Botswana : Chobe
Chobe National Park is in the north-east of Botswana, and is best known for its huge herds of elephant and buffalo and the prides of lion that hunt them. Covering over 11,000km of the northern Kalahari, the park varies from riverine forest, flood plains and marshes to mopane woodlands and rocky outcrops, and has the highest concentration of animals in the world. In the green months, the animals migrate to the open grasslands of Savute and the south in search of available food, and as the land dries up (between April and November), thousands of elephants come to drink at the Chobe River, the only constant source of water in the park other than pumped waterholes - literally thousands of elephant and buffalo take refuge on the river islands. The best way to see the game here is on a boat safari. Chobe is just a short overland transfer from the Victoria Falls, the perfect add-on to any safari.
Chobe Chilwero is on the border of the Chobe National Park, and has 15 luxurious thatched cottages, with sunken baths, indoor and outdoor showers, private gardens and terraces overlooking the magnificent Chobe River. Activities are arranged flexibly around the clients and include game drives, motorboat trips, sundowner cruises and fishing excursions. There is a swimming pool and a beauty therapist offering in-room spa treatments, while the chefs serve excellent food, which are accompanied by vintage wines from the cellar.
Perched on an escarpment edge, on the remote western side of the Chobe National Park, the owner-run and managed Muchenje Safari Lodge is the only lodge in this area and offers a unique game experience without the crowds of the more public parts of Chobe itself. Being on a small private concession, Muchenje is able to offer walking safaris and night game drives on Muchenje lsland as well as game drives in the park. You can also go on boat safaris on the Chobe River. There are 11 twin-bedded thatched chalets set along the escarpment each with a balcony and great view. Dining is around a teak railway sleeper table in the main bar/dining room and there is a swimming pool.
"We saw just about everything in Chobe Park and the guide Neo was one of the best we have experienced."
Ian and Isobel, Perthshire
Savute Elephant Camp is in the heart of Chobe National Park and has 12 luxury en-suite tents under thatch and on raised platforms. Perched on the former banks of the now dry Savute Channel, there is superb game viewing from camp, especially at the waterhole just metres away from the camp's main building. Each room has a large private viewing deck with easy chairs and a hammock, ideal for viewing wildlife or enjoying a private dinner. As this camp is situated in the Chobe National Park, park regulations prohibit night drives and walking, but game drives offer plenty to see and you will also have the rare opportunity to view rock paintings drawn by the early Bushmen.