Chobe, is the second largest national park in Botswana, covers over 6,700 square miles. This diverse ecosystem is home to over 100,000 elephants at times. The park is divided into four main areas comprising the Chobe River front with floodplain and teak forest, the Savuti Marsh in the west, the Linyanti Swamps in the north-west and the hot dry hinterland in between.
Chobe’s constant water supply supports great concentrations of wildlife. The park covers a wide variety of country, from riverine forest, flood plains and periodic marsh to the sporadic rocky outcrops such a diversity of habitats implies a wide variety of wildlife from water animals. In the southern area of the park lies the Mababe depression where early in the year the Zebra migration takes place.
Chobe National Park is famous for its elephants, which are part of what is the largest surviving continuous elephant population on earth. The elephants cover most of northern Botswana and north-western Zimbabwe, and it is estimated that there are over 100,000 of them in the Chobe-Kasane area along. The Chobe elephants are migratory, making seasonal movements of up to 200 miles from the Chobe and Linyanti rivers, where they concentrate in the dry season, to the pans in the south-east of the park. The rare Kalahari elephant, which can be found in Chobe, has the distinction of being the world’s largest elephants. But due to a lack of certain minerals their ivory is brittle and you will not see many with large tusks.
The Chobe river is best known for its prolific bird life. There are over 400 different species in the park ranging from eagles, kingfishers, marabou stalks to bee-eaters. The most well-known are the fish eagles who feed on some of the 91 species of fish found including the tiger fish, and nembwe .
The original inhabitants of this region were the San people, otherwise known in Botswana as the Basarwa. They were hunter-gatherers who lived by moving from one area to another in search of water, wild fruits and wild animals.
Park Size: 6,700 sq. miles – 11,000 sq kilometers
Ecosystems: Chobe River, flood plains, teak forest, riverine forests, marshland, marshland, mopane and Mombo woodlands
Wildlife: Thousands of elephant and buffalo, lion, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, jackal, warthog, brown and spotted hyena, baboons, wild dogs, kudu, eland, roan, sable, blue wildebeest, tsessebe, bushbuck + 400 species of birds
When to go: March through September
Highlights: Game drives, canoeing, walking safaris, bird watching, boating, fishing
Trips that Visit Chobe National Park:
Desert and Delta Safari