Experiencing the Chobe River

With its lush riverbanks that attract scores of wildlife year round, and provide a haven for the Africa’s greatest concentration of elephants, the Chobe River is an essential part of the Botswana safari experience and can easily be combined with trips to the Okavango Delta and Kalahari.

Forming the northern boundary of the Chobe National Park, the Chobe River is a blue vein twisting along geographical fault lines as it winds its way to the Zambezi River. Flowing through riverine forests, floodplains and open woodlands, the Chobe River is a source of life to the flora and fauna that inhabit its lush banks and the surrounding areas.

A river cruise is one of the best ways of experiencing the Chobe River. Large elephant and buffalo herds congregate on the banks of the Chobe River so spotting wildlife is never hard. Afternoon sundowner cruises are particularly special as you can watch as the sunset turns the river gold.

Photo © Chobe Safari Lodge

Why Choose Chobe?

While only a few dozen kilometers of the riverfront are accessible, either by 4×4 or boat, this only adds to the wild and remote appeal of the Chobe River. Renowned for providing some of the best game viewing in Southern Africa, as well as world-class birding opportunities, it’s no wonder that so many travelers chose the Chobe River as the base for their Botswana safari.

Photo © Chobe Safari Lodge

When is the best time for a Chobe River Safari?

The best time to visit the Chobe River, in terms of game viewing, is during Botswana’s dry season (April – October). During this time, malaria risk is at its lowest and game concentrations are at their highest. As the Chobe National Park is home the highest concentration of elephants on the continent, with numbers estimated at around 50 000, it’s not uncommon to see herds of hundreds of elephants drinking, playing in the shallows, or even crossing the river. In addition to the huge elephant herds, numerous other animals also take advantage of this water source and travelers can expect to see wildlife such as buffalo, various antelope and plains games, and of course, all the exciting predators such as lions, wild dog, leopard, cheetah, hyena and crocodile.

Photo © Chobe Safari Lodge

December to March is the rainy season and there is a marked decrease in wildlife seen around the river as the animals begin to spread out again. While you won’t see the massive herds of animals that you’d witness during the dry season, all the resident wildlife are still present and the opportunity for sightings is still good. The best part about the rainy ‘green’ season, is that the bird watching becomes even more phenomenal as the summer migrants arrive, making it the ideal time of year for birders to experience the Chobe River.

Where to stay to experience the Chobe River?

Chobe Bush Lodge

Situated in Kasane, directly on the border of Chobe National Park and within 150m from Chobe River, Chobe Bush Lodge consists of 38 spacious luxury en-suite rooms in a tranquil setting overlooking the surrounding bush. Guests can experience the spectacle of the Chobe River during game drives and boat cruises. Four African countries meet on the lodge’s doorstep – Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia, therefore making Chobe Bush Lodge an excellent gateway to not only Chobe, but also the Victoria Falls and Caprivi.

Chobe Game Lodge

The only permanent game lodge situated within Chobe National Park, Chobe Game Lodge is an elegant, five-star, fully Ecotourism-certified safari lodge set on the banks of the famous Chobe River. Accommodation at Chobe Game Lodge is designed with peace and privacy in mind, and consists of 47 spacious, river-facing rooms each with en-suite bathrooms and private terraces. The boma is situated under large mahogany trees on the banks of Chobe River. Guests at Chobe Game Lodge can enjoy uninterrupted views of the wildlife and river during game drives and river cruises.

Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero

Bordering Chobe National Park, with splendid views across the Chobe River and its dry-season floodplains, Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero is a luxurious riverside retreat with just 15 guest cottages, as well as the only full spa facility on the Botswana safari circuit. Each of the thatched cottages provides en-suite facilities with indoor and outdoor showers, a lounge, terrace and garden with hammock. Daily game drives in open 4 X 4 Safari vehicles are conducted from the lodge, as well as sundowner cruises on the Chobe River.

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