Chobe National Park is the third largest national park in Botswana, located in the northeastern corner, bordered by Namibia and Zambia. The Chobe River travels across the northern boundary of the park and is surrounded by dense woodland and open floodplains. This river system forms the backbone of Chobe’s ecosystem, home to one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. Great numbers of elephants, an amazing diversity of wildlife, and spectacular birdlife are highlights in this region. This open wilderness provides a true haven for wildlife, where they can travel across ancient migration paths.
Along the western border of Chobe National Park lies the Savute Marsh, which is fed by the changeable flowing waters of the Savute Channel. When the channel filled with water in 2008, its waters finally reached the Savute Marsh two years later. This vast area of marshland and rolling grasslands offers sightings of large prides of lions, hyenas, and occasionally cheetahs.
Starting in April, temperatures in Botswana drop as the region transitions into winter. Daytime temperatures remain comfortable with cool, crisp mornings and evenings. Although this time of year experiences little to no rain, waters from the Angolan highlands arrive to fill the Chobe River. By August, the dry season’s lack of rain takes its toll on the environment. The lack of water and palatable grass draws wildlife to the banks of the Chobe River.
By September, days become longer and temperatures rise as the region transitions into summer. October is Botswana’s warmest month, and average high temperatures reach the mid-90s, with a slight drop in temperature at night. Summer’s warm temperatures and humidity build impressive thunderclouds, ready to release the first rains. Typically, by the end of October to early November, the first rains fall.
Along the Chobe riverfront, elephant and buffalo herds number in the hundreds. Rare antelopes such as the sable, roan, and Chobe bushbuck inhabit the park’s woodland areas. The Chobe River is considered one of the most prolific birding areas in southern Africa, especially evident during the summer months when numbers skyrocket to over 450.
The Savute Marsh in Chobe National Park is home to huge prides of lions, and open grasslands provide perfect habitat for fast and agile cheetahs. Savute also boasts one of the largest migrations of large mammals in the world. Zebra migrate to the Savute area to foal and feed on the lush grasses before heading north for the dry winter months along the Linyanti and Chobe Rivers.