Established in 1968, just a few years after Botswana became independent, Chobe National Park sweeps over some 12,000 square kms of floodplains, swamps and woodland. The river demarks its northern boundary, a magnet for elephants and buffaloes in the rain-less winter months. The riverfront is one of the four distinct areas in the park, along with the Ngwezumba pans and Linyanti and Savuté Marshes. When the marshes contain water, the birdlife is breathtaking, whilst the Ngwezumba pans is the least visited area of the park – providing untouched wilderness and an unparalleled connection with nature.
February marks the start of the wet season when the river floods and small islands appear in the marshes – beacons for animals in search of fresher grazing. Whilst Chobe can be seen all year round from a 4x4, this is the best time to take a river cruise, where you can view crocodiles, hippos and dozens of fantastically colourful bird species in a unique way. The Ngwezumba pans also attract plenty of wildlife in the wet season, whilst the Savuté Marshes are best known for lions, cheetahs and hyenas. Game viewing can be fantastic in the Linyanti in the dry winter months and hunting permits can be sought here. Bird watching all over the Chobe is superb with ibis, geese, kingfishers, storks and eagles regularly filling the skies
The main base camp at Chobe is Kasane, an interesting raggletaggle township that has a good range of facilities and where man and beast meet. There are no fences marking the boundaries of the park, so animals regularly wander on in. In fact you may see your first elephant by check-in.