Botswana / Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park

CHOBE NATIONAL PARK

Chobe National Park is situated in northwest Botswana and has one of the largest game concentrations in Africa. Chobe National Park is unique in that it consists of four distinct eco-systems, each one supporting a variety of game and plant life.

Chobe National Park is abundant with wildlife all year round, and features the beautiful Chobe River on its northern boundary. Throughout the area numerous clay-bottomed pans hold water during the short rainy season. This water away from the Okavango Delta and the northern border rivers allows thousands of head of game to live off the grasslands, mopane and mixed woodlands that dominate Chobe National Park's vegetation.

During the rainy season, from November, you can witness the zebra migration from the north-western area of Linyanti heading south through the Savute plains to the salt pans around Makgadikgadi, where the foals are born. The herds then return to Linyanti between February and April.

There are a number of natural pans in the park which are dry for most of the year. The only surface water during the dry season is provided by the Chobe and Linyanti Rivers in the north and northwest, and pumped by waterholes at Savuti, Nogatsaa and Tshinga and Ngwezuma dam. There are a few other pans that hold water for part of the dry season, particularly in the northeast.

Large areas of the park are covered by mopane and mixed woodland, including kiaat and Zambezi teak. There are belts of acacia savannah, particularly in the south. The woodlands are interspersed with extensive areas of grassland. The wildlife viewing is renowned, and makes this area a prime tourist destination. The annual Zebra migration is a special feature of the area, but the visitor may see a wide range of antelope including Sable, Roan, Oribi, Reedbuck, and the strikingly colourful Chobe Bushbuck, which has much stronger white markings than those found further south. Small herds of Lechwe can be found on the grassy floodplains, and this is the only area south of the Zambezi River where Puku can be seen. Giraffe and Warthog are common, and Lion occur throughout the area but are most frequently seen around Savuti.

Bird watching is very rewarding, with over 350 species recorded in the area. In the vicinity of the Chobe and Linyanti Rivers visitors can watch Saddle-billed Storks, Long-toed Plovers, Pink-backed Pelicans, African Skimmers, Bradfield's Hornbills and the jewel-like Carmine Bee-eaters. Heuglin's Robin is a delight to hear in the early morning.

A visit to Chobe National Park makes a great addition to any Botswana Safari. The park is close and easily accessible from the Okavango Delta and the Victoria Falls.

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