Botswana – The Chobe River and Oh! Those! Elephants!

Published on December 2015 in Our Africa Safaris

Photo Credit: Wilderness Safaris for both images.


“One of the Best Preserved Corners of Wilderness Left in the World.”

– National Geographic Magazine –


The life-giving Chobe River twists across northern Botswana’s swamplands, woodlands and floodplains. It offers safari adventurers one of its most delicious sights when elephant breeding herds congregate at the river’s edge to snorkel across it with trunks uplifted like periscopes while others dunk and splash their babies wildly. Tons of ellies at play is  some kind of fun!

The Chobe River and Chobe National Park are migrating grounds for Kalahari elephant herds, Africa’s largest. They possess relatively short tusks, comprised of rather brittle ivory due perhaps to calcium-deficient soil. An estimated 120,000 pachyderms traverse this area, known as Botswana’s first and most biologically diverse park.

An abundance of other large-game viewing is always present here: Cape buffalo, hippo, crocodile, sable, antelope, African lion and families of giraffe, in addition to baboons, badgers and impala who all come to the 4,200+ square miles that define Chobe National Park. This northeastern region of landlocked Botswana touches Namibia, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

For bird lovers, the Chobe River is premier as a venue with more than 500 bird species in glorious display.  The vibrantly unmistakable Carmine Bee-eaters with their brilliant crimson bodies and striking pinkish-red plumage frequent this area. In abundance are Kingfishers, Rollers, Sacred Ibis, Egyptian and Spur-winged Geese, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Martial Eagle, ubiquitous Cormorants and Darters, Stork and the Fish Eagle – so named as it trolls the surface for its fish prey.