Top 5 Chobe National Park Safari Experiences
Experience an authentic African safari adventure that will quite literally stampede its way into your heart at Botswana’s Chobe National Park. Nicknamed ‘The Land of the Gentle Giants’, Chobe National Park boasts an impressive and exceptional population of African elephants, which is said to exceed 120,000 – Undoubtedly making it one of the top places, if not THE top place, on the planet to witness these remarkable gentle giants of the African bushveld in their natural environment.
At Chobe, it’s safe to say that elephants reign supreme with avid travellers, wildlife enthusiasts, and tourists flocking from all across the globe for the opportunity to see these mighty and magnificent mammals and largest member of the African Big 5 in action as well as experience once-in-a-lifetime face-to-face encounters with these never-ending herds of the largest living land animal on earth.
Occupying a great woodland wilderness between the eponymous Chobe River and the fringes of the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Chobe National Park is one of Africa’s heavyweight reserves and a sanctuary for some of the continent’s healthiest populations of elephant, buffalo, lion, giraffe, zebra, leopard, jackals, and the widely beloved and endangered African wild dog, to mention merely a few.
Chobe is also one of the best places in Africa to witness the most dramatic predator action – The Savuti region of the Chobe National Park is particularly notorious for its brutal clashes between lions and hyenas. In fact the intense and extreme rivalry between these two predators has made Savuti one of Botswana’s and Chobe’s top and most highly sought-after safari and wildlife attractions. Savuti is also widely known as the site where powerful prides famously take down Africa’s biggest game like buffalo, giraffe, and even elephants.
Diverse and dramatic, Botswana’s Chobe National Park is a force to be reckoned with. Here are the top 10 safari experiences at Chobe National Park as well as the best and most exciting things to do, see, and experience when visiting one of Botswana’s most iconic wildlife and safari destinations.
Whether you’re a safari newbie or a seasoned explorer, you definitely don’t want to miss out on any of Chobe National Park’s incredible and thrilling range of wildlife and safari activities, adventures, and bucket-list worthy experiences on offer. While the classic game drive will forever hold its allure, we encourage you to embrace the myriad of experiences that will not only provide a dazzling display of alternative perspectives but promises to be nothing short of unforgettable.
In fact, travelers looking to enjoy an African safari holiday filled with endless adventure and once-in-a-lifetime safari experiences, look no further than Botswana and its iconic Chobe National Park! Beyond its lavish luxury and exclusivity, Botswana is brimming with thrilling adventures, exhilarating experiences, and exciting safari activities – All of which are right at your fingertips and yours for the taking!
Depending on what you’re looking to experience – or if you’re eager to experience it ALL (who could possibly blame you?!) – Botswana and Chobe, along with its host of immaculate safari lodges boasts an endless variety of safari adventures and experiences to enjoy by YOU!
#1 Chobe River Safaris & Boat Cruises
There are few safari experiences and adventures that can compare to the sheer exhilaration of going on a legendary and total-bucket-list worthy Chobe River Safari or Boat Cruise.
Forming the northern boundary of the Chobe National Park as well as much of Botswana’s border with Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, the Chobe River is an integral part of the Botswana safari experience and combines easily with the Okavango Delta and Kalahari. The river can also be accessed from its Namibian side, and its close proximity to Victoria Falls means easy day trips both ways.
Rising in the Angolan highlands and then twisting along geological fault lines as it winds its way to the Zambezi River, the Chobe is flanked by riverine forests, vast floodplains, and open woodlands. Only a few dozen kilometres of riverfront are accessible, either by a 4X4 game drive or boat, but the rewards are huge and beyond worth it! The Chobe River is the scene for some of the best game viewing in Southern Africa as well as provides a safe haven for the continent’s greatest concentration of elephants.
There is absolutely NO denying that going on an exciting and down-right thrilling Chobe River Safari or Boat Cruise is by far one of Botswana and Chobe National Park’s top wildlife and safari highlights and not-to-be-missed adventure experiences. It not only allows you to discover, explore, and experience the vast unspoiled wilderness of Chobe from an entirely new and exhilarating perspective, but gives you the opportunity to enjoy unbelievable up-close wildlife sightings you may never have encountered on a land-based safari. Great rafts of snoozing hippos are easy to spot and be sure to keep an eye out for crocodiles (there are still some REALLY big ones found in this area) as well as water monitors, a six foot temperamental, whip-lash tailed lizard.
As the Chobe River is regarded as the best place for spectacular game viewing, you better strap in for some sensational sightings. Besides seeing large herds of elephants crossing right in front of you, not to mention these mighty and magnificent mammals splashing and playing along the riverside, you will also spot a vast diversity of other amazing wildlife species. Expect huge herds of buffalo, giraffe, zebra, many antelope and classic plains game species, plus a full range of predators – lions, wild dogs, crocodiles, cheetahs, leopards, and spotted hyena.
If you really, REALLY want to see as many wild African elephants as you possibly can on your Chobe safari trip, it’s hard to think of a better destination than the iconic Chobe River at the end of Botswana’s enervating dry season. Botswana’s virtually rainless winter begins in May and by late August the rest of the park has practically dried out completely; The bone-dry surroundings, due to the extreme lack of rain, means that ponds, streams, puddles, and smaller water sources around the park dry up. This forces enormous concentrations of water-dependent wildlife (especially elephants, buffalo, and predators (along with other wildlife species) to crowd the banks of the Chobe River, essentially congregating around the remaining large water source / sources – AKA the Chobe River – resulting in truly sensational wildlife sightings that has to be seen to be believed! That’s not all!
Avid bird watchers are in for quite a treat as the birdlife is absolutely thriving and beyond excellent around the Chobe River during its dry season.
In the heat of September and October, thousands of elephants arrive cheek-by-jowl with enormous buffalo herds, trailed by prides of sleek lions. River Safaris and Boat Cruises take you right into the centre of the action, providing you with seriously spectacular up-close sightings and encounters that are bound to leave you gob-smacked and utterly amazed.
Throw in breath-taking sunrises and sunsets, excellent riverside lodges, romantic retreats or even luxurious house boats like the Chobe Princess or Zambezi Queen, and you have a safari experience that’s hard to beat.
The abundance of game is less marked during the December – March rainy season as animals move away from the river. You won’t see massive concentrations of animals during these green summer months but the resident wildlife – hippos, crocodiles, antelope species and predators – are still present. The bird watching, which is already amazing during the dry winter period, becomes phenomenal as many summer migrants arrive and the bird list swells to almost 500 species.
Chobe River Highlights:
- April to October: game concentrations around the river.
- Teeming with giant hippos and crocodiles year-round.
- One of the only places in Botswana to see rare puku
- Amazing year-round birding, phenomenal during a Green Season Safari.
#2 Day & Night Game Drives / Safaris
Go on a self-drive wildlife safari adventure through the African bushveld or enjoy a thrilling game drive in an open 4×4 vehicle with an experienced and knowledgeable wildlife guide by your side as you encounter sensational up-close wildlife sightings like you never have before.
For those thrill-seekers at heart, why not venture into the Botswana Chobe wilderness at night and revel in every exhilarating second of an exciting night game drive? In all honesty, there are very few experiences that come close to hearing a lion – the al-mighty king of the bushveld – roar during a night drive or safari excursion. It will absolutely send shivers down your spine in the absolute best and most invigorating way possible – Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime bucket-list worthy experience!
#3 Guided Walking Safaris / Bush Walks
If you’re eager for something a little more wild and daring, ditch the safari vehicle and proceed on foot on an unforgettable walking safari alongside an exceptional and highly experienced wildlife guide. Exploring the African bushveld on foot encourages you to fully immerse yourself in Chobe National Park’s vast and untamed wilderness and witness magnificent up-close wildlife sightings and encounters you only tend to read about in books and travel magazines.
Guided walking safaris / bush walks further give you the amazing opportunity to explore, and experience the African bushveld and all of its incredible inhabitants from a whole new perspective as you encounter a vast and wonderful array of wildlife, birdlife, and so much more you may not be able to spot while on a 4×4 safari vehicle To kick it up another notch on the thrill and adventure scale, you can even embark on a night-time guided walking safari / bush walk – Talk about an adrenalin rush like no other!
#4 More Safari Experiences & Activities
Wait, there’s MORE! Besides bucket-list worthy open-vehicle day and night drives, adventure-filled walking and river safaris, travelers can look forward to even more fantastic, fun, and exciting safari adventures and experiences. Jump on a mountain bike for a new way to explore Chobe National Park’s diverse terrain and surroundings, embark on an amazing hiking expedition, take to the skies by helicopter or plane and experience the stunning landscapes from a bird’s eye view, or go on a memorable horse-back ride – the choice is yours!
Your safari lodge, camp, or resort can also arrange private flights, dining experiences, exclusive game drives, personal walking and river safaris, as well as unique, tailored-made, private safari experiences and adventures exclusively reserved for you.
These are merely a few of the once-in-a-lifetime experiences you can tick off your Botswana and Chobe National Park African safari bucket-list.
#5 Go & Explore Botswana’s endless array of incredible attractions & spectacular National Parks & Game Reserves
Its time for the ultimate Botswana adventure as you discover and explore everything it has to offer! The south and east of Botswana consist of the jaw-dropping Kalahari Desert and lunar-like pans at Nxai and Makgadikgadi. The north and west, on the other hand, comprise the dazzling water worlds of the Okavango Delta and the Chobe River ecosystem of course. The sheer diversity of Botswana’s terrain lends itself to an endless array of things to do, see, explore, and experience – undoubtedly ensuring you have the adventure of a lifetime discovering every inch of Botswana!
Whether it’s your first trip to Botswana or your 10th, there is always something unique and exciting to experience when visiting one of Africa’s most extraordinary safari destinations.
If you consider yourself to be a head-over-heels nature and wildlife lover, avid explorer, and keen adventurer, here are some of Botswana’s top tourist attractions and best must-visit National parks and Game Reserves that absolutely deserve to be on your African safari bucket-list.
- The Okavango Delta
- Tuli Block
- The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
- Sodilo Hills
- Nxai Pan National Park
- Moremi Game Reserve
- The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
- Central Kalahari Game Reserve
- Khama Rhino Sanctuary