Put simply, the the Chobe River, or at least the area surrounding it, is one of the best places in Africa to see elephants.
Plan your safari carefully: the Chobe River is best visited in the dry season – April to October – when game concentrations are at their highest along the thin green ribbon of water as animals seek refuge from the parched woodland.
Watch trumpeting breeding herds rushing to the river to drink, contemplative old bulls standing in the shade of a mahogany tree and mischievous young males jousting for dominance in an area of sunlight, forest and blue water.
The abundance of game is less marked during the rains – November to March – as animals move south into the mopane woods and away from the Chobe River.
Chobe Chilwero – Only 10 luxurious and spacious suites with private gardens are available at at this exclusive 5-star lodge – the most serene experience in Chobe.
Why not combine a stay at Chobe Chilwero with a stay at Chief’s Camp in the Okavango Delta and Sussi & Chuma at Victoria Falls.
Chobe Safari Lodge – Located on the banks of the Chobe River, down- to-earth, affordable accommodation is available, especially for families to enjoy themselves in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
Chobe Safari Lodge is the perfect location for the more budget-conscious traveller and offers excellent value for money. Great packages are available in combination with Pom Pom Camp in the Okavango Delta.
Chobe Game Lodge – The Grand Dame of Chobe, this is the only lodge situated in the Chobe National Park on the banks of the river. The lodge has just over 50 rooms which are all river facing and spread throughout mature gardens.
Chobe under Canvas – An authentic, luxurious tented bush camp located in the park itself and ideally positioned to experience a wealth of wildlife activities.
Activities on the Chobe River
To experience the river in all its moods, take a morning game drive to look for predators as they lie in wait for their prey, and then go on an afternoon river cruise to enjoy jostling crowds of elephants, swooping fish eagles and fabulous sunsets.
Tick off rare birds in Botswana’s top birding destination – with over 350 species of birds the Chobe River is a year-round birder’s paradise and offers you a chance to see species that occur at the extreme limit of their range. Rarities and vagrants occur regularly here, and the tight juxtaposition of habitats results in a superb birding experience.
Twisting along fault lines the Chobe River is part of an elaborate web of waterways in north-east Botswana. Rich in plant life the Chobe River area offers riverine forests, floodplains, mopane and teak woodlands. Sand roads follow the course of the river and wind through the woodlands, enabling the traveller to explore an area where lions prey on huge buffalo herds and shy kudu, sable and roan antelope creep out of the woodland to drink.
The puku antelope, at its southernmost limit of its range, is usually spotted in this area. Leopards are often seen hunting baboon and the exquisite Chobe bushbuck, and cheetah stalk lechwe, reedbuck and impala on the floodplains.
The river itself is host to large numbers of hippopotamus and enormous crocodiles basking in the sun while opportunistic water monitor lizards patrol the water’s edge.
Rising in the Angolan highlands as the Kuando River, the river is briefly known as the Linyanti as it forms the southern boundary of the Caprivi strip. The Chobe goes on to become a central feature of the complex and interlinked water system of northern Botswana. A remote backwater, the Selinda Spillway, links the Chobe to the Okavango Delta in times of excessively high floods, acting as an overflow.
The Chobe’s relationship with the Zambezi River is as intricate: the Chobe joins the Zambezi at Kazungula (Botwana’s border with Zimbabwe) and either contributes to the latter or draws water from it in a reverse flow.