An easy two-hour drive from Victoria Falls, Chobe National Park in Northeastern Botswana is home to massive herds of elephants plus big cats galore. Here are 10 things I learned while on safari in Chobe in August.
Established in 1967, Chobe National Park is Botswana’s very first.
At 11,700-square-kilometers, it is the third largest park in Botswana.
Chobe is in Northern Botswana, close to the border with Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia and is easier to access from these three countries than from much of Botswana itself.
Chobe has four distinct eco systems, one of which is the Chobe River. It provides a year-round lifeline for animals. As such, Chobe is home to some of the greatest concentrations of animals in all of Africa.
At the right time of year herds of up to 5,000 elephants can be seen grazing on Chobe’s flood plains and bathing in the river.
Safaris in Chobe are unique because they incorporate time on the river with time on the ground – not a lot of parks can offer this combination.
During the river portion of the safari, you cruise the Chobe River, which separates Botswana from Namibia. Here you can expect to see plenty of hippos, crocodiles, birds and often buffalo and elephant grazing on the channel island the boats circle.
Eating lunch in the bush is another cool aspect of the Chobe safari. If you’re lucky a herd of giraffe or even elephant will wander by.
Chobe has a healthy leopard population, and the elusive cats can often be spotted in close range here – vehicles are not allowed to go off road to chase any animals, however.
Birdlife is quite prolific in Chobe National Park with an estimated 460 species of birds found here at some time of the year – many are migratory.