Chobe National Park Archives | ZQ Collection

An Unforgettable African Safari on the Chobe River

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The magnificent Chobe River rises in the Angola highlands and winds its way to the Zambezi River, flanked by forests, floodplains and woodlands. With the highest concentration of African elephants on the continent, and over 450 different bird species you’d better charge your camera and pack your binoculars.

The Chobe R

The life blood of the Botswana and Namibian safari experience

The River forms the northern boundary of the Chobe National Park as well as much of Botswana’s border with Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, and it is an integral part of the Botswana and Namibian safari experience. The area has only two seasons: a wet and a dry season. The wet season stretches from around November to March and transforms the landscape into a lush green sanctuary. During the dry season, when other water sources are scarce, large herds of animals concentrate on the banks of the river for a drink or a cooling splash. Of course this is great news to hungry predators like crocs and lions that are eager to make a quick meal out of a thirsty zebra or antelope.

Elephant herd on Chobe River

The Chobe is a birding paradise. You’ll wake to the sound of the African Fish Eagles as it swoops down to snatch a fish from the water. Watch the graceful African Skimmer leave a perfect wake, or gawk at the strange black Openbills, or Marabou Storks. Even if you’re not a birding enthusiast seeing some of the over 450 bird species and hearing your enthusiastic and well-informed guide talk about the habits and quirks of each Little Bee Eater, you may just be converted!

African Fish Eagle, Chobe River

The gentle giants

Chobe is home to 4 of the big 5: lion, buffalo, leopard, and of course – elephant. It is estimated that there are around 120,000 elephants migrating through the Chobe National Park and surrounding areas – the largest concentration of elephants in the world. It is not uncommon to see herds of over 100 animals grazing on the banks, or to find them crossing the river, or spraying each other playfully in the water. These gentle giants are ever present, and the best way to appreciate them is from the water on a river cruise. It seems that the animals are unperturbed by the boats drifting by – and they go about their daily routine as if you are part of the scenery. It is an incredible way to view them in their natural habitat without disturbing them – and what a photo opportunity!

Elephant, Chobe River

Surprising Africa

The African wild is exactly as enigmatic and surprising as it sounds. One might expect, for example, that, being in one of the most remote locations in the world, the sunset would bring serenity and tranquillity as a million stars light up the sky. But no, Africa comes to life after dark. The hypnotic chorus of insects; the mesmerising sounds of thousands of tiny creatures buzzing, zinging and chattering; the grunt of a nearby herd of elephants grazing, and the gentle lapping of the water will be your lullaby. Concentration of game around the river ensures your days are filled with sensational sightings.

In the lap of luxury

When you think of the Chobe, don’t think dirt and dust, think safari decadence. Luxury tented camping gives you the authentic African safari experience in unsurpassed comfort. Alternatively, stay in a floating boutique hotel, or a private villa on the water, where the scenery is always changing and you become part of the majestic landscape that is Africa.

15 animals to see on a Botswana River Safari

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The Zambezi Queen Collection of properties is situated in the heart of the Chobe region with access to river frontage of the Chobe National Park, our water-based safaris allow you to experience the enormous diversity and concentration of wildlife the area has to offer.

Here are 15 animals you’ll most likely spot during your stay with us:

1. The giraffe is the tallest mammal in the world, with even new-born babies born taller than most humans.

Giraffe | Botswana Safari
2. Lechwe are strong swimmers and will often out swim predators to get away and can easily bound through water.

Lechwe Buck | Botswana Safari
3. Lions and leopards are the warthog’s chief enemies. Warthogs protect themselves from predators by fleeing or sliding backwards into a hole, thus being in a position to use their formidable tusks in an attack.

Warthog | Botswana Safari
4. The giant kingfisher is the largest kingfisher in Africa, where it is a resident breeding bird over most of the continent south of the Sahara Desert.

Giant Kingfisher | Botswana Safari
5. African fish eagles are very efficient hunters and only hunt for about 10 minutes each day. Besides fish, they also eat young birds, monkeys, baby crocodiles and frogs. They have special growths on their toes that help them to grip slippery prey.

Fish Eagle | Botswana Safari
6. The Chobe National Park is home to the largest concentration of African elephant in the world.

Elephant | Botswana Safari
7. The adage an elephant never forgets would be matched by a buffalo never forgives. They have been known to attack people that have harmed them even years after the event.

Cape Buffalo | Botswana Safari
8. An adult hippo needs to resurface every 3 – 5 minutes to breathe. The process of surfacing and breathing is automatic, and even a hippo sleeping underwater will rise and breathe without waking.

Hippo | Botswana Safari
9. The gemsbok is one of the most perfectly desert-adapted large mammals. It is capable of subsisting in waterless landscapes where few other ungulates can survive. This allows the gemsbok to utilize habitat that other grazers can only use during the rainy season.

Gemsbok | Botswana Safari
10. Where most reptiles lay their eggs and move on, mother and father crocodiles ferociously guard their nests until the eggs hatch, and they will often roll the eggs gently in their mouths to help hatching babies emerge.

Crocodile | Botswana Safari
11. Lions thrive in prides as the only cats to live in groups. With females as the primary hunters, males defend a territory that can stretch for miles.

Lion | Botswana Safari
12. Leopards are astoundingly strong. They are pound for pound the strongest of the big cats.

Leopard | Botswana Safari
13. Contrary to the picture below, zebras are actually highly social, and will only go to sleep if they are close to neighbours so that they can be warned if a predator approaches.

Zebra | Botswana Safari
14. The impala is rarely seen on its own. Females and young animals form herds of up to 100 individuals, while males live in a bachelor group of about 60 animals. They occupy a large range and make seasonal migrations from high to lower ground according to the availability of suitable food.

Impala || Botswana Safari
15. Monitor lizzards are fearsome predators, hunting on and under the ground, in trees and in the water.

Monitor Lizzard | Botswana Safari
Before your game viewing excursion, remember to apply sunscreen and wear a hat, as temperatures can reach over 40 degrees centigrade. You should also bring along a jacket for the chillier temperatures in the early mornings and evenings.

Enjoy the ultimate in game viewing safari decadence with the Zambezi Queen Collection as you cruise along the Chobe river in one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet.

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