the chobe national park

Chobe is the best known of all Botswana’s parks. The national park is the second largest in Botswana (11,700 sq km) and named after the river Chobe which forms the northern boundary of the park. The river has its origins in Angola, where it is known as the Kuando. After entering Botswana, the Kuando River becomes the Linyanti and only near Ngoma Gate it becomes the Chobe. The Chobe meets with the Zambezi River near Kazangula at the border of Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Savuti area is situated between the Chobe River and the Moremi Wildlife Reserve. It is a fascinating wildlife region that offers great game viewing and safari opportunities.

The Chobe river serves as the main water source for the wildlife and birdlife in the area. This has made game viewing by boat a highlight and a ‘must-do’ on any Botswana itinerary. The Chobe area offers a number of up-market game lodges, hotels and camps as well as camping facilities. Kasane is the main arrival point for visitor exploring northern Botswana it has an airport and good road network. The Chobe area is mostly visited in combination with the Okavango Delta and Linyanti. The sunsets are exquisite during the winter months (June to August).

An added advantage at Chobe is that neighbouring Zimbabwe and Zambia’s main attraction, the Victoria Falls, lies just over the northern border with Botswana, merely an hour’s drive away. On the 3rd November 1855, Livingstone and 114 porters left the Linyanti River to follow the Zambezi to its mouth on the east coast – a journey of 1600km (1000 miles). On 16th November 1855, the explorer and his entourage arrived at the Mosi-oa-Tunya Falls or “the smoke that thunders”. Half a mile (800m) from there Livingstone changed his canoe for a lighter dugout manned by natives who were well acquainted with the rapids. The explorer later wrote in his diary this powerful description – “scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight. He named these waters “Victoria Falls” as a mark of respect for his sovereign, Queen Victoria. The falls, so rugged in their beauty and brilliance, are one of the wonders of the world.