Chobe Game Reserve
The Chobe National Park, which is the second largest national park in Botswana and covers 10,566 square kilometres, has one of the greatest concentrations of game found on the African continent. Its uniqueness in the abundance of wildlife and the true African nature of the region, offers a safari experience of a lifetime. The park is divided into four distinctly different eco systems: Serondela with its lush plains and dense
forests in the Chobe River area in the extreme north-east; the Savuti Marsh in the west, about 50km (fifty kilometres) north of Mababe gate; the Linyanti Swamps in the north-west and the hot dry hinterland in between. From Kasane, follow the new tarred road past the airport to Sedudu Gate.
Here all persons are required to check in and pay the park fees, unless proceeding on the tarred road to Ngoma. Four-wheel drive vehicles are essential, especially if the intention is to travel extensively into the park - deep sand in some areas tests the skill of the driver and the capabilities of the vehicle. However, most rewarding game viewing awaits. The original inhabitants of what is now the park were the San people, otherwise known in Botswana as the Basarwa.
This settlement was gradually moved out and the Chobe National Park was finally empty of human occupation by 1975. In 1980 and again in 1987, the boundaries were altered, increasing the park to its present size. A major feature of Chobe National Park is its elephant population. First of all, the Chobe elephant comprise part of what is probably the largest surviving continuous elephant population. This population covers most of northern Botswana plus northwestern Zimbabwe.
Botswana's elephant population is currently estimated at around 120,000. This elephant population has built up steadily from a few thousand since the early 1900s and has escaped the massive illegal offtake that has decimated other populations in the 1970s and 1980s. The Chobe elephant are migratory, making seasonal movements of up to 200 kilometres from the Chobe and Linyanti rivers, where they concentrate in the dry season, to the pans in the southeast of the park, to which they disperse in the rainy searson. The elephants, in this area are distinguished by being the largest in body size of all living elephants though their ivory is brittle and you will not see many huge tuskers among these rangy monsters. Public camping grounds are situated within Chobe at Ihaha, Savuti and Linyanti with toilet and shower facilities available. Each of these camping grounds has its own unique character and a visit to each is recommended - however, it is once again stressed that a four-wheel drive vehicle is essential.
- Botswana's first National Park
- Vast Ecosystems in one area
- Home to tthousands of Elephants
- Birdlife is quite prolific