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A highlight in Botswana is certainly the 1965 founded and 10,566 km ² large Chobe National Park. Due to its proximity to the Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe, it has become one of the most visited regions. As the third largest protected area in Botswana, the Chobe National Park is home to huge elephant herds. The National Park offers everything from luxury and comfort along the Chobe River, to pristine marshes in the Linyanti area, to the extreme and rugged wilderness of Savuti.
The waterfront on the Chobe River near Kasane is the park’s most visited region, which is frequented by day visitors from nearby Victoria Falls. This region is characterized by vast, game-rich flood plains. The Savuti area is quite rough and consists of a marshy plain.
Only recently, after decades of drought, has water flowed through the Savuti Canal, which is still dependent on annual waterfalls. The desert-like landscape with high sand ridges and hills of volcanic origin is unique to the region. The legendary area is an extreme wilderness: hard, rough and romantic at the same time. It attracts a large number of animals, especially elephants, hyenas and lions. But you can also find jackals, zebras, wildebeests, kudus, giraffes, leopards and wild dogs here.
Due to the different forms of vegetation, the park has an enormous variety of animals. The population of elephant herds alone makes this park incomparable. But also water-bound animals such as hippos, crocodiles and waterbuck are numerous represented – as well as kudu, buffaloes, lions, cheetahs, leopards and hyenas.
The park, located in the north of the country, can be reached through various gates. The most popular entrance, “Sedudu” Gate, just outside Kasane, takes you to another world in just 15 minutes outside of Kazan. The Chobe River Front extends to the Ngoma Gate at the border crossing to Namibia. If you would like to use the transit route from Kasane to reach the Savuti region of the Chobe National Park, you will first enter the park south-west through the Ghoha Gate.
Another way to get into the park, after a trip to the Linyanti region, offers the Linyanti Gate of the same name. From the south you can reach the Chobe National Park after passing the Khwai Region or the Mababe Depression through the Mababe Gate.
The infrastructure of the park with lodges is limited in the northern area to the region around Kasane and Ngoma – however, there is only one fixed lodge in the area of the Chobe River Front by definition in the park – the Chobe Game Lodge. There are other permanent lodges in the region around Savuti.
With the Ihaha Campsite on the Chobe River and the Savuti Camp on the same named channel, there are only two self-drive campsites in the park. This small number of parking spaces leads to an artificial shortage and accordingly early (sometimes a year in advance), the campsites are fully booked.
Throughout the park, the rules of the national park authority apply. These stipulate that all visitors (including the lodges) in the national park area stay exclusively on the designated (sometimes deep-sanded) slopes and have to be back in the camp at dusk. Walkingsafaris or excursions with the traditional dugouts / Mokoros are not allowed.
The road network along the Chobe River and in the Savuti region mostly consists of deep-sanded slopes, which should be used exclusively by experienced 4×4 connoisseurs.
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