Chobe Safari LodgeThe Chobe Riverfront is a remarkable wildlife area due to the permanent water source of the Chobe River. Ease of accessibility from Kasane and close proximity to Victoria Falls and Livingstone has created a busy tourism environment with larger hotels and lodges in this area than in the rest of Botswana. Most wildlife activity occurs along the banks of the river – especially during the drier winter months, the dry season (May – October), when animals congregate at the river to quench their thirst. The spectacle of all the animals coming to drink and frolic at the water’s edge is impressive to behold.
In the rainy season (November – April) the game spreads throughout the greater area of Chobe National Park due to the increased availability of surface water from seasonal pans. This process assists the vegetation on the river banks to recover from the massive herds that are attracted to the river front in the dry months. The rainy season beginning in November/December brings beautiful wild flowers, exquisite scenery and mass birthing of young animals. Birding enthusiasts will find the riverfront a fantastic destination at this time with more than 400 species of birds, including migratory species and numerous birds of prey.
Offering a more exclusive experience than most of the camps around the Chobe Riverfront but still within the national park boundaries, this famous western corner of Chobe is one of Botswana’s best-known wildlife areas. Savuti covers almost 5,000 km2 and includes the Savuti Marsh, Savute Channel, the Mababe Depression and Magwikhwe Sand Ridge. Savuti is synonymous with lions and hyenas from the days before the channel resumed flowing, but the area also hosts an excellent diversity of other predators and plains game species. Savute’s pans, waterholes and channel (which stopped flowing in 1984 but resumed in 2008) support an exceptionally large population of bull elephants. Game-viewing conditions are generally better in Savute in the dry season (May to October) when grasses are shorter, vegetation is more thinned-out and animals are restricted to available water sources. When dry, the Savute landscape provides for excellent photography with skeletal trees set against the deep blue sky. The area is particularly photogenic when the plains game begins to move towards the woodlands at dusk and clouds of dust are stirred up against the red sunsets.
After the rains arrive in late November, the area is transformed almost overnight into lush grassland with zebras, wildebeest and buffalo appearing in their thousands. While it is still most definitely a reasonable time to visit and the arrival of all these animals brings a time of great feast for the predators seeing these interactions can be difficult due to thicker bush and the restrictions imparted by the National Park.