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Chobe National Park, Botswana with Nomad Tours – Day 18

From Nata to Chobe National Park

It was another early start today.  We were packed up and ready to roll at 6 am.


After a 310-kilometer drive through Botswana we arrive at our ant-infested campground.  Tiny ants are a nuisance but I’ll take them over palm-sized bugs any day.


After lunch, some go on a game drive and I stay behind.  Apparently, it was the best game drive yet with the group seeing lots of elephants and lions with cubs.


Lots of elephants

Elephants in Chobe National Park. Amazing and beautiful.


Sunset Cruise in Chobe National Park

At 4 pm, we begin a sunset cruise in Chobe National Park; a massive park at 10,566 square km (6565 square miles) and home to over 120,000 elephants!  Our captain’s name is “Cherry” which makes me instantly love him.


I meet a drunk Korean couple on the cruise who laugh hysterically when I tell them about my experience last year on Jeju Island in South Korea.  Glad I’m not the only one who found it funny.


It was an amazing cruise because of the abundance and the close proximity of hippos, elephants, birds, and crocodiles.  The African sky was, as usual, dramatic and glorious.


Photos below.


Disclaimer: Nomad Tours offered me a discount in exchange for documentation of the experience.  I have complete freedom to share my thoughts.  All opinions are my own.


Official Itinerary from Nomad Tours:

Day 18 Botswana – Chobe National Park

We travel to Chobe and this afternoon we enjoy a sunset river cruise as the animals are best spotted from the Chobe River. Elephants, Hippo, Crocodiles, Eland and many other creatures reside in Chobe so keep your cameras ready.

Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park, the second largest park in Botswana, covers 10 566 square km of northern Botswana. The Park forms part of the mosaic of lakes, islands and floodplains formed from the Kwando, Linyanti and Chobe River systems. The area is renowned for its vast herds of elephant and buffalo. The elephant population is currently about 120 000. The Chobe elephants are migratory, moving up to 200 km from the Chobe and Linyanti rivers, where they concentrate in the dry season, to the pans in the southeast of the park in the rainy season. They are Kalahari elephants, characterized by rather brittle ivory and short tusks, perhaps because of calcium deficiency in the soil. Due to their high concentration, there is a lot of damage to the vegetation in some areas. Culls have been considered but are too controversial and have thus far been rejected.

The original inhabitants of the area were the San people, otherwise known in Botswana as the Basarwa. They were hunter-gatherers who lived by moving from one area to another in search of water, wild fruits and hunting grounds. The San were pushed out by groups of the Basubiya people and, around 1911, a group of Batawana moved to the area. In 1931 it was decided that a national park would protect the wildlife from extinction and attract tourists. In 1932, an area of some 24 000 square km in the Chobe district was declared a non-hunting area. Over the years the park’s boundaries have been altered and the people settled in the area have been relocated gradually. Chobe National Park was finally empty of human occupation in 1975. In 1980 and again in 1987, the boundaries were altered, increasing the park to its present size.


Photos of Chobe National Park:

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