When Nellie the elephant packed her trunk and said goodbye to the circus, some believe she trundled back to the jungle, but where exactly might this mysterious jungle be, inquisitive minds might wonder? Our best guess is that she trumpetytrumped all the way to the world renowned confines of Chobe National Park and we’ve got good reason to believe so.
Famous for the march of more than 70000 migratory African elephants, Chobe National Park is visited by many and is without a doubt, one of Botswana’s magnificent treasures.
Flowing from within the borders of Angola, the Kwando River pierces through Botswana’s border, feeding the Linyanti Swamp river valleys and from there, it forges below and forms the Linyanti River. The stream courses steadily eastward and transform yet again into the Chobe River before merging with the Zambezi. It is the surge of these currents that gives life to some of the greatest concentrations of wildlife in Africa.
Great herds of zebra, buffalo and not forgetting elephants too, journey toward these flowing rivers during the dry season, causing many predators and their prey to congregated around the lush forested parts of the waterways.
The Linyanti Reserve which borders Chobe National Park consists of marshy vistas, open floodplains, rolling savannas and the Savuti Channel which are home to hundreds of hippos. The mopane forests and open plains of the Kwando Reserve are probably where you’ll find most of the wildlife convening. From many species of antelope to wild dogs, giraffe and wildebeest; the prey of the reserves nonchalantly minding their own business as they try their best not to be eaten by the opportunistic prowl of the hunting lion.
Chobe National Park is a collection of paradise-like eco-systems, swarming with the flutter of remarkable birdlife which are attracted by the thriving growth of lush plant species; all coming together to fill the outstandingly beautiful landscape of the Africa wilderness.
The best access to the region is from Kasane or Maun Airports which offer a regular air transfer service directly to lodges and camps. There are regular regional flight services from Johannesburg to Maun and Livingstone (an hour’s road transfer away from Kasane)
Suggested Stay Details
To fully appreciate the vast landscape and its wildlife, we suggest a stay of 5 to 7 nights.
Type of Experience
ANCIENT SAILING: The many river valleys, swamps and streams attract a plethora of wildlife and with a traditional mokoro, these waters become a majestic windingcourse of exploration. The mokoro is a dugout canoe used by the indigenous people who occupied the land hundreds of years ago.
Drift across the slow current of the Linyanti River and listen to the cry of the overflying birds. You may even get a chance to witness Africa’s big cats as they skilfully stalk buffalo that come to graze along the grassy floodplains, some meters away from you.
Although visited by many tourists, the infrastructure at Chobe National Park is largely undeveloped, embodying an African wilderness. In this wilderness you will find the luxury of superbly detailed safari lodges.
These lodges can rival the best, with meticulous attention to detail, outstanding services and majestic views of the African landscape.
The region is characterized by arid savannah plains, typical of the Kalahari. These plains, unlike other desert landscapes, are well vegetated with grass-covered sand dunes.
The Kwando, Linyanti and Chobe River meander through the park and reserves, feeding dense forests of mopane and broadleaf woodlands.
The areas surrounding Chobe were believed to be inhabited by ancient Bushmen, Hambukushu, Bayei and Basubiya. In 1961 Chobe became a protected game reserve by law, and in 1968, after the death of many wildlife, the game reserve was declared a national park.
Nonetheless, even after merciless hunting, the park’s wildlife continued to flourish and because of this, in the 1980’s, tourists flocked to Chobe National to get a glimpse of African wildlife. As a result of tourism and its devastating impact, in 1987 the Botswana government adopted a policy causing major cost inflation, but thankfully resulting in less tourist traffic.
Today, Chobe National Park is one of Africa’s most impressive conservation efforts