The life-giving Chobe River undulates and twists across northern Botswana’s swamplands, woodlands and floodplains and offers safari adventurers its most delicious sight: elephant breeding herds who shoot river water from their trunks, snorkel like periscopes across it, wildly dunk themselves and lavishly splash their babies for cleansing, and simply play and enjoy a roaring wet time.
This brilliant display is at its peak during the May through October dry season. Our Afrika Safaris’ “Spirit of Botswana Journey” coincides with this iconic experience. Sanctuary’s Chobe Chilwero Camp borders Chobe National Park and will be home for a few days. “Chobe Chilwero” is Setswana for “high view.” The Camp, overlooking the national park, is faithful to its name.
The Chobe River and Chobe National Park are migrating grounds for African elephant herds – mainly Kalahari elephants – of which an estimated 120,000 pachyderms traverse this area. As Africa’s largest elephants, the Kalaharis possess relatively short tusks comprised of rather brittle ivory that is perhaps due to calcium-deficient soil. This magnificent sight awaits in Chobe National Park, Botswana’s first and most biologically diverse park.
At this major watering spot an abundance of other large-game viewing is always present as Cape buffalo, hippos, crocodile, sable, antelope, African lions and families of giraffe all come to the 4,230 square miles that define Chobe National Park. Here, Botswana touches Namibia, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the four surrounding countries.
For bird lovers, the Chobe River is the premier bird-watching safari venue. More than 500 bird species augment the already substantial number of birds across Botswana. The unmistakable Carmine Bee-eaters – with their brilliant crimson bodies and striking pinkish-red plumage – frequent this area, as do Kingfishers, Rollers, the Sacred Ibis, Egyptian Geese, Spur-winged Geese, Pel’s Fishing Owl, the unmistakable Fish Eagle, the Martial Eagle, ubiquitous Cormorants and Darters and many storks.