Romantic holiday in Chobe

Couples heading to Chobe National Park will be able to find accommodations and pick modes of travel to suit all tastes and budgets, not have to worry about single supplements, and always have someone to share that marvellous elephant encounter when an entire herd crossed the road ahead of you, bulls trumpeting and matriarchs encircling the baggy-skinned babies… Whether on a top-end cruise or camping independently, couples can seek out the creatures and experiences that make them happiest. And certain adventures are made for two, like mokoro rides, although you’ll have to go to the Selinda concessions for that!

Travelling to Chobe as a couple can be a great bonding experience   Credit: Rachel Lang

Many couples come to Chobe National park to mark an exceptional occasion: a honeymoon, an anniversary, or a romantic retreat. Privacy and luxury can be as important as the quality of the game viewing, and this may also influence the decision-making. First-time safari goers and honeymooners will enjoy the quieter options on the Chobe Riverside. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton spent a five-week honeymoon here decades ago, and many more have found a love for the bush while celebrating their marriages. Note that the western side is quieter, with fewer vehicles vying for entry at the gates at dawn. The luxurious “floating boutique hotels” or houseboats on the Chobe also appeal to many; drifting in the currents and savouring the stars from the deck are lovely experiences.

Honeymooners and couples seeking romance should also look at the size of the camps and lodges – often the smaller they are, the more intimate the experience. They will also probably prefer to avoid the more family-friendly establishments, but even camps that cater to both markets will ensure the honeymoon suite or tent is suitably located in the quietest area.

Getting to Savuti in a bean-sized Cessna 206 is part of the fun. It’s a raw and wild place that will satisfy newcomers and old hands alike. Now that Nogatsaa has a spacious camp too, couples who are seeking peace and wilderness as much as wildlife viewing (although that’s perfectly possible) can consider this less-utilized area too.

Romance is in the air at one of Chobe's romatic lodges

If the honeymooners are in a position to splurge, they will find excellent accommodations, perfectly appointed with the highest standards of service and dining. Some will have extra romantic activities, such as “star beds”: sleep-outs in fine linen under the enormous sky, bathed only in mosquito nets and moonlight. Exclusivity is assured in private concessions in Linyanti and Selinda, outside the park, and yes, there is nothing like a scrum of vehicles at a sighting to lower the romance factor.

Not all couples want petal-strewn beds and perfumed baths. Many enjoy the experience of being out in the wilds and will forgo the trappings of electricity and formal plumbing in favour of being surrounded by the night’s chirps and roars, in the middle of the wilderness. Authentic tented mobile safaris also hark to the romance of bygone eras, when getting away from it all really meant leaving the world behind in favour of flickering firelight and freedom of movement. Independent camping is also possible in Chobe’s three public campsites, and equipment and vehicles can be hired in Maun and Kasane. Being on the road alone is something many couples relish; both partners should however know what to do in the unlikely event of an emergency.

Guided specialist mobile safaris are the preferred alternative for extra creature comforts and peace of mind. Couples can team up with like-minded people on such adventures, small groups will be formed for set-date departures. Of course a private guided safari is the most exclusive alternative, but costly.

Watch the sun go down after an amazing day in the Chobe bush   Credit: Rachel Lang

PS: Overland safari adventures, which involve travelling long distances in relatively large groups in a heavy duty vehicle and often participating in camp and meal preparation, definitely ticks the adventure box rather than the romance box for most.

Practical advice

  • While dinner is communal at most camps, private dining in your room or at a table for two can be arranged;

  • If prepped and there is the staff available, some camps will provide a private game drive vehicle and guide at a price, but generally, the small groups in safari vehicles are good company and not intrusive.

  • Travel to an unknown destination can be testing for anyone, and especially for new couples. Don’t be too ambitious; striking out alone is not for everyone and takes real preparation.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Chobe National Park - Savuti package

day 1 to 3

Welcome to the Chobe National Park

day 4

We're sad to see you leave

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Chobe in February

Summer - the rains continue. Spectacular cumulus thunderheads build up and explode, drenching the earth in water and sound. For all the energy of the storms, most are over in a couple of hours. Nogatsaa can simply be too wet to traverse at this time. Birding is fantastic in all regions, with the migrants present and correct. “Green season” is also the time to look for excellent…

Chobe in May

Winter - Some say Botswana is the most beautiful country in Africa this month – and it’s still shoulder season, so specials can be found. Temperatures are definitely cooler in mornings and evenings, take layers. Kasane and the Chobe Riverside will be getting busier as high season approaches. Game of all kinds will start to be drawn to water sources and is easier to see, but it’s…

Chobe in August

Winter - It’s still cold enough to really need warm layers for early mornings and evenings. Wild dog puppy season! (The Linyanti concession areas are the best place to see them.) And the numbers of elephant at Chobe Riverside proves why Chobe is rated one of the best places in the world to admire the giants. It’s still high season, which means more park visitors as well as more…

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…

Popular Chobe National Park Safaris

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

 | Botswana Luxury Safari and Victoria Falls

Botswana Luxury Safari and Victoria Falls

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

 | Safari in Zimbabwe and Botswana

Safari in Zimbabwe and Botswana

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

 | Highlights of Southern Africa

Highlights of Southern Africa

Exploring these areas of the Southern African continent should on top of your bucket list...

Camp fire | Safari in Vic Falls, Chobe & Okavango Delta

Safari in Vic Falls, Chobe & Okavango Delta

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...

 | 8-day Botswana premier safari collection

8-day Botswana premier safari collection

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

 | Botswana and Zimbabwe safari

Botswana and Zimbabwe safari

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...

 | Big Five safari in the Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve

Botswana Chobe and Moremi Adventure safari

Encounter the extraordinary herd of elephants and other species that will make your safari remarkable ...

 | Victoria Falls and Chobe Experience

Victoria Falls and Chobe Experience

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

Boating on the Chobe River | Quick and affordable Victoria Falls & Chobe experience

Quick and affordable Victoria Falls & Chobe experience

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...

 | Chobe National Park - Savuti package

Chobe National Park - Savuti package

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