Chobe National Park is a national gem located at the border of Botswana. It is a wonderful place for one to visit and this is because of the many activities that you get to carry out when you visit the Park and all that you get to see when you are there. The Chobe National Park will leave you with an experience of the wild that you will not be able to forget and that is why you should make sure that you explore the park at length when you get to the Chobe National Park.
Chobe Safari Activities
Chobe National Park is one place that you will want to visit when you are in Botswana. There are several tourist activities that you can carry out in Chobe and all these will make your visit to the National Park worthwhile.
#1 Chobe Game Drive Safari
Game drives within the Chobe National Park are mostly done during the dry season and this is because the animals are easily spotted during the dry season due to the fact that vegetation is sparse and the water holes are all dried up and the roads are also easily accessible during the dry season. Some of the animals that can be viewed in the Chobe National Park include Impalas, jackals, crocodiles, hippos, lions, leopards, buffalos, zebras, elephants, elephants and the almost endangered Puku antelope. You can either hire a tour guide to drive you around the Park so that you adhere to the rules that govern the park. Do not forget to take lots of water on your drive and some snacks and the best time to go for drives is in the mornings and afternoons.
#2 Prepare to explore the Victoria Falls
The Victoria Falls are one of the Seven Wonders of the World a one in a million trip that you do not want to miss when you visit Botswana. These can easily be viewed from the Chobe National Park and the misty foam that they give off when cascading down the rocks is an experience that you do not want to miss and you can enjoy a picnic after.
#3 Shop at the Kasane Market
The Kasane Market is just on your way to the Chobe National Park and it has some of the most beautiful things that you can buy for yourself while on a safari to the Chobe. There is nothing that separates the Park from the market and animals can wonder about that is why tourists are advised not to walk too far into the market without guidance. It is a good place for tourists to buy something for all those that remained home especially the African print clothes.
#4 Birding in Chobe National Park
Chobe is a good birding destination with more than 450 bird species that have been registered in the country. Some of the best ways that you see these birds is by going for a boat cruise as many will be seen lounging along the River, drive or you can take a walk through the park for as long as you have a tour guide with you. In most cases birding in Chobe is normally done in the mornings and some of the bird species that can be viewed include the African fish skimmer, the African darter, squacco heron, the long toed lapwing, the African finfoot, the white backed night heron, the pennant winged nightjar and many more others.
When going for birding, there are tools or requirements that you will need to help you enjoy your birding session and some of these include:
- A camera and binoculars, the camera will help in capturing the bird’s still life nature and the binoculars will help you in viewing all the birds that are a distance away from you.
- Hides, most birds are shy and like their privacy and when they notice that they are being observed, they tend to fly away and that is why you need hides to keep your presence unknown to them.
- A recognition book, this will help you identify the bird species easily. It is a book that has pictures of birds and their description.
- Proper clothing, insect repellent to ward off the insects and food and water because there are no shops for you to buy the food.
#5 Photography safari in Chobe National Park
Chobe’s beautiful landscape and all the animals that habitate within its walls are a perfect place for one to go for a photographic safari. It does not matter whether you are good at taking photos or not, there will be someone to teach you how and cameras are provided to everyone who wants to participate in the activity. You can take as many photos as you want of the various animals, birds, water bodies and vegetation on the landscape especially at sunrise and sunset and there is no better way to capture Chobe coming to life other than behind the lens.
# 6 Chobe Cultural Safaris
A guided village walk is one of the many ways that you can get to see the untouched beauty and culture of the locals who stay around chobe and you can either walk to the villages or use a boat along the Chobe River. This is one of the best ways to learn about the Botswana people through the stories told by the elders in the different villages and it being close to the Namibian border gives you a chance to visit those villages as well.
# 7 Guided Nature Walks
These are mostly offered and done by some lodges as a way to keep the tourists busy during their stay. These are always guided walks with a tour guide who knows all the walk through within the Chobe National Park although you need to wake up early for the walks and you might just see an animal on an early hunt or more. The climate that is experienced in the Park especially during the dry season because you cannot walk through the Park when it is raining so heavily.
# 8 Boat Cruise On Chobe River
Take a romantic boat cruise along the Chobe River especially in the evening and enjoy the sunset as you view the animals and few birds that linger around before night time comes in. A boat cruise during the day will give you a chance to have a closer look at the elephants as they come for water and the crocodiles that lounge on the banks of the River.
# 9 Chobe Fishing Trips
If you are a fun of fishing then Chobe is the perfect destination for you. Fishing trips are organized by the different tour operators and all you need to do is show up and enjoy the fishing with your friends at the numerous fishing grounds that are located within the park and some of the fish species that are commonly caught are the Tiger fish and the bream fish species.
The Chobe National park is what one would consider a dream place and should be on your bucket list when you visit the chobe National Park in Botswana and it being one of the top tourist destinations on the African continent and strategically located next to the border. Some of the top reasons as to why you should visit the park include:
- Chobe National Park is a top National Park in Botswana and the whole of Africa and this alone is a reason it should not miss on your bucket list of tourist destinations in the country.
- The Chobe National Park experiences an annual animal migration and what better way to experience the wild other than visiting the Chobe to get such an experience.
- The Chobe National Park is a home to many animals and some of these species include Impalas, jackals, crocodiles, hippos, lions, leopards, zebras, elephants, elephants and the almost endangered Puku antelope
- The park is a home to about 50,000 elephants.
Best time to visit the Chobe National Park
The best time for one to visit the Park for game viewing is the dry season which is experienced in the months of May to October. This is also the high peak for the season and there will be many tourists during this time which means that everything will be hiked as per fees and prices and the best way to enjoy your stay during this period is to book early.
The best time for tourists to visit Chobe for birding is during the wet season. Thousands of birds form other countries fly into the country and join all the other endemic birds and do not forget to carry your birding equipment.
All in all the Park can be visited al throughout the year although this entirely depends on your planned activities for when you visit the Chobe National Park and if you are still not sure about when to visit, you should check in with your tour operator to get more information about the exact time when to visit.
The Chobe National Park is bordered by the Chobe River and the Moremi Game Reserve and encompasses 11,000 sq km of river flood plains, open pans and riverine woodlands. It is one of the largest wildlife protected areas in Botswana and Africa. Chobe park eco-system is comprised of 4 unique habitats.
Chobe Botswana tours
The Chobe River rises in the northern Angolan highlands and travels enormous distances through Kalahari sands before reaching Botswana where it is known as the Linyanti and
then the Chobe. Like the Okavango and Zambezi, the Chobe’s course is affected by fault lines, which are extensions of East Africa’s Great Rift Valley. These three mighty rivers carry more water than all other rivers in Southern Africa and naturally attract a huge quantity of wildlife.
Serondela Marsh, wetlands and dense forests areas that lie next to Chobe River in the northeast. The lush plains are a popular spot for African elephants and buffaloes, particularly in the dry season and is perhaps the most visited area in Chobe game reserve. Not far from this area is Victoria Falls, a major tourist attraction on any African safari. Other important habitats within the park include Linyati swamps and Savuti marsh in the west end of the park.
Savuti marsh is covered in dry, dead trees that lie along the banks of Savuti channel which feeds the marsh. The region is also covered in sizable savannah grasslands, which attracts several animals and wildlife. Regular sights for the dry season include warthogs, kudus, impalas, zebras, wildebeests, giraffes, impala, roan and sable antelopes, buffalo and above all elephants bullying each other. Predators enjoy Savuti marsh thanks to its abundant prey that pounces on any animals that loiter around aimlessly. Lions, spotted hyenas, jackals, cheetahs, bat eared fox and wild dog comprise the set of Savuti night predators. The rainy season draws more than 450species of birds to the plains. This Chobe region is indeed reputed for its annual migration of zebras and predators.
Linyati swamps that fringe Linyati and Kwando river make game reserve to the north of Chobe National park. The riverbanks are also inscribed in open woodlands, lagoons and scanty savanna grasslands, home to large concentrations of leopards, African wild dogs, roan antelopes, lions, hippos, lechwe, sitatunga, elephants and crocodiles. In such varied habitat bird life is prolific and there are 440 bird species found in the river area, including many rare and unusual species. Keep an eye out for the African skimmer, the tiny and exquisitely colored malachite kingfishers and Pel’s fishing owl.
Chobe elephant encounters
Chobe really is one of the wildlife parks with large concentrations of the African elephants with over 10,000 elephants visiting Chobe and Linyati rivers during the dry season. You’ll often encounter elephant calves on trails with their mothers near a water hole, some coated with mud, other rubbing on tree trunks and some crossing the shallow river in the afternoon.
Chobe elephants are dark with short tusks; many of them migrate from the dry Kalahari deserts in search of water and breeding grounds that are near the rivers.take a boat cruise along Chobe river and find many elephants and with calves trumpeting along the trail, schools of hippos, water birds and crocodiles gapping on the river bank.
Find a variety of overnight and accommodation options from and near Chobe National park. Luxurious Chobe Chilwero is on eoptions with delightful facilities like private gardens, serene views of the coursing Chobe river. Down the banks of Chobe river is Chobe Safari Lodge with affordable family suites and rooms one of the budget Chobe accommodations that offer great value for money. Other overnight options include Chobe Grand Dame Game Lodge located within the park and some bush and tented camps. Ihaha camp has some exclusive modern facilities.
When to go To Chobe National Park
Chobe Game viewing is at its best during the dry season, when the majority of salt pans, plains and wetlands have dried up. All game makes its journey to the banks of Chobe and Linyati rivers in search of water around May to October. Elephant sights are rather common during the dry season and so are the predators like lions, cheetahs and hyena that gladly wait to have a kill along the riverbed.
Chobe river floods during the heavy rains from January to March, fewer elephant sights but more birds are sighted in the park. Be sure to pack your Malaria drugs and long sleeved clothing to prevent mosquito bites for the rainy months.
Remember to hire 4WD vehicle if you intend to have game drives through the park, carry extra fuel supplies, food, drinking water, flash light and everything you may need on outdoor camping adventures. Roads through the park especially in Linyanti area are not clearly signed at this time, so visitors should carefully plan their route before setting out and it is advisable to inform park wardens and staff before arrivals.