Chobe National Park was Botswana’s first, and it’s still the county’s most popular. For me, the best part of a Chobe safari is spending time on the Chobe Floodplains, with its constantly changing landscape of islands and waterways.
Appropriately enough for a region which reinvents itself so completely during the year, the river which shapes it undergoes several name changes during its journey from the Angolan highlands to Kasane, where it merges into the Zambezi.
But I know and love it best as the Chobe River, and game drives on the Chobe Floodplains are among my most treasured safari memories. In terms of sheer numbers of game, a dry season drive along the Chobe Waterfront towards Serondela is hard to beat, between the huffing and puffing pods of hippo and elephant quenching their thirst.
It’s when you head out across the Chobe Floodplains, however, that the real magic happens. Viewed from the riverfront, the floodplains can appear deserted, but venture into the long grass and you’ll soon discover immense herds of buffalo and elephant, and – with a little luck – puku holding out in this, their last Botswanan refuge.
Combine a bush picnic with a sundowner cruise on the river to get a true taste of Chobe, while night drives in the adjacent Chobe Forest Reserve can reveal rarely seen nocturnal creatures.
There’s a long history of human settlement in Chobe, and cultural interactions with the people of surrounding villages are the perfect way to round out your luxury Chobe safari.