The first glimpse of the river, deep and dazzling in the sandy terrain, is forever surprising. It looks like a peacock blue ribbon, a swathe of bright, weaving its way within the small town of Kasane, and following wilderness, the Chobe National Park. Unquestionably, one of Africa’s most beautiful rivers, the Chobe supports diversity and concentration of wildlife unequaled anywhere else in the country.
Opened in 1968, the park covers approximately 11 700 Square Kms, comprising woodland, floodplains, and swamps. The northern boundary is formed by the Chobe River. The park contains four distinct geographical areas: the Chobe Riverfront, Savute and Linyanti, the Ngwezumba pans.
Chobe Riverfront being the most accessible and frequently visited of Botswana’s big game country, it is most known for its vast herds of Cape buffalo and elephants, which converge upon the river to drink during the dry winter months.
During this season, you may see numbers of elephants at once. You may be circled by elephants, as the main Serondella road becomes impassable and scores of family herds cross the main street to reach to the river to drink, play, and bathe. While driving on the river’s edge, you can detect up to 15 various species of animals, such as lechwe, waterbuck, puku (only visible in this part of Botswana), roan and sable, giraffe, kudu, impala, bushbuck, warthog, monkeys and baboons, along with the accompanying predators’ lion, leopard, hyena and jackal.
If you take a river cruise, you’ll get up close and personal with hippo, crocodile and an array of water birds. You’ll discover the park, and the beings, from a different point of view. More than 460 varieties of birds have been identified in the park, making the park one of the most valued bird Safaris in Africa. Average kinds to be seen include the spur-winged Gees, the sacred ibis, Egyptian Gees, the ubiquitous cormorants and darters, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Carmine Bee-eaters, most members of the kingfisher family, all the rollers, the unmistakable Fish Eagle and many members of the stork.
The Chobe River rises in the northern Angola highlands, travels enormous distance before it reaches Botswana at Ngoma. Like the Okavango and Zambezi River, the Chobe’s course is affected by faults lines that are extensions Great Rift Valley.