Wildlife in Chobe National Park


Chobe National Park, located in northern Botswana, is one of Africa’s most known wildlife sanctuaries due to its diverse terrain. The park is not only the country’s first national park, but also one of its largest, covering around 11,700 square km. Chobe is famous for its unique wildlife, including one of the continent’s highest concentrations of elephants, as well as lions, leopards, buffaloes, and a diversity of birdlife. The park is divided into distinct sub-areas, including the Savuti Marsh, the Linyanti Marshes, the Serondela area, and the Nogatsaa and Tchinga regions, each offering a unique ecological experience. Chobe National Park’s accommodations cater to a wide range of preferences, from luxury lodges along the Chobe River to more rustic camping alternatives, giving guests with an authentic experience amidst the park’s natural treasures. Join us in this exploration of the wildlife in Chobe National Park, where the nature unfolds in a fascinating exhibition of ecological balance.

What Wildlife is in Chobe National Park?

Chobe National Park is particularly renowned for its massive elephant population, estimated to be over 120,000 strong, representing one of the largest concentrations of elephants in Africa. Lions, leopards, buffaloes, and hippos are among the other famous animals that live in Chobe. Crocodiles and other antelope species, like as impalas, kudus, and sable antelopes, are drawn to the riverine habitats around the Chobe River. Giraffes, zebras, and warthogs can also be found roaming the park’s varied terrain. Over 450 bird species have been reported in Chobe, including fish eagles, kingfishers, and herons. The park’s diverse ecosystems, ranging from riverbank to marshes and dry forests, contribute to its extraordinary biodiversity and provide a rare opportunity to see an array of wildlife in their natural settings.

Rare Animals in Chobe National Park

  • The African wild dog, commonly known as the painted dog, is a critically endangered species that can also be found in park.
  • The leopard, though not considered rare in a global context, they can be elusive, and spotting them in their natural habitat is always a thrilling experience for visitors.
  • The Puku is a medium-sized antelope that is primarily found in marshy grasslands and floodplains. In Chobe National Park, the puku is particularly associated with the marshy areas along the Chobe and Linyanti Rivers. What distinguishes the puku from other antelopes is its reddish-brown coat, rounded ears, and distinctive facial markings, including a white ring around the eyes.
  • The Pel’s fishing owl is a large and striking owl species, known for its preference for riverine habitats. In Chobe National Park, the Pel’s fishing owl can be found along the riverbanks, particularly in areas with large trees where it nests. The rarity of this owl, coupled with its preference for secluded riverine locations, makes spotting one a special and memorable experience for those exploring Chobe’s diverse ecosystems.
Puku Antelope - Botswana
Puku Antelope – Botswana

Are there Lions in Chobe National Park?

Chobe National Park has a healthy lion population. Lions are one of the park’s most recognisable big cat species, and they may be seen throughout the park, including the Savuti Marsh, the Linyanti Marshes, and the adjacent woodlands. During the day, lions can be seen relaxing in the shade of trees and become more active in the early morning or late afternoon, participating in social activities, hunting, or patrolling their territories.

Lions have plenty of prey in Chobe’s different ecosystems, including abundant herbivores like impalas, zebras, buffaloes, and other ungulates. The riverine habitats along the Chobe River attract wildlife, allowing lions to hunt near the water. The presence of lions enhances the park’s appeal as a premier safari destination, providing visitors with the opportunity to see these beautiful predators in their native habitat as part of the park’s rich biodiversity.

Lions in Chobe National park
Lions in Chobe National park

Are there Giraffes in Chobe National Park?

The Southern Giraffe (Giraffa giraffa) is the species found in Chobe National Park and much of southern Africa. The Southern Giraffe is further divided into different subspecies, and in the case of Chobe National Park and surrounding regions, it is often the South African Giraffe that is present. Southern Giraffes are characterized by irregular and jagged spots on their bodies, and each individual has a unique spot pattern. Their range includes various countries in southern Africa, and they have adapted to different habitats, including woodlands and savannas, making them well-suited to the diverse landscapes found in Chobe National Park.


Are there Buffaloes in Chobe National Park?

The Chobe River and nearby surroundings provide a good habitat for buffaloes, allowing them to graze and access water. Cape Buffalo are noted for their gregarious behaviour, creating herds of a few individuals to larger groupings. Seeing these big animals in their native habitat is a typical and enjoyable experience for Chobe National Park visitors.

Buffalo in Chobe National park

Did you know? Female buffalos appear to engage in “voting behavior.” When resting, the females stand up and lay down in the direction they believe the herd should travel. After about an hour of rearranging, the females travel in the direction they choose. This seems to be a collective choice that is not based on hierarchy or domination.

Gus Le Breton
The Wisdom of Trees

Nature seems to emanate an inspiration which encourages us to connect to our true selves. It is to the wild

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