chobe

Game Drives in Chobe National Park

 

Chobe National Park is one of the best National Parks in southern Africa and Botswana is famously known for the large herds of elephants. With the famous Chobe River where many of the animals converge during the dry season, the best way to see the vast wildlife is by having game drives. Game drives in Chobe are offered all year round and they are the number one activity carried out in the National Park. There are a lot of things that you need to know about Game drives carried out in Chobe and several questions that we have tried to look at so that you plan and know what to expect while on a game drive. Animals that you get to see while on a game drive include giraffes, elephants, lions, African buffalos, kudus, impalas, hyenas, wildebeests, warthogs, hippos, zebras and leopards among others.

Types of vehicles are used for game drives

Several vehicles can be used depending on the size of the group that is travelling but the most commonly used are the 4×4 wheel drive especially land Rovers and Land cruisers. These often come with a pop-up roof and some are open on either side to help you easily view the wildlife from different angles. Buses and safari vans are used for larger groups of tourists.

Types of game drives in Chobe National park

There are generally two types of game drives that are carried out in Chobe National Park and these are self-drives and guided game drives. The choice of the game drive will highly depend on your budget.

Self-drive: Self-drives in Chobe National park are generally planned by you, the tourist that is hiring the vehicle, getting a map, and booking accommodation facilities. It is an enjoyable ride but has its disadvantages like getting lost, missing out on the best spots for game viewing and it is also expensive as compared to guided drives.

Guided game drives: A guided game drive is one where you are going to be driven around the National Park with the help of a local experienced tour guide. It can either be done as a private drive or a group drive depending on your preference. A group guided drive helps in reducing various costs since most of them are shared and private guided game drives are the best since you get to enjoy all that the Safari has to offer with minimal interference.

Going for a guided game drive has its advantages and k e of them is that you are provided with a professional tour guide who will provide you with all the needed information about the different wildlife species that are found in the National Park. Local guides also know the best spots for game viewing and you get to enjoy the different stories about the National Park and all that is within it.

What is the best time to go for a game drive in Chobe National Park?

A game drive can be carried out all year round but the best time is usually during the dry season when the wildlife can be seen due to the thinning of the grass and heat that forces them to go searching for water.

What to see on a game drive?

There are a lot of things that you can see while on a game drive and this includes both animal and bird species. Some animals are best seen during the day and those that come out at night to hunt like genets, hyenas, civet cats, spring hares, bush babies, leopards, and hippos among others. A spotlight is always used for the night game drives and the day game drives are best for viewing animals, birds, and the vast Chobe Landscape.

Morning game drives: those start as early as 6:00 am or 6:30 am as the sun starts to rise and this is done to catch the early birds that are about hunting for food. Tea or coffee is served before you set off for the morning drive and you need to note that it is always cold in the morning and you need to be ready for this by putting on layered clothes. There are also a lot of mosquitoes so do not forget insect repellent. A morning snack will also be provided and at around 10:00 am breakfast will be served before you continue with your drive.

wildlife tours botswana

Rules and regulations to follow while on a game drive in Chobe

Game drives in Chobe National Park are always safe but keep in mind that wildlife is extremely unpredictable and that is why the rules were set up to avoid accidents. Some of the rules and regulations that every tourist going for a game drive should follow include the following:

Listen to your guide because in this case, they are always right. Local guides have enough experience and know all about the jungle. Listen to every detail given to you and you will have the best Safari drive in Chobe.

If possible, keep your phone on silent or on airplane mode to minimize the noise, and do the same with radios. Noise normally disrupts the animals and that is why it is advisable to keep everything on the low and talking should also be done in whispers.

During a night game drive, avoid using flashlights because a spotlight is always used to see the l animals.

Keep all your body parts inside the car. Even when an animal approaches your Safari vehicle, make sure that you stay inside the car and avoid stepping out of your vehicle.

What to pack for a game drive?

Besides the neutral clothes, you do not necessarily need to pack a lot for a game drive because extra luggage might become a burden as the Safari goes on. In most cases, the tour guide will meet you and know what you should carry for a specific game drive morning, evening or night game drive. Some of the things that you should carry include sunglasses, insect repellent, a camera, binoculars, extra batteries for the camera, sunscreen, a sunhat, a scarf, snacks, and enough bottled water. Carry a waterproof bag to keep all equipment, a sweater, and a waterproof jacket in case it rains, a first aid kit with all the relevant medicines, a recognition book, hand sanitizer, and toiletries.

What should I wear on a Game drive?

Safari clothes are similar irrelevant of where you are having your game drive from and this applies to Chobe National Park. Avoid putting on brightly colored clothes because they attract the attention of animals and yet you need to blend in with the environment so we advise that you get neutral colored clothes especially Khaki to blend in well with the environment but avoid black and white as well. As you start your day, make sure that you put on extra layers of clothing because the weather can change at any given time.

What should I expect on this game drive?

A typical Safari drive takes about 2 to 3 hours with breaks in between. The first one is always carried out early in the morning starting at around 6:30 am with lunch served at either midday or 1:00 pm and the vast evening drive starts at about 2:30 pm and both last roughly the same time. The most important and interesting bathing about game drives in Chobe is that each drive comes with its own exciting experience. The night drive starts late in the evening and lasts 2 hours.