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History of Chobe National Park

The original inhabitants of this area were the San bushmen (also known as the Basarwa people in Botswana). They were nomadic hunter-gatherers who were constantly moving from place to place to find food sources, namely fruits, water and wild animals. Nowadays one can find San paintings inside rocky hills of the park.

They were followed by the – impressively named – Hambukushu, Bayei and Basubiya. In the 1850s, David Livingstone passed through the area on his way to the Victoria Falls.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the region that would become Botswana was divided into different land tenure systems. At that time, a major part of the park’s area was classified as crown land. The idea of a national park to protect the varied wildlife found here as well as promote tourism first appeared in 1931. The following year, 24,000 km2 (9,300 sq mi) around Chobe district were officially declared non-hunting area; this area was expanded to 31,600 km2 (12,200 sq mi) two years later.

In 1943, heavy tsetse infestations occurred throughout the region, delaying the creation of the national park. By 1953, the project received governmental attention again: 21,000 km2 (8,100 sq mi) were suggested to become a game reserve. Chobe Game Reserve was officially created in 1960, though smaller than initially desired. In 1967, the reserve was declared a national park.

At that time there were several industrial settlements in the region, especially at Serondela, where the timber industry proliferated. These settlements were gradually moved out of the park, and it was not until 1975 that the whole protected area was exempt from human activity. Nowadays traces of the prior timber industry are still visible at Serondela. Minor expansions of the park took place in 1980 and 1987.

Chobe Park

Visiting the Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park is located in northern Botswana and is one of the most popular wildlife destinations in Africa. Known for its large elephant population, diverse habitats, and stunning natural beauty, it offers visitors a remarkable safari experience. Here's some information to help you plan your visit:

Chobe National Park is situated in the northern part of Botswana, near the town of Kasane and the borders of Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Namibia. The park covers an area of approximately 11,700 square kilometers (4,500 square miles).

Chobe National Park is renowned for its incredible wildlife sightings. In addition to a significant elephant population estimated to be around 50,000, you can spot other animals like buffalo, giraffe, zebra, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, and various antelope species. The park is also home to over 460 bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers.

Riverfront Area:
One of the highlights of Chobe National Park is the Chobe Riverfront, where you can witness large herds of elephants and other animals gathering to drink and bathe. Boat cruises and safaris along the river provide an excellent opportunity to observe wildlife up close and enjoy spectacular sunsets.

Savuti Marsh:
The Savuti Marsh, located in the western part of the park, is a unique area known for its predator-prey interactions, particularly lions and hyenas. It offers excellent game viewing, especially during the dry season when wildlife congregates around water sources.

Nogatsaa and Linyanti Areas:
These remote sections of Chobe National Park provide a more exclusive safari experience. With open grasslands, woodlands, and waterways, they offer diverse habitats and excellent opportunities to spot rare and elusive species like African wild dogs.

Safari Activities:
Chobe National Park offers a range of safari activities. Game drives are a popular choice, allowing you to explore the park's diverse landscapes and encounter wildlife. Boat safaris along the Chobe River provide a unique perspective and a chance to see aquatic animals and birdlife. Walking safaris, guided by experienced rangers, offer a more intimate and educational experience in the wilderness.

Best Time to Visit:
The dry season (May to October) is generally considered the best time to visit Chobe National Park. During this period, wildlife congregates around water sources, making it easier to spot animals. The rainy season (November to April) brings lush vegetation and migratory bird species, but some areas may become inaccessible due to flooding.

Chobe National Park