Chobe National Park Botswana
Positioned in Northern Botswana, Chobe National Park features one of the enormous wildlife concentrations on the continent of Africa. The park is noted to be the most diverse biologically and the third largest in Botswana following Central Kalahari Game Reserve and Gemsbok National Park. Regarding history, Chobe National Park is re-known for being the first National Park to be gazetted in Botswana and the land which it occupies today belonged to the San bushmen also referred to as the Basarwa in Botswana who lived a hunter gather nomadic culture and their paintings can be viewed inside the park’s rocky hills. At the onset of the 20th Century, present day Botswana was partitioned in various land tenure systems and the land on which the park is located was by then a crown land. In 1931, the idea of gazetting the area of conservation and tourism was born and in the following year, the 24,000km2 of the area surrounding Chobe district was formally declared a non hunting area though it was later expanded to 31,600km2 in the next two years. There was a tsetse fly outbreak in the year 1943 which delayed the process of National Park establishment. However, in 1953, the government identified 21,000km2 to become a game reserve and in 1960, Chobe Game Reserve was officially established. This was followed by its eventual establishment as a national park in 1967. At the time of its establishment, there were a range of various industrial developments in the region particularly timber industry at Serondela. These developments were gradually removed and it was not until 1975 that the park was free of human activity. In 1980 and 1987, minor park expansions were conducted.
Botswana Safari Attractions in Chobe National Park
Wildlife in Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park features extensive wildlife in its diverse habitats. The park is re-known for counts of elephants over 50,000 probably the highest concentration on the continent of Africa. The other wildlife include the leopards, Spotted Hyenas, the elusive red lechwe, the sitatunga, Impala, Wildebeest, Zebras, the Wild dogs, Roan antelopes, Sable antelopes, Buffaloes among others.
Birds in Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park features over 460 species of birds spread across its range of habitats including Egyptian Geese, the Sacred Ibis, the darters, cormorants, Spur winged Geese, the Carmine Bee eaters, the Pel’s fishing owl along with a range of species from King fisher family. The other species like the Fish eagle, the rollers, Martial Eagle and the stork family species are available as well.
Water bodies in Chobe National Park
The Chobe National Park features a range of water bodies that are worth exploration. The Chobe River is one of the three rivers in the south of Africa along with Zambezi and Okavango that carry plenty of water than all other remaining rivers in the region. This is because their courses are affected by the fault lines as an extension of the Great Rift Valley. The Savuti Marsh is also a famous attraction. The marsh is fed periodically by the Savuti Channel which flows from the Linyanti River. The 100km Channel flows from the Linyanti River occupying a vast swamp area known as Savuti Marsh before proceeding to Mababe depression south wards that is also watered by the Ngwezumba River flowing from the north east. The Mababe area was once section of Makgadikgadi super-lake and once full, it attracts counts of migratory birds along with thousands of Zebras. The Savuti channel is one of the wonders in Botswana since its water has appeared and dried up a range of times. In 1851, Dr Livingstone found the channel flowing, in 1879, the water had stopped and the marsh was drying up. The flow appeared again in 1950s up to 1982 and from then, it dried up to its recent recommencement in 2008.
Chobe Houseboats in Chobe National Park
Chobe houseboats present an alternative to the staying in ordinary safari lodge, Bush camps and Hotels in Kasane making it an attraction in itself. These house boats are all inclusive and permanently positioned on River Chobe. Being International waters as they mark the boundary of Namibia and Botswana, the immigration procedures have to be followed. The house boats present 3 to 4 star accommodation, the game viewing possibilities on the hose boat deck, sun set views over the plains, bird watching, fishing on tag & release basis. They open up at night presenting remarkable star gazing experience
Botswana Safari Activities in Chobe National Park
Game drives in Chobe National Park
The game drives in Chobe National Park are conducted both in the morning and in the afternoon enabling any Botswana safari undertaker to explore a myriad of wild game along with magical views of the flood plains. Since the flood plains have adequate vegetation all year-round, both grazing and browsing animals tend to concentrate in these areas. The game drive lasts 3 hours and offers opportunity to explore the birdlife as well. For the guests in Kasane, they can participate in half day drive commencing at 6am and ending at 12pm but there is also full day game viewing experience departing at 8am and returning at 6pm.
Boat Cruises in Chobe National Park
Chobe boat cruises present a magical encounter to explore the Chobe National Park. The counts of elephants and Buffaloes draw to the river to drink and crossing to the Islands of Lekwe and Puku to feed on sweet grass thus offering impressive wild game sights on boat. The sights of Crocodiles and Hippopotamus are also thrilling. The River feature a range of boats including the standard boats that takes 30 – 40 participants and smaller boats with more possibilities for birding and photography but the bigger boats feature bars on board equipped with drinks. The boat cruises depart Kasane town both in the morning and in the afternoon. Though the best photography opportunities are in the afternoon, the morning encounter offers sights of wildlife as they draw to the river for a morning drink. Birds like the Fish Eagles, the African darters, waders and King fisher’s can be explored as well.
Victoria Falls Day Tour from Kasane
The travellers are increasingly finding this option very cost effective because of the high taxes along with the road user fees for the vehicles entering destination Zimbabwe. The tour sets off at Kasane in the morning at 8am and returns from Victoria Falls 15:00pm arriving at Kasane at 17:00 hours.
Photographic tours in Chobe National Park
The photographic tours are specially designed for those interested in unique photo shoots. The abundant wildlife in Chobe National Park along with amazing natural landscapes presents remarkable photo shooting opportunities.
How to get to Chobe National Park
The Chobe National Park is positioned in the north east of Botswana and can be accessed from all sides by those interested in safari in Botswana. Though the usual Sedan Vehicles can be used, the 4 X 4 wheel is recommended along the roads in the park except the road to Namibia which is tarmac.
Chobe National Park can be accessed from the following points;
From Victoria Falls
One can connect from Zambia to Chobe and Kasane passing through the Kazungula Ferry crossing that lasts not more than 10km. The Victoria Falls is 70km away.
From Namibia and Caprivi Strip
Kasane is positioned at extreme end of Namibia’s Caprivi Strip while form Namibia, one can connect to Kasane through Ngoma Bridge on Chobe River over 70km away. The road connecting these two points passes through the park offering wildlife views en route.
From South Africa and Johannesburg
Kasane is positioned at 1300 km from the city of Johannesburg and 900km from the city of Gaborone passing through Francistown and Nata. A range of border posts can be followed to connect to Botswana from South Africa.
Maun is 600km from Chobe passing through the extensive flat stretches of Makgadikadi along with wildlife inhabited areas surrounding Chobe National Park. Extra fuel and sufficient drinking water is recommended and avoid night driving.
Google Map Showing How to get to Chobe National Park Botswana
Accommodation in Chobe National Park
Camp Savuti well known for its game viewing possibilities is positioned at 20 minutes drive from the Air strip with the capacity to take up to ten (10) people in its comfortable five (50) tents. The famous Savuti channel resumed its flowing flooding the Savuti marsh attracting counts of animals that come to feed on soft grass that is sweet. The Camp Savuti overlooks the Savuti channel and every tent features ample space with a raised deck offering the good view of the water way. The Camp offers morning and afternoon game drives whose cost is included in the room rates. The Savuti Camp presents an ideal ground for self drives and mobile safaris break.
Camp Savuti Facilities
- 5 en suite Meru style tents over looking Savuti channel
- Lounge & bar in the main area
- Dining Area
Accommodation Rates at Savuti Camp
|1 Feb – 31 March 16||USD 420|
|1 Apr – 30 Jun 16||USD 535|
|1 Jul – 31 Oct 16||USD 635|
Chobe Game Lodge
Chobe Game lodge is noted to be the only permanent lodge positioned along River Chobe within Chobe National Park. The lodge and all its rooms overlook the Chobe rover below making it a perfect base for water exploration activities on the river which are as well included in the lodge prices along with morning and afternoon game drives. The boat encounter on River Chobe can be arranged on small motor boats or on double decker Mosi-Oa-Tunya River cruiser.
Room Facilities at Chobe Game Lodge
- Complimentary Mini-bar
- Dressing gown and slippers.
- International plug adapters.
- Safe and a veranda with deck chairs.
- Hair dryer and insect repellent.
- Complimentary mini bar.
- Tea & coffee station.
- Air conditioning & Fan
- En suite rooms with powered by solar
- Expanse terrace with sun loungers
- Double bed configuration only
- Complimentary room service
- Private Swimming pool
- Outdoor & indoor dining areas
Chobe Game Lodge facilities
- Swimming pool
- 6 lounges.
- Riverside boma area
- 4 dining areas.
- Viewing decks
- Spa with a gym
Accommodation Rates for Chobe Game Lodge
|Price per person standard room||Price person Suite|
|January – March 2016||USD 510||USD 756|
|April – June 2016||USD 640||USD 950|
|July – October 2016||USD 920||USD 1150|
|November 2016||USD 640||USD 950|
|December 2016||USD 510||USD 756|
The prices include;
- Laundry service.
- Scheduled activities
- Full Board Meals & refreshments
- Emergency medical evacuation insurance.
- Complimentary mini bar
- Transfers to and from the Lodge.
- Park fees and all government taxes. & levies
Chobe Under Canvas
Chobe under Canvas stands as full service mobile tented lodge which shifts to a different location on bi-weekly arrangement. The lodge is positioned on a private campsite inside Chobe National Park and doesn’t feature any fence on its surroundings including natural wildlife. The Chobe Under canvas presents Hemmingway style of safari adventure offering a serene wildlife and bush experience for the travellers that prefer a more personalised touch with nature.
The Accommodation at Chobe under Canvas is presented in comfortable and spacious mobile tents featuring both twin and double beds along with en suite facilities equipped with a flush toilet and shower. The nature of Canvas blends well with environment presenting a magical safari touch. The guest area feature cozy tent for dining, lounge area for reading and the bar tent along with open air bush dinners.
Chobe Under Canvas facilities & facts
- 5 en suite Safari Tents equipped with bucket showers & flush toilets
- The camp takes 10 guests maximum
- A minimum age of 12 years for children
- The camp is not permanent & thus moves from place to place
- There is a wakeup call for the guests along with a hot beverage of the guest’s preference in the morning
- Lounge tent
- Open Air dining tent
- Open fire meal preparation
Accommodation rates for Chobe Under Canvas
|03 Feb – 31 March 16||USD 535|
|1 Apr – 30 June 16||USD 640|
|01 July – 31 Oct 16||USD 800|
|01 Nov – 31 Dec 16||USD 640|
- Full Board Meals
- Drinks like coffee, tea brand spirits & House wines
- Laundry though dependent on weather and also limited
- Safari activities like game drive & boat trips
- Emergency medical evacuation insurance
- Airstrip transfers
- Refreshments on game drinks
Elephant Valley Lodge
Elephant Valley Lodge is located in Chobe Forest Reserve bordering Chobe National Park very close to the migration route of elephants thus presenting sights of elephant sights as they connect between Chobe National Park and Zimbabwe.
Elephant Valley lodge features 20 en suite luxury tents with maximum occupancy of 40 guests. The lodge’s main area has views of the water hole where animals especially elephants gather for drinking. The setting of the tents is unique. The valley tents overlook the Valley while the Forest tents overlook the forest thus offering guests a diversified choice.
Elephant Valley Lodge Facilities
- 20 En suite tents with 12 forest tents & 8 valley tents
- Coffee & Tea Making facilities in the rooms
- Mini Safe in the rooms
- Fan in the rooms
- Fence around the Camp
- Swimming pool
- Outdoor dining Area
- Curio Shop
- Morning boat cruise & game drive in the afternoon are offered by the camp
Accommodation Rates at Elephant Valley Lodge
|2016 Rates||Forest Tents||Valley Tents|
|10 Feb – 30 Apr 16||USD 365||USD 380|
|1 May – 31 Oct 16||USD 500||USD 525|
|1 Nov – 30 Apr 17||USD 390||USD 410|
Ghoha Hills Eco Lodge
Ghoha Hill Eco Lodge is positioned in the Savuti Area inside Chobe National Park with remarkable views of the plains below. The lodge is powered by solar energy alone and the efforts are ensured to keep the eco lodge friendly to the environment. At 150km to the south of Kasane, the Ghoha Hills Lodge presents an ideal break point between the Moremi, the famous Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park.
Ghoha Hills Eco Lodge Facilities & Facts
- 9 Twin room tents
- 11 Tented units
- 2 Family units
- Private decks on each tent equipped with a table & chairs
- En suite tents with shower
- Solar power
- Mosquito nets in rooms
- Ceiling fan
- Lounge & dining in the main Area
- Curio shop.
- Swimming pool
- Fire Boma
- Free Wi-Fi
Accommodation Rates for Ghoha Hills Lodge
|Double Per person sharing||Children 6 – 11 yrs|
|1 Feb – 31 March 16||USD 475||USD 238|
|1 April – 30 June 16||USD 685||USD 343|
|1 July – 31 Oct 16||USD 877||USD 439|
|1 – 30 Nov 16||USD 685||USD 343|
|1 – 31 Dec 16||USD 475||USD 238|
Ngoma Safari Lodge
Ngoma Safari Lodge is positioned at 55km from the town of Kasane in Chobe Forest Reserve on the western side of Chobe National Park on a raised Buffalo bridge with impressive views of River Chobe.
The Ngoma Safari Lodge is a communally owned enterprise under the umbrella of Chobe Enclave Conservation Trust and this benefits the community directly. The Lodge is at 7km form Ngoma gate on the Namibian border and accommodation is presented in eight (8) suites.
Ngoma Safari Lodge facilities
- 8 en suite Suites with the views of the River Chobe & flood plains
- Rooms feature indoor and outdoor spacious living areas
- Air conditioning
- Over head fans
- Mini bar
- Coffee & Tea Making facilities
- Private plunge pool in each room
- Main Area around a large baobab tree with reception, lounge, dining & bar
Accommodation Rates at Ngoma Safari Lodge
|Per person Sharing||Single person|
|1 January – 31 March 2016||USD 550||USD 550|
|1 April – 31 May 2016||USD 690||USD 759|
|1 June – 31 October 2016||USD 975||USD 1219|
|1 – 30 November 2016||USD 690||USD 759|
|1 – 31 December 2016||USD 550||USD 550|
Savute Safari Lodge
Savute Safari Lodge is positioned in the Savute region overlooking the Savuti Channel which connects the Savuti Marsh with the Linyanti River. The Accommodation at Savuti Safari Lodge is presented in a count of 12 rooms taking up to 24 guests in total.
The chalets feature a neutral tone furnishing, private viewing deck connected with a lounge & bed room and they are all en suite.
Savuti Safari Lodge Facilities & facts
- 12 luxury rooms positioned on elevated platforms with a 24 people maximum occupancy
- Chalets have private decks
- En suite rooms with toilet, hand basin & shower
- Fans & plug points in rooms
- Coffee & Tea Making making facilities
- Dressing gown
- Small safe
- Air horn for emergencies
- Open Air dining
- Swimming pool
- Sun deck
- Cock tail bar
- Lounge Area
Accommodation Rates for Savuti Safari Lodge
|Per Person Sharing|
|1 Feb-31 March16||USD 510|
|April – June 16||USD 640|
|July – Oct 16||USD 920|
|1-30 Nov 16||USD 640|
|1-31 Dec 16||USD 510|
The Savuti camp is positioned in the Linyanti private Concession overlooking the Savuti Channel. The Savuti Camp features seven (7) tents overlooking the valley that supports myriad of wildlife. The main lodge area feature a thatched lounge, plunge pool, dining Area, and a fire pit.
Considering the fact that Savuti Camp is positioned on a private concession, the travellers have the opportunity to undertake activities like game drives without interference from other tourists. The Camp offers walking safaris, the night game drives, fishing encounters and boat trips.
Savuti Camp Facilities
- Seven (7) en suite tents overlooking the Savuti Channel
- Swimming pool
- Thatched dining Area
- Fire deck’
- Viewing deck
Accommodation Rates for Savuti Camp
|2016 Rates||Per person Sharing||Single Supplement|
|1 Feb – 31 March16||USD 736||USD 268|
|1 April – 31 May 16||USD 892||USD 288|
|1 June – 31 Oct 16||USD 1451||USD 302|
|1 Nov – 19 Dec16||USD 892||USD 288|
|20 Dec16 – 10 Jan17||USD 1015||USD 287|
Chobe National Park is portioned in four (4) areas;
The Serondela region also referred as Chobe river front is positioned in the up most north east of Chobe National Park and majorly comprises of flood plains and dense woodland of teak, mahogany and other hard woods though apparently decreased by pressure of elephants. The main watering point is Chobe River that flows along the North Eastern border of the park majorly in the dry season that runs from May to October. The place is also a breeding ground for elephant herds along with Giraffe, Cape Buffalo and Sable. This is the only area in Botswana where the puku antelope can be viewed. This section of the park also presents good birding possibilities with considerable populations of Carmine bee-eaters, the spoon bills, duck, stork species and ibis. The Serondela region stands as the Chobe’s most visited region which is attributed to its closeness to Victoria Falls and the Kasane town – the most significant in the north serving as the northern entry point of Chobe Safari Lodge.
THE SAVUTI MARSH AREA
Stretching to 10,878km2, the Savuti Marsh area composes the Chobe National Park’s western front which is 50km to the north of Mababe gate. The Savuti Marsh stands as a remain of an extensive lake whose water supply was disconnected by tectonic movements. The Marsh currently is water fed by the Savuti channel that dries up for a considerable period and then flows again curiously for example it reached the marsh in Jan 2010 since 1982. Because of this variation, the Savuti channel features counts of dead trees on its banks.
The Savuti Area also features savannah vegetation that support counts of wild life especially in the dry season including Kudus, Warthog, Impala, Wildebeest, Zebras along with elephants. During the rainy seasons, the bird life is abundant. The region is known for the annual migration of predators and Zebras.
THE LINYANTI MARSH
The Linyanti Marsh is positioned in the north western corner of Chobe National Park and to the north of Savuti Marsh closed to River Linyanti. In the west of this marsh, there lies Selinda Reserve while on River Kwando’s northern bank there lies Mamili National Park of Namibia. The region features lagoons, flood plains, open and riverine woodlands. The area features considerable counts of leopards, lions, wild dogs, sable antelopes, roan antelopes, elephant herds and hippos. The elusive red lechwe, the sitatunga along with crocodile may also be viewed. Elands thrive in the hinterland between Savuti and Linyanti marshes occupied by Nogatsaa grass woodland. Chobe National Park is estimated to contain the largest elephant population on the continent of Africa with a count of 50,000 believed to exist in the park. It can be noted that elephants thriving in this park are Kalahari elephants which feature the largest size of all elephants characterised by short tusks attributed to absence of calcium in the soil on which they live. The elephants retreat to areas of River Linyanti and River Chobe in the dry season while in rainy season; they migrate over a 200 km stretch to the park’s north east though their distribution zone exceeds the park boundary and cross to north western Zimbabwe.
Google Map Showing the Location of Chobe National Park in Botswana
Google Map Showing how to get to Chobe National Park Botswana