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.

Travel tips

  • 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

Elephant Kingdom: Chobe National Park Tour (3 days)

day 1 to 3

Welcome to the Chobe National Park

day 4

We're sad to see you leave

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Chobe in June

Winter - It’s cold at night and in the early mornings (temperatures can drop close to 0°) so take warm extra layers for game drives, but sunshine is almost guaranteed. It’s the start of high season, so you will be meeting other vehicles on the roads and sharing sightings, especially on the Chobe River. But what sightings! Day by day there will be more elephant, plus buffalo, crocs…

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.…

Going Chobe Solo

Solo travellers looking to safari in Chobe National Park are spoilt for choice – especially those who have a little more to spend. The only limit to consider when enjoying Chobe’s delights? The prospect of self-driving within the park. Even highly skilled local 4x4 drivers, used to the lonely routes, deep sand and unexpected elephant encounters might not consider driving too far…

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 April

Autumn - Zebra and Wildebeest begin their return migrations towards the permanent rivers as water sources and the bush begins to dry out. Savuti and Nogatsaa can see a migration of zebra in April and May. Low temperatures drop below 20°. The last summer bird migrants are on the wing, heading north again until the next rains. A good time to visit Savuti – and the central areas of the…

Chobe Riverside

As a well-travelled Frommer’s guide writer to the region says, “Chobe is all about the river”. This is where the best, most varied sightings are, she says, and yes, it’s home to the densest concentrations of game. This is especially true in winter, when the lovely sapphire blue Chobe offers a ribbon of opportunity for game to come to drink deeply and cool off. Forest 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...

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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...

 | Botswana Big Five Safari (7 days)

Botswana Big Five Safari (7 days)

Encounter the extraordinary herd of elephants and other species that will make your safari remarkable in the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve ...

 | 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 ...

 | 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 ...

 | 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...

 | 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. ...

 | 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. ...

 | 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...

 | 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...

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