About the Chobe River

The stunning and life-giving Chobe River forms the northern boundary of Chobe National Park.

The river begins its existence as a small mountain spring in Angola, where it is known as the Kwando (a Hambukushu name). From here, it travels great distances through the Kalahari sands before it reaches Botswana and becomes the Linyanti (a Subiya name).

It finally becomes the Chobe at the border post of Ngoma, from where it continues to run along Botswana’s northern border before meeting the mighty Zambezi and tumbling over the precipice at Victoria Falls. The Chobe’s course, like the Okavango and the Zambezi River, is affected by fault lines which are extensions of the Great Rift Valley.

By the time the river reaches the national park’s northern border, it has become a broad, twisting mass of water that snakes its way through swampland and is interspersed by a number of lush, green islands.

This section of the river attracts an almost unbelievable density of game, including huge herds of elephant (which can often be seen crossing the river) and buffalo, as well as countless hippos and crocodiles. The birdlife is extraordinary too, particularly in the wetter summer months. The wide banks and lush grass attract rare antelope such as red lechwe and puku to the water’s edge. The river is also home to over 90 species of fish.

But even without all the wildlife and birdlife, the Chobe River is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque and tranquil places in Africa in its own right.