In the dry season, this broad, permanent waterway is a magnet for every species of wildlife, from breeding herds of elephant and buffalo, both of which are frequently seen swimming to nearby islands, to all the main predators. The game and prolific birdlife is best appreciated from the river via boat particularly in the afternoons; many guests opt for game drives in the mornings.
Most of the accommodation options are situated in Kasane, just a five-minute drive from the park. In contrast to the rest of the country, there are a handful of larger lodges here with more of a hotel-vibe, which, combined with the day-trippers from neighbouring Victoria Falls can lead to the riverfront feeling busier than elsewhere in Botswana.
Chobe’s other highlight is the Savute region, situated some 200km to the south-west and its habitat couldn’t be more different. Comprising a range of volcanic hills, a river that flows once in a generation and a treeless marsh that comes alive with thousands of migrating zebra in the rains, this is a unique ecosystem, which has triggered some remarkable predatory behaviour, attracting filmmakers from across the globe. Game-viewing is good all year round, although in the driest months from August to November, the wildlife tends to congregate close to the handful of pumped waterholes. There are three lodges in the vicinity, a public campsite and a clutch of private sites available only to mobile operators.
Outside of these main areas, there are a couple of alternative lodge options still inside the park, whose remote location offers an even more private experience. There are also a handful of more affordable lodges situated just outside the park, some of which have excellent views over Chobe River.