The Chobe Region is home to abundant wildlife and serves as the rendezvous point for four countries, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, and Namibia. The unassuming town of Kasane is the gateway to this diverse and rich part of Africa. Its neighbours include the Chobe National Park, known for its thriving population of elephants, and the village of Kazungula. Here guests can take ferries across to Zambia, witnessing the roaring Victoria Falls in all its glory.
Chobe National Park's dynamic landscape lends itself to a variety of fauna and flora. Extensive floodplains along the Chobe River to the north – home to the elusive puku antelope – mirror the African sky and fold into mahogany and teak woodlands. An eerie graveyard of trees awaits in the Savuti marshlands, along with the remnants of an inland lake that grows into riverine forests near the Linyanti River. Then there are the rocky outcrops scattered across the park, embellished with artwork left behind by San bushmen who still roam parts of Botswana today.
Chobe National Park is home to several lodges, houseboats, and camps eager to welcome visitors. Those wanting to explore the wider Chobe region can find accommodation in Kasane and easily make day trips into the park or traverse the mere 100 kilometres across the border from Victoria Falls. Daily flights to Kasane Airport are available from Johannesburg, Gaborone, and Maun Airports.
We've taken the liberty to answer everything you may need to know about visiting Chobe Region
The Chobe Region is an accessible destination, and you have a few options. Most travellers choose to add a visit to Victoria Falls to their itinerary, as it's just a hop, skip, and jump away. Depending on where you are coming from, you can spend some time in Victoria Falls (on the Zimbabwe or Zambia side, or both) and then take a road transfer across the border post into Botswana.
Once on the other side, you have many safari lodges to choose from, all close to Chobe National Park. Alternatively, you can stay inside the park at the only lodge with this jurisdiction, Chobe Game Lodge.
If you've already visited Victoria Falls or decided to omit this stop from your itinerary, you have the option to fly into Kasane Airport. We can also arrange flights directly from Johannesburg, making it easy to add a South Africa stopover to your itinerary.
Another option could be to combine some time in the Okavango Delta and Moremi region with Chobe. If you start your journey in the Delta and end in Chobe (perhaps adding Victoria Falls after that), you can fly from Maun Airport in Botswana directly to Kasane Airport.
If you're more adventurous, you could combine a self-drive tour through Namibia with Botswana and end at the Caprivi Strip before crossing the border into Kasane to explore the Chobe National Park. From here, you can fly out of Kasane Airport to Johannesburg International Airport for your departure flight back home. The options are endless, each with its cost implications and levels of convenience! Chat with our Travel Experts to find out which is best for you.
If you're asking this question, you are likely familiar with private concessions vs national parks. And, if you've read any of our other blog posts about this exact question, you would know that usually private concessions are generally the preferred choice of experience. However, in this case, Chobe National Park is the exception.
Although Chobe is Botswana's third-largest park, after Central Kalahari Game Reserve and Gemsbok National Park, Chobe National Park has one of the most significant concentrations of game in all of Africa! This fact alone should already convince you that your experience will not be tainted, as you are in for a great wildlife ride when visiting this national park.
First proclaimed a wildlife reserve in 1930, then later becoming Botswana's first national park in 1968, Chobe National Park has been around for a long time! The animals have adapted to this area over many generations, and they are not going anywhere any time soon. Therefore, you can rest assured that you will have a diverse wildlife experience!
Although a border separates Botswana and Zimbabwe, and we humans need a passport to move between them, the elephants are the actual landowners. They can roam between the two, crossing private concessions and forests dividing the countries. Between these two locations, you can experience the continent's largest concentration of African elephants.
If you've ever wanted to see an elephant swim, Chobe is your best bet to see it! Along with its famous boat cruises and houseboats, the Chobe River is famous for its elephant crossings between Namibia and Botswana's riverfront. Another large mammal to look out for is the hippopotamus, often sharing a sandbank with a crocodile!
The Chobe National Park is also home to massive herds of buffalo and zebra and high densities of predators such as lion, spotted hyena, and the elusive leopard and cheetah. Rare and endangered wildlife, including the exquisite African wild or painted dogs and puku (Kobus vardonii), thrive in wet grasslands along the Chobe riverfront.
Like most safari destinations, you could visit year-round as the animals do not disappear! However, certain times of year increase your chances of seeing animals and experience better weather conditions.
For Chobe, the best time to visit is the dry season, from May to October. This time of the year brings warmer days and cooler nights, drying up most seasonal waterholes and only leaving permanent water sources to hydrate the wildlife. One of the largest permanent water sources, the Chobe River attracts high concentrations of wildlife to its waterfront, including massive herds of elephant wallowing at the water’s edge to cool off. During this time, most safari lodges offer both land- and water-based activities for guests to watch such a spectacle from the prime position of a motorised boat.
If birding is your thing, or if you love to escape the crowds, then the green season between December and April is the best time for you to visit Chobe! The summer rains bring a different atmosphere to the landscape, transforming the dry, amber savannah into an emerald paradise. The grasslands grow tall, making it the ideal time for newborns to hide away from predators. Thousands of birds also flock to the area to soak up the enchanting woodlands Chobe so generously offers.
Whether it is your first or hundredth visit to the Chobe Region, you want to ensure you can go on as many safari activities as possible. Despite the early morning wake-up calls, the activity you miss always ends up being the one where the animals come out of every corner! It's the karma of the African bush. However, the Chobe region has more to offer guests than just the typical land-based game drives. You also have the option to enjoy river cruises.
A typical day usually begins with rising early to enjoy a freshly brewed coffee or tea before heading out on your morning activity, usually a game drive. You would typically arrive back at the lodge by mid-morning to enjoy a well-deserved breakfast, and you then have the rest of the day at your leisure before it's time for lunch.
As the afternoon rolls around, a small snack or afternoon tea energises you before heading out on your afternoon activity. This is usually a boating safari which would eventually turn into a sunset cruise as you watch the African sun dipping into the water's reflection while sipping on your drink of choice.
Finally, return to the lodge for a delicious dinner and, if you're lucky, some stories around the boma fire with a nightcap! Fall asleep to the sounds of nature, singing you into a trance to recuperate for another eventful day in Africa.
The Chobe Region is located in a malaria area. Please note that we are not doctors, so please always speak to your doctor about malaria prevention before travelling. However, on that note, it is entirely possible to have a safe, malaria-free holiday in Africa by using prophylactic drugs.
Tip 1: Repel the Mosquitoes
The female mosquito responsible for transmitting malaria is a silent mossy, so you will have to ensure you repel them. They can strike at any time of day but are most active at dusk as well as dawn. Always wear repellent as well as long-sleeved shirts and long trousers in the evenings and mornings. Please note that clothes alone won't protect you, as they can bite through the material. Most of our lodges will have screened windows and doors, air conditioning systems, and mosquito nets to further protect you.
Tip 2: ALWAYS Take Anti-Malaria Tablets
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself against malaria is taking Prophylactic tablets. Please note that you have to speak to your doctor before taking these tablets to ensure that you take the right one, as well as the correct dosage when entering the malaria area.
Tip 3: Keep an Eye Out for Symptoms and Finish Your Course of Meds
If you start to notice any flu-like symptoms, you must get a malaria test to be safe and catch it early because malaria reacts well to early treatment. Also, don't stop taking your meds until the course is complete!
Chobe's position is like a meeting place for four neighbouring countries, including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Botswana. Situated in the north of Botswana, Chobe is near the border posts connecting all of these neighbouring countries, making it easy for travellers to visit multiple destinations in one go.
Travellers can plan their itinerary around visiting these four countries – if you have the time – and can easily be done now with the recent official opening of the Kazungula Bridge, linking this quadripoint of countries together. Imagine the bragging rights and ticking of four countries within a single African holiday!
Logistics can be tricky and might seem overwhelming, especially when the borders, namely Beitbridge Border Post, can see an average of 25,000 passing through – daily! However, you luckily have our dedicated Rhino Africa Travel Experts to guide you.