chobe

Best Time To Visit Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park is a safari destination paradise for many tourists visiting Botswana for the first time and those that are on return journeys because of the many things that it has to offer to tourists. The National Park is best known for having an extremely large population amounting to over 50, 000 recorded elephants. The elephants that are found in Chobe are characterized by shorter tusks as compared to other elephants and this is caused by the deficiency that is found in the soils that are found in Chobe National Park. The National Park is worth visiting and not only because of the elephants but the vast wildlife that can be viewed in the different seasons experienced.

Chobe National Park is an all-year-round destination and the best time is determined by the different activities that one wants to carry out. From driving through the National Park, taking guided walks, birding, and exploring the National Park on the Chobe River, Chobe should be on your bucket list as you prepare for an African safari.

The winter or dry season

During the winter months, the terrain within Chobe National Park is dry and the bushes thin out due to limited or no rain received in these months. When the dry months set in, animals are forced to move to the remaining waterholes within the National Park to cool off from the heat and this is advantageous to the tourists since it makes spotting the animals easy as compared to when the vegetation is thick. The dry season starts around the end of May to November and temperatures are hotter towards the end of the season which is from October to November and they are known to rise to about 40 degrees Celsius.

May to June are extremely months with cold nights and as the wet season approaches, the temperatures keep on rising to make the hot months unbearable especially mid-afternoons. Some of the things that you should carry on your safari during the dry season include insect repellent, sunscreen, a sun hat, enough bottled water, good hiking boots, and neutral-colored clothes.  August to September are the best months for game viewing however they are the worst due to the high temperatures.

Several activities are carried out during the winter season and these include the following:

Game drives: these are carried out in 4×4 Safari vehicles across the National Park and the main reason why they are best done during the dry season is that it is easier to drive through Chobe when the road network is not slippery and it’s also easier to spot the animals as they move around in search of food and water.

Guided nature walks: although hiking is not allowed within the Chobe National Park, guided nature walks are okay as long as you follow the guidelines given to you by the tour guide and keep to the trails that are marked for the nature walks. Many of the camps and lodges around the park offers guided nature walks and as you take these walks, you get to see both animal and bird species.

Boat cruises: you can either go for houseboat rides or motor boat rides to enjoy the beautiful scenery that is found within the National Park. Boat cruises are carried out along the Chobe River where many of the wildlife converges especially during the dry season.

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Wet/summer/green season

The wet season is arguably the best time to visit the National Park for tourists who are traveling on a low budget since the costs of things, especially accommodation is reduced and it also caters to tourists who don’t like crowds. The beginning of the wet season is when most of the animals and birds breed and visiting the Park during this time will reward you with sights of young wildlife and it is considered to be the best time to spot the predators that target the young animals.

Activities that are best carried out during the wet season include the following:

Photography safaris: although photography safaris can be carried out all year round, the best time to do this is during the wet season which provides a good backdrop inform the green landscape. Carry protective gear for your equipment when it starts to rain.

Birding: this is the season when the migratory birds fly into the country and they can be seen in the different natural habitats of the National Park. Birding can be carried out while taking guided nature walks, boat rides and game drives around the National Park.

Chobe in December, January, and February

The dry season ends in early November and the first rains in the National Park are received towards the end of November and the beginning of December. Some of these months receive heavy rainfall but note that it is not for the whole day meaning that you can still carry out your activities after the rain has stopped.

Chobe in March and April

March sees the last rainfalls in the National Park and during this time, the bushes are still heavy and thick and game sightings are still hard. Birds during this time start preparations of migrating to other areas. The Park at this time is still hard to take guided nature walks and other activities due to the wetness of the roads, you can however visit the nearby Victoria Falls and this is the same period when the zebra migration is taking place through Savuti.

April marks the end of the rainy season and many of the migratory birds have flown back northwards and the zebra migration is in full swing. This is a great time to visit the Savuti and experience the migration while waiting for the animals to start showing up at the waterholes as the dry season sets in.

 

Chobe from June to August

June

June is the start of the peak season and the best time to plan for a luxurious safari to Chobe National Park. The cost of accommodation is doubled and sometimes tripled due to the many tourists that visit the Park and that is why tourists are advised to book in advance to get the best deals on everything.

July

This is considered to be the coldest month in Chobe and you should plan accordingly for your safari. It is a good month for game viewing especially elephants and wild dogs and even though temperatures are hot during the day, pack heavy clothes for the night to keep warm.

August

August is still a dry month in Chobe National Park and it is the best time to go fishing it comes with the barbell run. Prepare your fishing gear and enjoy some of the sport fishing on the African continent. The barbell run is at the Kasai channel.

Chobe from September to November

September

September marks the beginning of the hottest month in Chobe (spring) and it is hotter during the day. This is the time when the first batch fly into the National Park and the month also offers good sightings of the wildlife in Chobe.

October

October is a hot month as well and the National Park starts receiving small amounts of rainfall marking the start of the shoulder season. During this time, animals are scarce as they prepare for the oncoming rains, and the rates during this time are low as well.

November

This marks the beginning of the green season with the oncoming rains, birds have started flying into the National park during this time and the animals have started dispersing and keeping to their natural habitats.