​Overview – Chobe NP

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the 'Botswana & Namibia' guide.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

Anthony is the author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

Chobe National Park includes two incredible wildlife areas: Chobe Riverfront and Savuti. The Chobe is one of Africa’s magical rivers, and a great way to explore the riverfront is by boat, especially late afternoon when big herds of elephants and buffalo come to drink. There are plenty of hippos and crocs in the river, and the birdlife is phenomenal. Savuti is brilliant for predators.

Best Time to Go August to October (Best at the riverfront area)
High Season July to October (The park gets crowded)
Size 11,700km² / 4,517mi²
Altitude 919-1,061m / 3,015-3,481ft

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent wildlife viewing
  • Four of the Big Five present (rhino is absent)
  • Ideal birding destination, especially for waterbirds
  • Game drives and boat safaris available
  • Excellent self-drive destination
  • Most accommodation is outside the park
  • The waterfront area near Kasane can get crowded
  • Very hot in summer
  • Limited safari circuits inside the park

Chobe NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Aside from elephants and buffalo, common waterbuck, plains zebras, impalas and puku are abundant on the floodplains and easily seen on boat safaris in the Dry season. Early morning game drives are most productive for finding predators such as lions and spotted hyenas. Although more secretive, you might luck a leopard too.

Scenery

Chobe’s lifeline is the Chobe River which lazily meanders through savannah and woodland, and the floodplains are usually dotted with animals. The interior is a patchwork of mopane woodland and flat Kalahari sandveld (dry, sandy soil). The Savuti Marsh is another landmark in the park. It is mostly dry, and it is often compared to the Serengeti Plains.

Weather & Climate

Average daytime temperatures in the Dry season (April to October) start at 30°C/86°F in April, and by October they’ve climbed to a very hot 35°C/95°F. Conditions stay fairly hot in the first two months of the Wet season (November to March), before the heavy storms of January and February sweep away the worst of the heat.

Best Time to Visit

You can see animals year-round at Chobe, but the Dry season (April to October) is when wildlife viewing is at its best here, particularly along the southern bank of the park’s broad, namesake river. It gets better as the season progresses, but be warned that it gets hotter too.

Want to Visit Chobe NP?

Chobe NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Mike Unwin  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mike is an award winning wildlife writer, editor of Travel Zambia magazine and author of the Bradt Guide to Southern African Wildlife.

Elephant central
4/5

Your experience of Chobe will depend on which part of the park you visit. The waterfront area in the north, which is within a day trip of Victoria Falls, offers game viewing for the masses, with boats cruising up and down the Chobe River...

Full Review

Latest User Review
Ricardo  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Feb 25, 2022
5/5

Unreal wildlife and setting. My tour operator had me with the Bushways camp there.

Full Review