Chobe National Park

Overview

Chobe National Park is in northern Botswana near the vast, inland Okavango Delta. Directly to the east is Kazungula, near the confluence of the Chobe and Zambezi rivers, where Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe meet. Chobe National Park is often termed as the Elephant capital of Africa due to its high population of elephants.  Chobe has the greatest concentration of game in all of Africa (about 80 000), both in variety and in sheer numbers. Elephant and buffalo are a permanent presence on the riverbanks in the dry winter months. Burchell's zebra are very common, while smaller numbers of sable, roan and greater kudu can be found in the park interior. Lions are often seen, as well as other predators that include wild dog, leopard, and cheetah.  The flood plains of the Chobe River is the only place in Botswana where the puku antelope can be seen.  

Why Go:

  • Superb wildlife viewing
  • Day and night game drives
  • Exceptional service and hospitality
  • Off-road driving allows close-up animal sightings

Wildlife

Chobe offers great wildlife viewing. The park is renowned for huge concentrations of elephant and buffalo that come to drink at the river. Lions often lie in ambush near the river waiting for an opportunity, but spotted hyena, leopard and cheetah are more easily seen inside the park.

More About the Wildlife

Scenery

Chobe’s lifeline is the Chobe River which lazily meanders through savannah and woodland, and the floodplains are usually dotted with animals. The interior is a patchwork of mopane woodland and flat Kalahari sandveld (dry, sandy soil). The Savuti Marsh is another landmark in the park. It is mostly dry, and it is often compared to the Serengeti Plains.

Best Time to Visit

You can see animals year-round at Chobe, but the Dry season (April to October) is when wildlife viewing is at its best here, particularly along the southern bank of the park’s broad, namesake river. You’ll also see some unforgettable sunsets across the water at this time, though you’ll be elbowing the high-season crowds while checking them out.

More About the Best Time to Visit

Weather & Climate

Average daytime temperatures in the Dry season (April to October) start at 30°C/86°F in April, and by October they’ve climbed to a very hot 35°C/95°F. Conditions stay fairly hot in the first two months of the Wet season (November to March), before the heavy storms of January and February sweep away the worst of the heat.

More About the Weather and Climate

Wildlife & Animals

Thousands of animals on the floodplains kick up a lot of dust, which creates amazing photo opportunities at sunset. Less obvious are some of the smaller mammals such as the Chobe subspecies of bushbuck. Red lechwe are common in marshy areas. Some of the small predators include Selous' mongoose, serval and wild cat. Chobe has very seasonal wildlife viewing. The dry months, from May to October, are a good time to visit the Chobe River area in the north. During the Wet season, from December to April, animals tend to congregate around the pans in the interior.
Abundant Common Occasional Rare None
  • Buffalo

    Buffalo

    Common
  • Cheetah

    Cheetah

    Occasional
  • Elephant

    Elephant

    Common
  • Giraffe

    Giraffe

    Common
  • Hippo

    Hippo

    Common
  • Hyena

    Hyena

    Common
  • Leopard

    Leopard

    Occasional
  • Lion

    Lion

    Common
  • Wild Dog

    Wild Dog

    Rare
  • Wildebeest

    Wildebeest

    Occasional
  • Zebra

    Zebra

    Common
  • Black Rhino

    Black Rhino

    Rare
  • White Rhino

    White Rhino

    Rare

Best Time to Visit

Chobe can be visited throughout the year. The park is seasonal, and wildlife migrates through the park with the seasons. The riverfront area is best visited in the dry months, from May to October. August to October are the best months here, but it gets extremely hot at that time of the year. During the wet months, animals, Burchell’s zebra specifically, migrate to the Savute Marsh, while Linyanti is best visited from April onward.
  • Best Time

    August to October (Best wildlife viewing at the riverfront area)

  • High Season

    July to October (The park gets crowded)

  • Low Season

    November to June (Low season rates may apply)

  • Best Weather

    May to August (Less hot during the day)

  • Worst Weather

    October (It gets extremely hot)

April to October
- Dry Season
  • Wildlife viewing along the riverfront gets better as the Dry season progresses
  • Most of the Dry season has the best weather
  • Sunsets on the river are phenomenal
November to March
- Wet Season
  • There are huge concentrations of zebra and other wildlife at the Savute Marsh
  • Prolific numbers of baby animals attract predators
  • The best time for birders as migrants are present

Weather & Climate

The last showers marking the end of the Wet season normally fall in April. From May, the park becomes drier and drier as the Dry season unfolds. June and July are the coolest months; however, temperatures begin increasing in August and peak in October, which is aptly named ‘suicide month’ by the locals. The first rains are a relief. It doesn’t usually rain all day, but thunderstorms in the afternoon and short showers are common. It’s hot throughout the season with afternoon temperatures of around 31°C/88°F. Mornings are pleasant, although it starts to cool down at night in March.
Climate Chart

Getting There

Most visitors to Chobe National Park will have to come through the town of Kasane, or Maun, whatever mode of transport they choose. There are direct flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg to Botswana, arriving at Kasane Airport (BBK) or Maun (MUB).  A short drive from Kasane Airport will take you into the Chobe National Park, whilst a short charter flight (usually included in your tour package) is included to get to your destination camp. You can also combine a safari in Botswana with a visit to Victoria Falls, an easy road transfer of approximately 90 minutes will see you arrive in Kasane. Your local tour operator will package your safari trip to include airport transfers and flights as part of their service.

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