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Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park

Chobe, famous for its magnificent elephant herds

Explore the park on a mobile safari

Explore Botswana's northern boundary - the Chobe River

The wildlife is equally relaxed with boats on the Chobe River

The peace and quiet of an African sunset

The rains mean lush grazing opportunities in the Chobe

Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park: in detail

Chobe safari holidays: the full story

The Chobe National Park covers about 11,700km² of the northern Kalahari, much of it impenetrable thorn bush growing on deep sand. This is an old safari area. Livingstone visited it in the 1850s, as have countless big-game hunters since. It's famous for huge herds of elephant and buffalo, and large prides of lion that have learnt to hunt them; for a river that apparently flows both ways; and for the mysterious, disappearing (and reappearing) Savuti Channel.

The key to this safari area is Chobe's animal migration. Chobe's animals move in complex, ancient patterns determined by the rain and available food. Within Chobe National Park there are two areas with a few luxurious private lodges: the Chobe Riverfront and Savuti Marsh (sometimes spelt “Savute” Marsh). Elsewhere, these parks are perhaps best explored using a mobile safari.

Safari lodges & camps around Chobe Riverfront

The far north of the park, bordering the Chobe River, has long been renowned for its dense game. The lion are common and nonchalant, the antelope prolific, and the herds of buffalo and elephant among the largest anywhere. The birdlife is also excellent, from ubiquitous fish eagles to a myriad herons and waders. The amazing fishing skills of the rare African skimmer are just one highlight of the Chobe River, along with some sizeable hippos and crocodiles.

If you come here, then we recommend the following lodges, which are either in or near to Chobe National Park or in the adjacent Forest Reserve.

Muchenje Safari Lodge

Muchenje is outside the Chobe National Park, in the Chobe Forest Reserve, 50km west of Kasane - and accordingly away from the busiest section of the park. (Read more about Muchenje Safari Lodge ... )

Chobe Game Lodge

Chobe Game Lodge occupies a stunning position beside the Chobe River. It is a luxury hotel in the bush. (Read more about Chobe Game Lodge ... )

Chobe Chilwero

The opulent Chobe Chilwero is set back on a hill overlooking the Chobe River and National Park. (Read more about Chobe Chilwero ... )

Over the years this riverfront area has become increasingly popular, and quite busy. It is just a short road transfer from Victoria Falls, so is the obvious choice if you want a couple of nights' safari tied in with a visit to the Falls.
However, if this riverfront area is too busy for you, but you don't want to fly further into Botswana, then consider two great lodges on the opposite bank of the Chobe River, in the Caprivi Strip in Namibia.

Kaza Safari Lodge

Situated on the beautiful Impalila Island, Kaza Safari Lodge is right on the Zambezi, overlooking the Mambova Rapids. (Read more about Kaza Safari Lodge... )

Ichingo Chobe River Lodge

Ichingo Chobe River Lodge on Impalila Island right beside the Chobe River. (Read more about Ichingo Chobe River Lodge... )

Safari lodges and camps near Savuti Marsh

Savuti is one of Africa's most famous big game areas, with an atmosphere of its own. It's also something of an enigma, quite apart from the mystery over the different spellings used for “Savuti”. You can visit Savuti on one of our mobile safaris, or stay at one of the camps here:

Savute Elephant Camp

Savute Elephant Camp has 12 palatial tents spread along the channel, all partially screened off from the bush by wooden stockades. (Read more about Savute Elephant Camp ... )

Savute Safari Lodge

Savute Safari Lodge also accommodates 24 guests in similarly large – but very modern – wood-and-thatch suites. (Read more about Savute Safari Lodge ... )

Savuti Camp

Somewhat confusingly, Savuti Camp stands beside the Savuti Channel, but about 30km northwest of Savuti Marsh. It is outside of Chobe National Park, but inside the private Linyanti Reserve. (Read more about Savuti Camp ... )

Small group safaris to Chobe National Park with Wild about Africa

If you'd like to explore Chobe National Park and the Savuti area on a mobile safari led by a professional guide, consider a comfortable or luxury camping safari, or a private guided safari. See Wild about Africa for a selection of Botswana Safaris to Chobe National Park.

History and wildlife of the Savuti area

Key to this area is the unpredictable Savuti Channel, which sometimes flows from the Linyanti's waterways and into the heart of Chobe National Park, flooding the Savuti Marsh. Even when dry, the marsh is a real attraction; a vast, open grassland dotted with the skeletons of drowned trees. Many animals pass through here on their annual migrations – attracted by the marsh's particularly nutritious grasses. Zebra visit in large herds, accompanied by impala, wildebeest, giraffe, tsessebe, buffalo and elephant. When the river is flowing, we'd expect game densities to be much higher.

Over the last few centuries, the water has appeared and then dried up again several times. When David Livingstone came through Savuti around 1851 it was flowing; by 1879 the channel had stopped and the Savuti Marsh was starting to dry out. The flow began again in the late 1950s, continuing until 1982 when it again dried up. In 2008 it started flowing again, and by June 2010 the Savuti Marsh was flooding.

Aside from the migrants, some animals have permanent territories here. Leopard are always plentiful around the granite kopjes, the packs of spotted hyena and prides of lion are notoriously large, and a cohort of old bull elephants is always around.

Call us and we'll help you to plan your trip around these migrations, so that you get the best from these areas.

Where to stay in Chobe

Our suggestions for safari camps in Chobe National Park


Muchenje Safari Lodge

Muchenje Safari Lodge

One of our favourites in the area, Muchenje is a small, welcoming lodge outside the less busy western end of the Chobe Riverfront area.


95% (152 reviews)
Chobe Princesses

Chobe Princesses

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.


96% (57 reviews)
Garden Lodge

Garden Lodge

Overlooking the Chobe River, the intimate Garden Lodge is a haven of tranquillity away from the bustle of Kasane.


96% (54 reviews)
Savute Safari Lodge

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.


94% (34 reviews)
Chobe Under Canvas

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.


100% (20 reviews)
Savute Under Canvas

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.


96% (18 reviews)
Chobe Safari Lodge

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.


84% (18 reviews)
Chobe Game Lodge

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.


85% (12 reviews)
Chobe Elephant Camp

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.


97% (12 reviews)
Zambezi Queen

Zambezi Queen

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.


96% (9 reviews)
Ngoma Safari Lodge

Ngoma Safari Lodge

With sweeping views across the floodplains of the Chobe River, Ngoma offers superb food and flexible safari activities.


100% (6 reviews)
Chobe Chilwero

Chobe Chilwero

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.


100% (2 reviews)
Savute Elephant Lodge

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.


100% (1 review)
Elephant Valley Lodge

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.


80% (1 review)
Camp Kuzuma

Camp Kuzuma

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.


No reviews yet

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings in Chobe

This is their success for sightings in Chobe National Park.
Click on a species for more detail. How we work this out.


Elephant

100% success

Giraffe

100% success

Buffalo

96% success

Hippo

96% success

Zebra

95% success

Lion

80% success

Leopard

61% success

Sable antelope

49% success

Wildebeest

45% success

Spotted Hyena

42% success

Roan antelope

37% success

Wild dog

28% success

Eland

22% success

Brown Hyena

14% success

Cheetah

5% success

Pangolin

3% success

Aardvark

3% success

Sitatunga

0% success

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