Five-star Chobe holiday

Chobe National Park has safari accommodations to rival the best on the continent. If price is not a concern, choosing a safari is more about personal preferences and the desire for action and adventure or peace and tranquillity. Some may also chose accommodations according to their key interests, such as summer migrant bird species or certain predators.

Excursions are usually included in luxury packages

The Chobe Riverside will have suitable suites and lodges, but it depends on whether one has come to Botswana to avoid the crowds. In high season, this entire area becomes very busy and as Chobe is a national park, sightings are often shared with other vehicles, to the point of jostling for position. If the thrill of river cruises and seeing enormous herds of ellies and buffalo are more important than exclusivity, visitors will be more than happy. There is also excellent birding and fishing in this area. One can also consider renting an entire “floating villa” or houseboat.

Otherwise, those who prefer more intimate lodges with ample space will wish to head further afield, deeper into the park or to the private concessions. Flying is by far the quickest and easiest way to get around (and scenic as planes fly low); charter flights from Kasane or Maun are easily arranged.

It may be best to pinpoint one’s primary aim. If the sights and sounds of the bush and game drives with expert trackers are all that is required, look for an intimate lodge with fewer guests. Private concessions will be able to offer night drives and guided walks in daylight hours, unlike most of the rest of the park, adding an extra dimension to the trip.

Chobe Game Lodge gives just the right touch of luxury in the heart of Africa

For predators, Savuti remains a hot spot, both in dry season when animals congregate around the waterholes, and when the zebra pass through on their annual migrations. Lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog are present.

Those who know they enjoy an extra level of activity may consider adventures such as a mokoro paddling adventure in Selinda (note this is entirely dependent on water levels and seasonal to boot, include the Okavango in the itinerary if it is on the bucket list). Riding and walking safaris, again all in the private concessions, are however easier to guarantee.

Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero is a luxurious riverside retreat

Birding and photography specialists can ask about top-end guides to help them feed the itch for that elusive species or perfect shot. Private guided safaris that offer the best guides in the business and a deluxe camping experience are options for those who want the sound of the bush filtered through canvas, and no electricity to dim the stars.

Savour a sundowner at Chobe Safari Lodge

Top-end names to consider, which all have their own style and approach, include Great Plains, Wilderness Safaris, &Beyond and Desert & Delta.

Practical advice

  • Botswana isn’t really a shopping destination, but look out for quality wooden carvings, and the area’s speciality: intricate baskets made from mokolwane palm fibres, handwoven as taught to Hambukushu women by their mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers. The colours are made by soaking the fibres in natural dyes. Traditional patterns had evocative names such as Flight of the Swallows or Knees of the Tortoise, Ian Michler writers in The Insider’s Guide to Botswana. The baskets are world class but quite hard to find in Chobe; ask your lodge for advice.

Our Recommended Itinerary

Affordable Okavango Delta, Chobe and Victoria Falls Journey (8 days)

day 1 to 2 to 3

Welcome to Chobe National Park

day 4 to 5

Okavango Delta

day 6 to 7

Chief's Island, Okavango Delta

day 8

Departure

View Full Itinerary

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Chobe in December

Summer - Humid, with rain. The wetter weather can bring cooler temperatures, so pack a jacket or jersey. The antelope baby boom peaks: by mid-month, most wildebeest, impala, tsessebe and warthog will have dropped their offspring. Good rains will have soaked the earth and termite alates (the ones with wings, often called flying ants) erupt from the ground, sparking bird feeding frenzies.…

Chobe in January

Summer December to February is peak rainy season in Chobe, and the Riverside area receives more rain than anywhere else in Botswana: up to 650mm a year. The great herds won’t be visiting the Riverside, but elephants and hippo are always present. Vegetation everywhere will be splendidly lush and the herds dispersed. By now, trees like the sour plum, African Mangosteen and marula trees…

Chobe in October

Spring - One of the hottest months in Chobe, with temperatures hitting about 35° to 40°. Elephants will soon start to disperse from the permanent rivers, after which things quieten down a bit in Chobe Riverside. Shoulder season rates kick in, but as there is likely to be little rain, this is still a good month for travellers who like it warm. Good fishing around Impalila Island. Hot…

Chobe in March

Autumn - March usually sees the last of the rains and the bush is verdant. A lovely time for those happy to enjoy the space, big skies and landscapes and prepared to spend a little more time on the move looking for good game sightings. Nogatsaa can simply be too wet to traverse at this time. Zebra could be migrating through Savuti at this time. Nearby Victoria Falls will be in full flood…

Why should you visit Chobe?

Fast facts: Chobe and its animal inhabitants have been protected since 1968 The park stretches over 11,700km2 Four of the Big Five roam the bush (and rhino have been reintroduced to Botswana, so chances to see them will increase in years to come) Eyes on the sky: 450+ bird species can be seen More wise and wonderful elephant than anywhere else on Earth Located in a country that has…

Affordable Chobe holiday

Travellers lucky enough to be armed with strong international currencies should be able to explore Chobe in perfect comfort (sometimes top-end comfort) for a reasonable price – but do remember this is a destination where low-volume, high-income tourism is promoted. As such, some may need to look for ways to keep costs down. Most lodges and camps in Chobe Riverside, Savuti and…

Popular Chobe National Park Safaris

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

 | Expedition to Zimbabwe and Botswana (8 days)

Expedition to Zimbabwe and Botswana (8 days)

Explore the thundering Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and the wildlife wonderland of the Okavango Delta...

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...

 | Luxury Safari in Botswana and Victoria Falls (7 days)

Luxury Safari in Botswana and Victoria Falls (7 days)

Experience the paradise of Botswana and enjoy game viewing as well as exciting activities in Zambia ...

 | Victoria Falls and Chobe Encounter (5 days)

Victoria Falls and Chobe Encounter (5 days)

Encounter the smoke that thunders and explore the land of giants in the Chobe National Park...

 | Highlights of Northern Botswana (8 days)

Highlights of Northern Botswana (8 days)

Experience two of Botswana's best safari destinations; the Savute region and Okavango Delta ...

 | Waterfalls and Wildlife: Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park Journey (7 days)

Waterfalls and Wildlife: Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park Journey (7 days)

Experience the smoke that thunders and enjoy spotting elephant, buffalo, lion and hippos on the Chobe River...

 | Photographic tour of Botswana (10 days)

Photographic tour of Botswana (10 days)

Let us take you one the adventure of a lifetime through the Chobe National Park, Khwai Community Area and Moremi Game Reserve. ...

 | Highlights of Botswana Tour de Force (14 days)

Highlights of Botswana Tour de Force (14 days)

The ideal safari to capture Botswana's unrivalled beauty and abundance of flora and fauna through the lens...

 | Elephant Kingdom: Chobe National Park Tour (3 days)

Elephant Kingdom: Chobe National Park Tour (3 days)

If seeing African elephants is on your travel bucket list, then the Chobe National Park should be right at the top...

 | Botswana Premium Safari Collection (8 days)

Botswana Premium Safari Collection (8 days)

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

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