Chobe Overview

Chobe National Park, located in the northern part of Botswana near the borders with Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, is one of Africa’s greatest game reserves and Botswana’s first national park, established in 1967. Encompassing an area of about 11,700 square kilometers (approximately 4,517 square miles), Chobe is renowned for its diverse and abundant wildlife, making it a premier destination for safari enthusiasts from around the globe.

The park is divided into four distinct ecosystems: the Serondela area (or Chobe riverfront) in the Northeast, the Savuti Marsh area in the west, the Linyanti Marsh in the northwest, and the hot and dry hinterland in between. This diversity of habitats supports a wide array of fauna and flora, offering visitors varied safari experiences within a single park.

Chobe National Park is perhaps best known for hosting Africa’s largest elephant population, with estimates suggesting that the park is home to over 50,000 elephants. These majestic creatures are a common sight, especially in the Serondela area, where they frequently gather at the Chobe River to drink, bathe, and play. Besides elephants, the park is home to large herds of buffalo, numerous predators including lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, and cheetahs, and a significant number of antelope species.

The Chobe Riverfront is a wildlife enthusiast’s dream, particularly during the dry season (April to October), when a large variety of animals congregate at the river to quench their thirst. Birdlife in the park is also prolific, with over 450 species recorded, making Chobe a birdwatcher’s paradise.

Boat cruises on the Chobe River offer a unique perspective on the wildlife and are a popular way to experience the park, alongside traditional game drives. Whether it’s witnessing a spectacular African sunset with elephants silhouetted against the horizon or observing the complex interactions at a busy watering hole, Chobe National Park provides an unforgettable safari experience that highlights the beauty and diversity of Botswana’s natural heritage.

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Chobe National Park Highlights


Chobe National Park is home to a diverse array of predators, playing a crucial role in maintaining the park’s ecological balance by regulating herbivore populations and ensuring ecosystem health.

Lion: The iconic symbol of Africa’s savannas, lions roam the plains of Chobe in prides, hunting cooperatively to take down large herbivores like buffalo and antelope.

Leopard: Stealthy and solitary, leopards stalk their prey with precision, relying on camouflage and ambush tactics to secure their meals, often hoisting their kills into trees to avoid scavengers.

Spotted Hyena: Highly adaptable and social, spotted hyenas are skilled hunters and scavengers, with powerful jaws and a keen sense of smell that allows them to exploit a variety of food sources.

African Wild Dog: With their intricate pack structure and cooperative hunting behavior, African wild dogs are highly efficient predators, preying on small to medium-sized ungulates with relentless pursuit.

Cheetah: The fastest land mammal, cheetahs rely on incredible speed and agility to chase down prey on the open plains of Chobe, specializing in hunting small to medium-sized antelopes.


Chobe National Park boasts a rich diversity of wildlife beyond its predators, offering visitors the chance to encounter iconic African species in their natural habitat.

African Elephant: Towering over the landscape, African elephants are the largest land mammals, forming large herds that frequent the Chobe River to quench their thirst and bathe.

Buffalo: Massive and formidable, African buffalo are often seen in large herds grazing on the savanna plains of Chobe, their imposing presence a testament to their strength.

Giraffe: Graceful and towering, giraffes roam the woodlands and grasslands of Chobe, using their long necks to reach high branches for food and keeping a vigilant eye for predators.

Hippo: Inhabiting the waterways of Chobe, hippos spend most of their days submerged to keep cool, emerging at night to graze on grasses along the riverbanks.

Zebra: With their distinctive black-and-white striped coats, zebras form herds across the plains of Chobe, their collective vigilance helping to spot predators and evade danger.

Impala: Agile and abundant, impalas are a common sight in Chobe, congregating in large herds on open grasslands and using their speed and agility to escape predators.

Kudu: Graceful antelopes with impressive spiral horns, kudus are often seen browsing on leaves and twigs in the woodlands of Chobe, their large ears swiveling to detect danger.

Warthog: Despite their comical appearance, warthogs are wary creatures, often spotted in Chobe’s savannas and woodlands, using their tusks for defense and seeking refuge in burrows.

Baboon: Sociable and intelligent, baboons are frequently encountered in Chobe, moving in troops through woodland areas, foraging for food, and grooming one another.

Hippopotamus: Though primarily aquatic, hippos can occasionally be spotted on land near the water’s edge in Chobe, basking in the sun or grazing on nearby vegetation.


Chobe National Park is a haven for birdwatchers, boasting a diverse avian population that includes both resident and migratory species. Here are some of the most sought-after bird species found in the park:

African Fish Eagle: With its distinctive white head and striking call, the African fish eagle is a symbol of Africa’s waterways. Often seen perched near rivers, lakes, and wetlands, it swoops down to catch fish with its powerful talons.

Lilac-breasted Roller: Vibrantly colored and unmistakable, the lilac-breasted roller is a common sight in Chobe, often perching on exposed branches where it hunts for insects or displays its stunning plumage.

Southern Ground Hornbill: Known for its deep booming call and striking appearance, the southern ground hornbill is a large bird often seen foraging on the ground in search of insects, small reptiles, and amphibians.

Yellow-billed Hornbill: With its distinctive curved yellow bill and black-and-white plumage, the yellow-billed hornbill is a familiar sight in Chobe, often seen hopping along the ground in search of food.

Marabou Stork: Towering and ungainly, the marabou stork is nevertheless an impressive sight in Chobe, often seen near water sources where it scavenges for fish, carrion, and scraps.

Southern Carmine Bee-eater: A dazzling splash of color against the savanna landscape, the southern carmine bee-eater is a gregarious bird often seen in large flocks, swooping and diving to catch insects on the wing.

African Jacana: With its long legs and striking plumage, the African jacana is often found walking delicately on lily pads and floating vegetation in Chobe’s waterways, foraging for insects and small invertebrates.

Pied Kingfisher: A master of fishing, the pied kingfisher is a common sight along the rivers and waterholes of Chobe, hovering before plunging into the water to catch fish with its dagger-like bill.

White-fronted Bee-eater: A sociable and colorful bird, the white-fronted bee-eater is often seen perched on branches overlooking rivers and streams, where it catches insects in mid-air or excavates nesting burrows in riverbanks.

Grey-headed Kingfisher: With its distinctive gray head and turquoise back, the grey-headed kingfisher is a sought-after species in Chobe, often perching on branches near water where it hunts for fish and aquatic insects.

Engaging Chobe

Embark on thrilling safari drives across Chobe’s diverse landscapes, renowned for its high concentration of wildlife. Traverse the park’s vast savannas and riverine woodlands in search of iconic species such as elephants, lions, buffalo, and leopards.

Guided by experienced rangers, these excursions offer unparalleled opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography.  Visitors will be astounded by the number of elephants they will experience.

Experience the beauty of Chobe River on boat cruises, providing unique perspectives of the park’s wildlife-rich waterways.

Glide along the tranquil waters while observing hippos, crocodiles, and an array of birdlife congregating along the riverbanks.  It is an opportunity to see abundant wildlife that comes to drink from the riverbanks or cross the river into the grasslands on the island.

Sunset cruises offer particularly spectacular views as the sun dips below the horizon, casting golden hues over the landscape.  The sunsets are nice, however, it is the wildlife that creates the greatest amazement.

Embark on guided walking safaris, offering intimate encounters with Chobe’s wilderness on foot.  This endeavor provides a closer look at the landscape and the aspects of nature often missed from within a safari vehicle.

Led by knowledgeable guides, these excursions provide insights into the park’s ecosystems, tracking wildlife signs, and learning about the smaller, often overlooked inhabitants.

Gain a deeper appreciation for the intricacies of the natural world while experiencing the thrill of walking amidst Africa’s iconic wildlife.

Chobe National Park Trails

No Traditional Trails

Chobe National Park, located in Botswana, primarily offers safari experiences rather than traditional hiking trails. However, there are walking trails available in some areas of the park for guided bush walks.

These walks are typically conducted with armed rangers and provide an opportunity to explore the wilderness on foot, offering insights into the park’s flora and fauna.

While there are no specific marked trails with ratings, distances, and elevation gains as in traditional hiking trails, visitors can still enjoy immersive nature experiences while walking in Chobe National Park.



1. What is Chobe National Park known for?

Chobe National Park, located in Botswana, is renowned for its spectacular wildlife and diverse ecosystems. It is especially famous for having one of the largest concentrations of elephants in Africa, offering unparalleled opportunities for elephant viewing and photography.

The park is also known for its stunning landscapes, which encompass floodplains, savannas, woodlands, and the iconic Chobe River. Visitors can expect to encounter a wide array of wildlife, including lions, leopards, buffalo, hippos, crocodiles, and an abundance of bird species.

Chobe is celebrated for its thrilling safari experiences, including game drives, boat cruises, walking safaris, and photography safaris, making it a premier destination for nature enthusiasts and wildlife photographers alike.

2. How many elephants are found within Chobe National Park?

Chobe National Park is estimated to be home to approximately 50,000 elephants, making it one of the largest elephant populations in Africa.

These majestic animals roam freely across the park’s diverse habitats, including floodplains, woodlands, and along the Chobe River, offering visitors exceptional opportunities for elephant viewing and photography.

The park’s vast expanse and rich vegetation provide ample resources to support this large elephant population, making Chobe a prime destination for elephant enthusiasts and wildlife enthusiasts alike.

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