Chobe National Park and Savute

North of the Okavango Delta lies Chobe National Park, best known for its massive herds of elephant.

Established in the 1930s, this was Botswana’s first reserve and today, it is one of the most biologically diverse wildlife sanctuaries in Africa with all manner of predators, plentiful antelope and some 440 recorded species of bird.

Most visitors to this 11,700km2 park stay aboard luxury houseboats or in well-established safari lodges around the Chobe River, which is very popular with large pachyderm family groups as well as buffalo and giraffe especially during the dry season. Birding in this area is of particular note, whilst the iconic Victoria Falls is just a little over an hour’s drive from many of the upscale properties on the riverfront.

River cruises are the highlight of a Chobe River safari – the best way to view a quintessential African sunset and to appreciate the diversity of species that inhabit this scenic ecosystem. Game drives are available from land-based lodges, whilst community visits may also be available depending on where you choose to stay.

In the park’s arid west is the Savute, an extremely rich wildlife area. This remote and rarely visited region boasts some of the country’s best predator-viewing especially when the waterway that feeds it has mostly dried up. Activities here are predominantly land-based centred around game drives and nature walks, with boating possible when water levels are high enough.

  • The Chobe River – famous for some of the highest densities of elephant in Africa
  •  Chobe National Park is one of Africa’s best regions for boat cruises
  • Abundant big-game predators, especially around the Savute Channel
  •  Stunning sunsets all year round – perfect for a relaxing sundowner!
  • A paradise for bird-watchers and safari enthusiasts

Moderate temperatures and lack of water elsewhere in Chobe National Park and Savute make the “winter” months of May through to September the best time to visit. The Chobe River offers a permanent water source year-round and the game viewing is good in this area all year round.

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Places to stay in Chobe & Savute

The following are some of the lodges that we recommend in the Chobe National Park and Savute regions. For information on additional accommodation not featured, please contact us.

Chobe Game Lodge

The only lodge in Chobe National Park situated right by the magnificent Chobe River, Chobe Game Lodge offers a classic luxury safari experience.

Chobe Princess Safariboats

The three Chobe Princess Safariboats offer relaxed voyages along the wildlife-rich Chobe River, uncovering its many animal and bird species completely at leisure.

Muchenje Safari Lodge

Situated on the quieter western side of Chobe National Park, lofty Muchenje Safari Lodge offers captivating views of the Chobe River, Caprivi Strip and surrounding floodplains.

Ngoma Safari Lodge

Ngoma Safari Lodge is built with natural materials to blend into its beautiful surroundings, and boasts the largest elephant herds on Earth at its doorstep.

Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero

Perched above the Chobe River at the edge of Chobe National Park, Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero offers sweeping views over the islands and floodplains all the way to the Namibian border.

Savute Safari Lodge

Situated beside the ephemeral Savute Channel, this atmospheric safari lodge accommodates guests in thatched chalets, with the majority of game drives visiting the teeming Savute Marsh.

Zambezi Queen Houseboat

The Zambezi Queen is a tri-level houseboat built to exacting standards - an ideal vessel upon which to explore the mighty Chobe River.

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Michael Fitzgerald

Senior Destination Specialist

Taleen Gaidzkar

Senior Destination Specialist

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Chobe National Park and Savute FAQ

The Chobe River in Botswana is one of the best places in Africa for a relaxing river cruise; and acts as a natural border between Botswana and Namiba. The river is a magnet for wildlife and the Chobe National Park is renowned for its vast herds of elephant. Many camps and lodges offer cruises along the river whilst there are also a few luxury houseboats that operate 2 and 3 night itineraries. A major highlight is (if you are lucky) seeing a herd of elephant cross from one side to the other.  

Botswana Overview

What is the best thing to do in Botswana?
Abundant wildlife including big cats, small, ultra-luxurious lodges and diverse landscapes make Botswana one of Africa’s premier safari destinations. Unique activities including exploring the waterways of the Okavango Delta by mokoro (dugout canoe), walking with bushmen in the Kalahari Desert, and exciting 4WD safaris are all possible.

What is the Climate in Botswana?
During the winter months of May-August days are dry and sunny with average temperatures of 25°C. Mornings and evenings can be very cold. Daily averages begin to rise in September and October towards 33-35°C. Temperatures from November-April can be very hot, reaching above 38°C. December to March is when Botswana receives most of its rain.

How do you get to Botswana?
Unfortunately, there are not many direct flights into Botswana. Most travellers fly into Johannesburg in South Africa, the major hub for Southern African Safaris. From there, there are regular flights between Johannesburg and Maun, the Okavango Deltas major access point.

What can I combine Botswana with?
A landlocked country, Botswana is surrounded by a number of other safari destinations. Botswana can easily be combined with Victoria Falls, the stunning sand dunes of Namibia, cosmopolitan Cape Town or even a beautiful beach resort in Mauritius or Mozambique.

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