Chobe National Park: Botswana’s oldest game reserve
Founded in 1967, Chobe National Park is the oldest national park in the southern African Republic of Botswana. It is located in the north of Botswana and owes its name to the Chobe River coming from Angola, which forms the northern border of the park and is largely responsible for the abundance of wildlife in the area. The Chobe National Park, after several extensions, covers an area of 10,566 square kilometres and is part of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area in the border area of Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe, which, among other things, is intended to ensure the free movement of the large herds of elephants.
Experience the wildlife of Southern Africa in Chobe National Park
Due to its vast extent and diverse landscapes, ranging from dense forests on the banks of the Chobe River to marshland, alluvial land and bush and savannah areas, the national park is home to a diverse fauna.
The area is particularly famous for its large elephant population. The numbers are not in the hundreds or thousands, but in the tens of thousands. Especially impressive is the sight of the huge herds of elephants gathering on the Chobe River in the dry season to drink and bathe. It is not uncommon for game drives to stop and wait as countless elephants cross the road. If you want to see the grey giants up close, Chobe National Park is the place for you.
Kaffir buffalos, baboons and impalas are also common; the reserve is also home to giraffes and zebras as well as a variety of antelope species: blue wildebeests, kudus, lyre antelopes, cow antelopes and eland antelopes, waterbucks, horse antelopes and sable antelopes. Nile crocodiles and hippos live in and around the rivers.
If you want to get predators in front of the camera, the chances in Chobe Park are exceptionally good: Due to the high density of prey, many carnivores are drawn here. Lions, in particular, are numerous and often snatch young elephants; cheetahs, leopards, spotted hyenas and wild dogs also live in the park. Last but not least, the area around the Chobe River is a bird paradise that is home to countless water birds – storks, ibises, cormorants.
On safari in Botswana
Did you dream of a safari in Africa as a child? If so, Chobe National Park is the place to make this dream come true. On the one hand, the animal wealth of the protected area is legendary, on the other hand, there are accommodations in the immediate vicinity, from authentic to luxurious, which also satisfy comfort-loving travellers. Botswana also pursues the declared goal of promoting environmentally conscious, resource- and nature-conserving tourism. By the way, the animals can be observed particularly well in the morning and evening hours at the water points.
In addition to the classic game drive in an open jeep, the Chobe National Park also offers other attractive opportunities to discover the flora and fauna of the country. A boat trip on the Chobe River is an unforgettable experience – especially at sunset. Alternatively, you can spend several days and nights on the river, enjoy the amenities of a river cruise ship and go ashore at particularly interesting points for game sightings. A night game drive is recommended to meet nocturnal animals.
That’s good to know: The roads in Chobe National Park are not paved and therefore only suitable for four-wheel drive vehicles. During the rainy season, roads near the Chobe and Savuti rivers are often flooded and impassable. Since there is no mobile network coverage, it is not advisable to explore the wilderness on your own. On guided tours or a safari with the Park Rangers, the exploration trip remains an exciting but safe adventure.
Tip: A safari in Chobe National Park can be perfectly combined with a visit to nearby Victoria Falls or the Okavango Delta!
The Best Travel Time for Chobe National Park
The Chobe National Park has a semi-arid savannah climate, which can lead to large temperature differences between day and night, especially in the winter months, while the summer months are very hot due to the latitude. The seasons are the opposite of ours. The dry and rainy seasons are clearly pronounced, but the dry season is much longer. It lasts from April to October and is considered the best time for a safari in Botswana: The big mammals gather at the waterholes, often at certain times of the day, and due to the smaller vegetation the animals can be seen, observed and photographed better even at a greater distance.
During the day it is dry, warm and sunny; at night it can get cool to frosty in June/July, the winter months. If you think of sun protection during the day and a warm jacket during night game drives, spectacular game viewing is almost guaranteed in the dry season.