The Chobe River

The Chobe River forms the northern boundary of the Chobe National Park in Botswana and the higher reaches of this river are known as the Linyanti. The riverine vegetation is luxurious and visitors to Namibia can experience the expanse of vast floodplains and savannah of the Chobe River, on a river cruise or game drive along the riverfront.

Probably the best time and the most enjoyable way, to witness the goings on of the Chobe, are in the afternoon and on a boat cruise. Even though the riverine landscape has been decimated by elephant, there is still a good chance of spotting lion or cheetah. Hippo amble on to dry land and the riverfront is awash with elephant on their way to 'spray and play' whilst having a well-earned romp in the meantime. Buffalo are present in their thousands, and giraffe, zebra, warthog, brown and spotted hyena, jackal, baboons and wild dogs, all have their own reasons to visit.

Most of the endemic antelope species – wildebeest, roan, sable, tsessebe, bushbuck, kudu, eland, impala and waterbuck – frequent the water, with the possibility of a sighting of the rare grysbok or oribi. The water-loving red lechwe and the rare puku also inhabit the marshy river floodplain. The small, stocky puku has a face like a waterbuck, but with notched, inward curving horns. Watch out for crocs and the playful Cape clawless otter as your boat cruises the Chobe.

Ornithologists can marvel at the variety and abundance of bird life, ranging from flashy lilac-breasted rollers and white-fronted bee-eaters to kori bustards, korhaans, secretary birds, vultures and marabou storks. African jacana, snakebirds, gallinules, herons and ducks are also supported by the Chobe River. Screaming African fish eagles can be heard along the river, practicing before they dive in for fish.

Chobe Savannah Lodge, on the Puku Flats, at the northern extremity of the park, is an excellent location for travellers looking for an exclusive Chobe River experience. Guided canoe excursions, night game drives along the river, and private motor boats for water-born game viewing are a specialty. On the south side of Impalila Island, overlooking the Chobe, is Ichingo Island Lodge. They have a fleet of high quality boats, each with it's own dedicated guide, that drift along the river in search an extensive array of game.

Rivers of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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