highly regarded Chobe Game Lodge in picturesque setting with all rooms facing the Chobe River.

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Luxury Safari Lodge
3 Nights from
£835pp
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All Inclusive & Safari Activities

Savute Safari Lodge

12 modern rooms in a modern style lodge in a spectacular setting with great wildlife.

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Luxury Safari Lodge
3 Nights from
£835pp
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All Inclusive & Safari Activities

Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero

The most luxurious Safari Camp in the Chobe National Park. Luxury retreat with spa and stunning setting.

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Luxury Safari Camp
3 Nights from
£1234pp
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All Inclusive & Game Activities

Savute Elephant Camp

12 luxury tents in a game-rich area known for year-round game and excellent bird life. Wild dogs and resident pride of lions.

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Belmond Safari Camp
3 Nights from
£1548pp
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All Inclusive & Safari Activities

Botswana Highlights

Combine a safari in the Chobe National Park with a two-centre Okovango Delta safari for the best of Botswana in a 9 day trip.

Tailor Made Botswana Holidays
Chobe & Okovango Safari
6 Nights from
£3895pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Botswana Highlights & Victoria Falls

Combine a safari in the Chobe National Park with a two-centre Okovango Delta safari and 3 nights in Victoria Falls on a 12 day trip.

Four Centre Luxury Holiday
Chobe, Okovango, Victoria Falls
9 Nights from
£4125pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Botswana, Zambia & Mozambique

Combine a safari in the Chobe National Park with 3 nights in Victoria Falls and a luxury boutique beach resort in Mozambique.

Luxury Falls, Safari & Beach Holiday
Vic Falls, Chobe, Mozambique
12 Nights from
£4295pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Botswana Explorer

Experience the best of Botswana in a Luxury Mobile Safari through Botswana including Victoria Falls - ideal for adventurers.

Max 6 people
Mobile Botswana Safari
10 Nights from
£4495pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

There are a few ways of seeing Chobe National Park and we are able to incorporate any of them into a Botswana holiday.

Day trips to Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park is the most easily accessed National Park in Botswana, meaning a visit to Chobe can be one of the best value for money safaris in Botswana.

It is possible to stay in Kasane and take a day excursion into the park to the Chobe Riverfront. This is certainly the best way to cut costs in an area of Africa that is expensive by any standards.

Game Lodges

Chobe National Park has some excellent game lodges and a stay in a Game Lodge in Chobe is probably the best way to see the park other than on a mobile camping safari.

Chobe’s Game Lodges can either be accessed by vehicle as in the case of Chobe Game Lodge or by flying into the Savuti strip for the luxury game lodges in Savute.

Chobe’s accommodation options range from more basic safari camps to some of the best luxury game lodges in Botswana.

Mobile Safaris

Chobe National Park is a superb destination for a mobile camping safari and these can range from more budget options, where guests assist with the camp set up and cooking, to luxury mobile safaris where everything is catered for and the accommodation rather swish, including flush toilets etc.

The advantages of going on a mobile safari in Chobe National Park are the feeling of being in the real Africa, away from all habitation and being in touch with nature.

Ask us about incorporating a mobile camping safari into a Botswana holiday.

 

Self Drive Safaris in Chobe

Many visitors choose a self-drive safari in Chobe National Park, either as a day trip or a multi-day camping safari.

Self-drive safaris are a great option as day trips into the park, given some 4x4 confidence and experience. Saloon cars are not an option.

Longer Chobe self-drives are not for the novice, as 4x4 vehicles must be used and there are no services whatsoever between Kasane and Maun; nowhere to fill up, no 7-11’s, no restaurants and so on. Accommodation needs to be booked in advance.

Visitors to Chobe National Park should remember that everywhere in the park is 'in the middle of nowhere'. Roads are not always clearly marked and stretches of deep sand are common.

In the rainy seasons, tracks (if they can be followed at all) turn into mini-swamps or can be covered by large pools of water. Off-road and night driving is not permitted. As capabilities of both vehicle and driver will be severely tested, it is essential to take as a minimum in your self-drive vehicle:

  • Sufficient drinking water. (Either boiled or chemically treated).
  • Water for cooking.
  • Rations.
  • Fuel.
  • Torches.
  • Spare tyres/wheels – at least 2.
  • Tools.
  • Jacks and pumps.

We can assist in organising self-drive safaris in Chobe National Park for those with confidence and experience.

Dry season – April to October

Chobe plays hosts to hoards of tourists from May to October, a rainless period that as the months progress and inland water systems dry up, forces animals to congregate in huge numbers along the Chobe Riverfront.

Dense game populations have no option but to be cautious; the pursuit of nourishment and browsing is both difficult and dangerous, especially in October, the best month for game viewing, but also a little bit uncomfortable due to the intense heat.

 

Rainy season – November to March

Rains often begin around mid-December, although can start in November. They normally peak during January and February and peter out in March.

Self-drive safaris in Chobe can be demanding as the clay soil is difficult in places to negotiate, but much of the Chobe River area is accessible. Temperatures and humidity are high during these hotter months and mosquitoes are out in force, so take precautions.

As the rains irrigate the land, a striking variety of wild flowers appear. Birdlife is absolutely amazing and it is the calving and lambing season for many animals, a timely delight for hungry predators queueing for a 'take away'.

If you can put up with stretches of knee-deep mud and a torrential downpour or six, then Chobe at this time of year is a real treat.

About the Chobe Riverfront

The Chobe River, which flows along the northeastern border of the park, is a renowned elephant and buffalo refreshment stop in the dry season and is probably the top wildlife viewing area in the Chobe National Park. Huge herds of elephant and buffalo gather here during the dry season.

The Chobe Riverfront is the most visited section of the Chobe National Park, in part due to its proximity to Victoria Falls and also because Kasane is the most important town of the region, and serves as the northern entrance to the park from Botswana.

The Chobe River follows a looping meandering course and has many lagoons and channels, where hippos rule. The southern bank of the Chobe Riverfront is a few metres above the river level and is marked by a largely sandy track, which overlooks the reeds and grass of the Chobe floodplain.

Game viewing tracks run off this main route, usually down to the river, although some also south into the dry woodland area. This means a self-drive in the Chobe Riverfront is fairly straightforward.

The most popular area of the Chobe Riverfront is the eastern half, where there is both more game and vehicles. The western section of the riverfront is less visited.

Towards the end of the dry season in particular, the Chobe Riverfront teems with animals and is one of the best game viewing areas in Africa at this time of year.

Elephants are prolific here and gather in huge herds. A boat ride down the Chobe River in the late afternoon is a great way to view elephants drinking and bathing in the river.

Prides of lions relax by the river. Buffalo congregate in very large herds. Hippos, crocodiles, water monitors and otters are also common by the Chobe Riverfront.

Bushbuck and Puku are two of the Chobe Riverfront’s most common antelope along with the Red Lechwe, Reedbuck and Waterbuck. Sable antelope are a real treat to see here also.

Birdlife is rich and varied and birders will find the island fringes and the Chobe floodplain excellent spots. A cruise on the Chobe River is a great way to spot birdlife, particularly wading birds.

Accommodation in the Chobe Riverfront area including the stylish hotel-style Chobe Game Lodge, which is one of the largest and most established game lodges in Botswana.

Chobe Game Lodge offers a varied range of activities. Luxury mobile camping safaris in the Chobe Riverfront are also available.

It is also possible to be based in Kasane for self-drive Chobe Riverfont trips or game drive into Chobe.

Walking Safaris and Night Game drives in Chobe are not allowed.

Serondela is an area of lush plains and dense teak forests in the Chobe River area in the extreme northeast of the country.

About Savuti

The scorched Savuti Marsh is about 50 km north of Mababe Gate and constitutes the western stretch of the park and was once a large inland lake 100 km long, whose water supply was cut by movements in the earth's crust.

The marsh is presently fed by the erratic Savuti Channel, which at times dries up, and when rainfall is abundant, floods at other times.

This channel, which seems to have a mind of its own, can also stop flowing during long periods then curiously flows again, also supposedly a consequence of regional 'tectonic' activity (although no-one is really sure of the reason).

This changeable current accounts for hundreds of dead trees along the channel's bank.

Savuti Marsh is also covered with extensive savannahs and rolling grasslands, a region packed with teeming wildlife activity. There are several game lodges & camps in the Savuti area.

 

The Savuti Channel flowed strongly from 1967 until 1981 when the area gained a strong reputation for game viewing in Chobe National Park.

Savuti is also notable for it’s human history, which is represented in several cave sites containing Bushmen paintings.

There are a couple of great luxury game lodges in Savuti including Orient Express’ Savute Elephant Camp, Savute Safari Lodge and mobile camping Savute Under Canvass.

Camping is also available for self drives in the Chobe National Park at Savuti Campsite, which has pleasant camping spots and ablution blocks. Watch out for hyenas at night.

Access to the luxury lodges in Savuti is via light aircraft into the Savuti Airstrip.