Chobe River Lodge: Our full report
Formerly known as Garden Lodge, Chobe River Lodge is a small guesthouse in the town of Kasane, Botswana, ...... which borders the Chobe National Park. Beautiful flowers such as hibiscus, frangipani and bougainvillea combine with tropical plants, including banana and paw paw trees, and a riverside location to make this a lovely tranquil spot to spend a few days. In early 2021 Chobe River Lodge changed name, following extensive renovations - the following information refers to the property as it was and will be updated once we visit.
This area of Chobe National Park can be very busy. There are numerous large hotels in Kasane which utilise the park and the river and at the height of the season the area can seem a bit like a circus. Garden Lodge is a small haven of tranquility among the chaos, and a delightful spot for a few days in Kasane.
The Garden Lodge has just eight rooms – five doubles and three family rooms. The rooms have a cosy feel – like staying in someone’s home – and all are broadly similar, although one is smaller than the rest. The décor is mostly white, giving them a cool feel, plus there’s air conditioning, a fan, a safe, a hairdryer and tea- and coffee-making facilities.
Each room has an en-suite bathroom with a shower rather than a bath, and a private veranda looking out towards the Chobe River.
The communal areas at The Garden Lodge include a bar, which is known as the map room due to the variety of maps on the walls, a swimming pool and a lounge and dining room with a communal table where guests can swap travel tales. As the name suggests, the guesthouse is surrounded by a beautiful garden, which slopes down to the riverside.
Although it is possible for guests to explore Chobe National Park and the surrounding areas in their own vehicle, The Garden Lodge offers a range of activities that are worth considering. Favourite options are safari drives in Chobe National Park in open 4WD vehicles and boat cruises on the Chobe River. These are usually morning and afternoon activities, but timings can be flexible depending on guests’ needs.
The Chobe River is a tributary of the Zambezi River and both waterways are known for their sizeable tiger fish. TGarden Lodge offers fishing excursions and supplies all the tackle required to catch these game fish. Any fishing from the guesthouse is operated on a catch-and-release basis. It is also possible to visit one of the villages across the river in Namibia. The guide would take you from Botswana to Namibia by mokoro, a dug-out canoe, then show you through the villages on foot.
Unlike many other Kasane lodges and hotels, the small Garden Lodge offers tranquillity and personalised service with a guesthouse feel. Their activities have some flexibility, and it is a great stop for travellers on a self-drive safari wishing to visit Chobe before heading to Victoria Falls.
- Chobe National Park, Botswana
- Chobe River Lodge is situated in the centre of Kasane town and is easily reached by self-drive or by transfer after visiting the Victoria Falls in Zambia, or other safari camps in Botswana.
- Accessible by
- Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board
- Food quality
- Meals at the Chobe River Lodge are on the lines of those at a safari lodge – hearty and plentiful.
Each day a substantial choice of continental or English breakfast is offered.
Lunch is usually a buffet including a choice of hot dishes, salads, cold meats and cheeses. On our last visit to the Chobe River Lodge we stopped by for a delicious buffet spread of pasta bake, salads, fruit, rice salad and bread. It was all very fresh, and very tasty.
Dinner is a set menu, although the guesthouse is always happy to cater for individual dietary requirements provided they know about them in advance.
- Dining style
- Group Meals
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Drinks included
- Drinks are not included.
- Attitude towards children
- Children are welcome here.
- Property’s age restrictions
- There are no age restrictions at the Chobe River Lodge.
- Special activities & services
- There are no particular activities for children.
- Small beds can be added to the family rooms.
- Generally recommended for children
- Yes – the lodge has three family rooms and children will enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, and of course the pool.
- Hippos sometimes come up on to the lawn by the river, and the pool is unfenced, so children should be supervised at all times, especially in this area.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Chobe River Lodge
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Chobe River Lodge have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- Power supply notes
- Always on
- WiFi is available in the main area, and there’s a computer with free internet access for guest use. There is also a good cellphone signal here.
- TV & radio
- Water supply
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The lodge has a first-aid kit and links to a local doctor in Kasane.
- Dangerous animals
- Moderate Risk
- Security measures
- The lodge is gated and guarded.
Balcony safety warning: The balconies of the upstairs rooms at Chobe River Lodge are not suitably enclosed for children under the age of 6 years. We strongly recommend families with young children book ground-floor rooms here.
- Fire safety
- Fire extinguishers are dotted around the lodge.
- Disabled access
- Not Possible
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry is included.
- There is no currency exchange, but there are several banks with ATMs in Kasane.
- Accepted payment on location
- Visa and Mastercard are accepted. All currencies are accepted, including Namibian dollars (unusual for a lodge outside Namibia).
Other lodges in Chobe National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Muchenje Safari Lodge
One of our favourites in the area, Muchenje is a small, welcoming lodge at the quieter, western end of the Chobe Riverfront.
The Chobe Princess houseboats offer a memorable way to explore the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers in Namibia's Caprivi. Perfect for a couple or for a group of family or friends.
Savute Safari Lodge
Savute Safari Lodge sits on the banks of the Savuti Channel within Chobe National Park, and offers access to excellent game viewing, especially during the dry season.
Chobe Under Canvas
This is a typical location for Chobe under Canvas, a small, semi-permanent camp in the Chobe Riverfront area that offers good value for money and high standards of care.
Savute Under Canvas
A mobile camp with the comforts of a semi-permanent tented camp, Savute Under Canvas offers guided game drives within the Savuti region of Chobe National Park.
Chobe Safari Lodge
Chobe Safari Lodge is a good value, hotel-style lodge in the heart of Kasane offering game drives, boat cruises and fishing trips.
Chobe Elephant Camp
Located in one of our favorite areas of Chobe National Park, Chobe Elephant Camp is a simple but well-appointed camp with a strong bush feel.
Chobe Game Lodge
Chobe Game Lodge occupies an enviable riverfront location within Chobe National Park and boasts well-earned 'eco' credentials, as well as an excellent all-female guiding team.
The Zambezi Queen offers luxurious two- and three-night cruises along the game-rich Chobe River, including game viewing by small boat and 4WD as well as catch-and-release fishing.
Ngoma Safari Lodge
With sweeping views across the floodplains of the Chobe River, Ngoma offers superb food and flexible safari activities.
On the periphery of Chobe National Park, Chobe Chilwero offers luxurious surroundings and excellent food, which complement superb game viewing on game drives and boat trips.
Savute Elephant Lodge
Savute Elephant Lodge is a luxurious camp on the banks of the now flowing Savuti Channel. This is a classic big-game area, although its location within Chobe National Park does limit the activities which are possible here.
Elephant Valley Lodge
Elephant Valley Lodge is a lovely camp in a beautiful setting – sit in its hide and watch the wildlife come to drink at the waterhole. Activities focus on boating and drives in Chobe which - although very busy, and a long drive from the lodge – is very rich in wildlife.
Camp Kuzuma sits in the Kazuma Forest Reserve and is an excellent place to see elephant in particular. Away from the busier riverfront area of Chobe National Park this camp offers a luxurious base form which to explore this less visited region of northern Botswana.