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On our first full day in the Victoria Falls area, we got up very early to head across the border into Botswana to take a full day safari into the legendary Chobe National Park. I literally could sit down and talk for hours about how absolutely incredible this park is and I still wouldn’t be able to properly describe the incredible experience of visiting this park. The park is renowned for its large herds of elephants, large quantities of predators (including the increasingly rare African Wild Dogs), and the amazing Chobe River that runs thru the park. It was our first experience taking a boat safari, as part of our tour included a boat ride down the Chobe River, and that is an experience I will never forget. In this Africa travel blog post, I share some of my favorite photos from our safari and discuss my favorite parts of the park.
I have visited hundreds of National Parks during my many travels, and many of those parks have taken my breath away with their beauty. However, it isn’t very often that a park is so incredible that it leaves me absolutely dumfounded on how to fully put into words just how incredible it is. The amazing Chobe National Park in Botswana is one of those parks. Seriously, I don’t know how to fully describe just how incredible this park really is. If you love wildlife, this is an absolute must see destination that should be at the very top of your travel bucket list.
In addition to having some of the largest elephant herds in all of Africa, the park is also home to some of the continent’s largest lions. It is said that the lions in Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta of Botswana are on average 15% larger than the lions in the rest of Africa. This is what hunting mostly elephants and cape buffalos will do, I suppose. After seeing these lions firsthand, I have absolutely no doubt that these are some of the biggest lions I have ever seen in the wild.
The park is also one of the few remaining places in Africa where you can see African painted dogs in the wild and is home to an incredible population of cape buffalo, many different antelope species, hippos, crocodiles, giraffe, and a staggering number of bird species. With so much wildlife, it is easy to see why Chobe National Park consistently ranks amongst the top safari destinations in Africa every year.
When we got to the park in the morning, we started our day with a safari boat cruise down the Chobe River. I have been on safari in many different countries, but this was the first time that I did a safari on a boat. I am so glad we got this opportunity as the amount of wildlife we saw by the river was staggering. We got to see herds of elephants so large that I still can’t believe it, with many young elephants among the herds. We even got to see an elephant and a herd of buffalo swim across the river. That was an incredible experience!
These animals were brave to swim across the river because the number of crocodiles (some very large) and hippos that we saw in the river was jaw-dropping as well. We saw one crocodile lying on the bank of the river that was absolutely enormous! From the safety of the boat, you are able to get much closer to these incredible animals than you would be able to with a land safari.
When we were finished with our boat safari, we headed to the infamous Chobe Safari Lodge for lunch. It isn’t difficult to understand why this lodge consistently ranks at the top of Chobe’s lodges as it is utterly beautiful. In addition to having 5-star amenities, it is situated right on the bank of the Chobe River with a swimming pool that you can enjoy while watching for animals. It costs a pretty penny to stay there, but if you can afford it, I would highly recommend a stay at this stunningly beautiful lodge.
After lunch, we switched to a safari vehicle and did the land safari portion of our day. Not to be outdone by the safari we had on the boat; the land safari delivered in a huge way as well. Our safari guide in Chobe National Park was one of the best safari guides that I have ever had in Africa and was able to locate the lions for us. Though I had seen lions many times previously on safari, seeing them in Chobe was a special moment. The pride even had several adorable cubs with them, which was really cool to see!
Tomorrow, we continue our safari adventures with an early wakeup call to head South to the famed Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. There will certainly be more incredible photos to share then. Until then, safe travels!
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Stunning photos! Especially love the elephant one…a trip of a lifetime for sure!
Thanks Linda!! It was an incredible trip! Africa is such an incredible continent.
I’ve heard Botswana is top notch for safaris. Glad things have righted themselves.
Thank you! Yeah, Botswana deserves every bit of credit it gets. They by far have the most wild and authentic safari experiences I have found in Africa.