Boat cruise in Chobe, Botswana

The Chobe Riverfront is Africa dressed to her fullest splendor. The broad life-giving waters of the river, bounded by expansive floodplains, are best seen by boat. Cruising or drifting along at eye-level offers unbeatable photographic opportunities for wildlife and birds: African skimmers (that arrive any time from the month of May and lay their eggs on exposed sandbanks) carve out silver lines in the water as they skim metres from the boats edge, while hippos yawn and humph, rising out of the water adorned with lavish aquatic headdresses. In dry season elephants gather in great numbers and some spend hours submerged on the grassy isles in the middle of the river. For small motorboats it’s easy to negotiate the floating vegetation and beds of reeds and get within metres of them. Guests can also get an up-close look at enormous crocodiles lazing on the white shores of islands and riverbanks, and it’s not unusual to see lions dozing in the shade of riverside woodlands. As evening approaches, breeding herds of elephants cross the river (babies included) using their trunks as snorkels, while others stir up dust as they drink and bathe by the waters edges, silhouetted against a fiery backdrop.

A boat cruise on the Chobe river is a magical experience

Boat cruises can be organized by one of the many riverside safari operators. There are also houseboats, and boats fitted with the latest photographic equipment operated by Pangolin Safaris. The Chobe waterfront is the most commercial part of Chobe National Park, close to the town of Kasane. There are a number of large hotels and lodges along the river, although Chobe Game Lodge is the only lodge along the river that falls within the park’s boundaries. The public campsite along the river is called Ihaha.

Elephant on the Chobe riverbank are a common sight


Popular Botswana Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

Boating on the Chobe River | Quick Victoria Falls and Chobe Experience (5 days)

Quick Victoria Falls and Chobe Experience (5 days)

Visit Livingstone, Zambia, to marvel at the Victoria Falls – or 'the smoke that thunders' – before going on safari and a river cruise in Botswana's Chobe National Park...

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Connect as a family while tracking wildlife and incredible landscapes through some of the most remote stretches of Botswana....

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This three-in-one journey will show you the majestic Victoria Falls, the massive elephant bulls of Chobe and the natural wonder that is the Okavango Delta...

 | Botswana Premium Safari Collection (8 days)

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Choose our Botswana premier collection and experience a traditional big game wildlife safari in one of Africa’s top destinations. ...

 | Botswana and Zimbabwe’s World Wonders (7 days)

Botswana and Zimbabwe's World Wonders (7 days)

Experience the best of Africa, from the Okavango Delta – to the diverse game viewing at the Chobe National Park and ending at the thundering Victoria Falls...

Wildlife  | Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)

Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)

Explore Botswana's Moremi and Selinda reserves on foot, in a safari vehicle or a mokoro for unforgettable wildlife encounters with big game and rare birds...

 | Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Experience the best of Africa, from the Okavango Delta – one of Africa's Seven Natural Wonders – to the endangered mountain gorillas and East Africa's Great Migration...

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Saddle-up for a horseback riding adventure through the semi-arid thirstland of the Kalahari....

 | Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa Safari Adventure (19 days)

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Africa safari adventure will take you to the tip of the African continent...

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