The Chobe Rver is one of Botswana’s- and Africa’s- most iconic sights. A startling ribbon of blue in a parched landscape, giving rise to teaming herds of animal life, it’s something to lift the spirit and make the heart glad, and a can’t-miss on many people’s bucket lists. How much do you know about this iconic African destination, though? Here’s Live the Journey’s top 10 quick facts about the Chobe River everyone should know.
- Chobe and her elephants: The Chobe National Park has one of the highest densities of African Elephant herds in the country. Botswana, in turn, has the highest population levels in the world. Amazing, right
- The 4 regions: Chobe National Park itself has 4 noticeably different geographical layouts. These are the Savuti channel, Linyati wetlands, Nogatsaa and Serondella. Where you wander and what you see will be heavily influenced by which region you’re in.
- Water is never as guaranteed as you may think: Savuti channel has, in fact, dried up before, in both 1888 and 1957, and it can easily happen again. Despite this sporadic, quick-shifting nature, the area is redolent in natural beauty
- World Record holder: Botswana herself holds a number of records, including that of ‘largest inland delta’. No prizes for guessing where they meant!
- The river of many names: The Chobe isn’t one single river. She’s actually a massive stretch of the same water system that flows over Victoria Falls on its way to the sea. The Angolan Cuando River upstream, the Kwando river of the Caprivi and the swamps of Linyanti are all also part of the same flow
- Star-studded glamour: The park was host to the [second] wedding of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, earning it a permanent air of Hollywood glamour
- Hunter-gatherer life: The parks original inhabitants are the Barsawa, better known as ‘San Bushmen’. Cave paintings dot the hills, while several Barsawa people remain involved in the running of the park that once housed only their ancestors and nature.
- Border crossing: The elephants of the park, when the dry season hits, often make their way into North Zimbabwe seeking resources. It’s not so easy for you, though- make sure you have several blank passport pages if you want to visit Chobe and the Falls together, as sovereignty is taken seriously at that border.
- Diversity in the sky: We think of Africa’s iconic land mammals when we consider her parks, but the wealth of bird species are just as dazzling. There’s over 460 commonly spotted bird species in the Chobe National Park alone. Bird watching cruises are very popular.
- Changing times: Before becoming a protected park and beacon of wildlife conservation, the area was used for destructive teak harvesting and trophy hunting. Fortunately, both activities are outlawed today, and Botswana ranks highly in the world for its conservation efforts [and pride in its natural wildlife wealth].
Did we surprise you, or did you know it all already? Why not come and add real, on-the-ground experience in the Chobe to your bucket list with Live the Journey?