Chobe National Park
Chobe is home to the highest concentration of elephants in Africa during the wet and dry season. It’s renowned for impressive buffalo herds which sustain a very healthy population of lions. Zebra warthog, kudu, impala, wildebeest and a variety of other game are prevalent. The local bird list exceeds 450 species, so it never disappoints those even on the shortest visit.
Long regarded as one of Africa’s most legendary wildlife areas, Chobe National Park is within Botswana’s extreme north visited by Livingstone in the 1850’s and well known to hunters, surveyors and explorers for decades since. With a massive population of big game, it’s tourism value was recognised in the 1930’s when a large swathe of wilderness was declared a non-hunting area. The Game Reserve was created in 1960 and declared a National Park in 1967.
It’s an easy 1 hour drive from Victoria Falls and its popularity as a top safari destination has boomed especially over the last few years. If you’re looking for an affordable solution to the high price of safaris in Botswana or very short on time whilst staying at Victoria Falls then it’s a very worthwhile safari spot (even when it’s crowded during the high season from July to September).
The main safari areas include the Chobe River front, the famous Savuti region to the west, Nogatsaa’s central pans and the Linyanti wetland.
If you’re short on time or cash then it’s is absolutely recommended especially when combined with a short stay in Victoria Falls.
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Largest land animals on earth, the African elephant used to range widely through sub-Saharan Africa. Despite being threatened by habitat loss and ivory poaching African elephants have healthy populations in east and southern Africa.
Best places to see elephants include Mana Pools and Hwange in Zimbabwe, Botswana’s Chobe and Linyanti, the Luangwa Valley, Selous, Katavi and Amboseli.
Days usually start with a drive at first light. Into areas where game was active the previous day or where skirmishes occurred during the night. This could be to the start of a walking trail or a simple wait whilst the bush comes to life. Vehicles are mostly set up so that everybody has a “window seat”. We use them through the day to track game and where permitted for the final night drive.
Waterways provide one of the simplest and safest ways of getting close to wildlife gathering on shorelines. Pontoons and boats offer steady platforms for photographers and big game observers, whilst mekoros and canoes allow easy access through shallow waters. If there’s little action during the wait for game to come and drink then birding or fishing always produce results.