The Chobe National Park Is A Safari Paradise
As the first national park established in Botswana, Africa, the Chobe National Part is also one of the largest and the most diverse. The park is particularly famous for its incredible elephant population, since it houses approximately 50,000 examples of these majestic beasts.
The initial inhabitants of the area that is now the Chobe National Park were the San bushmen – a nomadic people that traveled from place to place constantly in search for food. With the dawn of the 20th century, the region that is now Botswana was split into several land tenure systems, and so the park area became a so-called “crown land”. In 1931, people began voicing ideas regarding a national park that would protect wildlife and promote tourism at the same time.
In 1932, 5.9 million acres surrounding Chobe were declared a non-hunting area, but the surface was expanded to 7.8 million acres just 2 years later. Ten years after the large tsetse infestation of 1943, the national park project received governmental support, and so 5.1 million acres of land were suggested for a game reserve. The official installment of the Chobe Game Reserve came in 1960, but it was actually smaller than planned. Seven years later, the reserve became an official national park, but it wasn’t until 1975 that the entire protected region was finally free of human activity.
The park is currently divided into 4 large areas named the Serondela area, the Savuti Marsh area, the Linyanti Marsh and the Hinterland. Each different area houses a different ecosystem and thus different wildlife species. For example, since the Serondela area includes the Chobe River, it attracts a wide variety of animals such as elephants, cape buffalo, giraffes, sables and the elusive puku antelopes.
The Savuti Marsh area represents a barren relic of a large inland lake, but it is sometimes flooded by the Savuti Channel. During the dry season, tourists can view kudus, warthogs, zebras, wildebeests, elephants and impalas. During the wet season, cheetahs, zebras, hyenas and lions can be spotted alongside numerous bird specimens. The Linyanti Marsh impresses with vast concentrations of Sable antelopes, hippopotamuses, leopards, lions, wild dogs and rare crocodile, red lechwe and sitaunga species. The Hinterland is a perfect place to admire elands.
As far as tourist facilities are concerned, visitors can check in at the Chobe Game Lodge, which is the only permanent establishment in the park. Those looking for luxurious living arrangements should definitely pay a visit to Savute.