Chobe National Park is one of the great wildlife destinations in Africa. There are more elephants in Chobe – tens of thousands of them – than anywhere else on earth. The park, which encompasses nearly 11000 km2, is itself the size of a small country. It was first set aside as a wildlife reserve in the 1930s and became Botswana’s first national park in 1968.
Of the three major wildlife-watching areas of the park, Chobe Riverfront supports the largest wildlife concentration in the park. Although animals are present along the riverfront year-round, the density of wildlife can be overwhelming during the dry season, especially during September and October. Whether you cruise along the river in a boat or drive along the banks in a 4x4 vehicle, you are almost guaranteed an up-close encounter with some of the largest elephant herds, and also some of the largest elephants on the continent.
Spend even a couple of hours along the riverfront and you’ll likely see elephants, giraffes, hippos, lions and possibly even the more elusive cheetahs and leopards along the banks. During the dry season (April to October), herds of antelopes, zebras, buffaloes and wildebeest also congregate along the river. The marshy river flood plain is also inhabited by Chobe’s two trademark antelopes, namely the water-loving the lechwe and the increasingly rare puku.
The birdlife along the riverfront is extraordinarily varied. Along the river, listen for the screaming fish eagles overhead as they make precision dives for fish.