Jun 022009

Angola – Zambia – Namibia – Botswana

The Chobe River rises in the central Angolan plateau on the slopes of Mount Tembo. There, it is called the Kwando (a Hambukushu name), and travels enormous distances through Kalahari sands before reaching Botswana; here it becomes the Linyanti (a Subiya name) until it reaches Ngoma where it becomes the Chobe. It then runs along the northern border of Chobe National Park.

Chobe River - Giraffe drinking


Like the Okavango and Zambezi, the Chobe’s course is affected by fault lines, which are extensions of East Africa’s Great Rift Valley. These three mighty rivers carry more water than all other rivers in Southern Africa.

There is a close association between the Okavango, the Chobe and the Zambezi. The Okavango River is connected to the Chobe and Zambezi via the Selinda Spillway, where high floods from the Okavango escape from the southern end of the Panhandle and flow into the Chobe. A current theory holds that millions of years ago the Okavango, Chobe and Upper Zambezi flowed as one huge river across the middle Kalahari, joined the Limpopo River and emptied into the Indian Ocean. Earth movements stopped this flow and caused a damming back of the river and the formation of the Linyanti Swamps.

The Chobe River first flows directly south, but at Diyei, the former capital of the Bayei people, it is caught by a rift, drops out onto a swamp and then turns north through Lake Liambezi, finally turning east and passing Kasane before joining the Zambezi at Kazungula. They flow briefly together before spilling over the deep cataract at Victoria Falls.

The Chobe twists and turns through swamps of wide reed and papyrus beds, forming hidden lagoons, which sometimes fill with water lilies. Its south bank alternates from open flood plains dotted with pans to thick woodlands. Across the river from Botswana lies the Caprivi Strip – and there the scene of grazing cattle contrasts sharply with the scenes of wild animals in the Chobe National Park.


Location (from 13° 5′ 20″ S, 19° 2′ 56″ E to 17° 47′ 12″ S, 25° 16′ 32″ E)

View Chobe River in a larger map

service providers

Service Providers

Always start on top with info from the Namibia Tourism Board and the Botswana Tourism Board.



Susuwe Island Lodge is an opportunity to closely experience a wild and untouched island of Africa. Situated in North-Eastern Namibia, the island is in the remote Kwando River – a permanent water source which nourishes delicate ecosystems and sustains varied game and birdlife.

Chobe River - birds

Chobe River – birds

Impalila Island Lodge is a 16-bedded luxury lodge with much to offer. The island is situated at the confluence of the Chobe and Zambezi rivers at the place where 4 countries meet – from the air an amazing mosaic of waterways, floodplains and bushveld – on the ground exceptional birdlife, game viewing and assorted vegetation – and in the waters outstanding fishing opportunities. Impalila is also the most secluded and remote of the Chobe destinations but close enough to offer guests the very best of the Chobe River.

Ntwala Island Lodge is the most pristine and secluded Chobe destination. Intricate floating walkways link an untouched cluster of islands within the Mambova rapids where two mighty African rivers – the Zambezi and Chobe – converge.

In the northern extremity of the Chobe National Park, along the Chobe River, is an expanse of vast floodplains and savannah called the Puku Flats. The area is renowned for its large herds of buffalo and elephant, which come to the rivers edge to drink and graze. Chobe Savanna Lodge, located on its own private concession on the Nambian side of the Chobe River, peers west out across the vast Puku flats.

On the banks of Chobe River, 25 km south of Kongola village on the Trans-Caprivi highway (400 km east of Rundu & 100 km west of Katima Mulilo) one can find Camp Kwando. There are 12 thatched tents built on pole platforms on the  island, and you can do your fishing from the wooden decks. Three treehouses are on higher ground, and about 10 camping spots under the shady trees between the island and the main buildings.

Lianshulu Lodge, one of the first private lodges built inside a Namibian National Park, is beautifully placed beneath a canopy of shady jackalberry and mangosteen trees, on the banks of the scenically stunning Kwando River. Here, in the heart of the Mudumu National Park, dry mixed woodlands stand in complete contrast to the beautiful Kwando wetland ecosystem.

Situated on the banks of the Kwando River, overlooking a tranquil hippo pool 24 km south of Kongola in the East Caprivi, Namushasha Lodge offers 27 luxury en-suite bungalows. Boat cruises and fishing trips on the Kwando river or game drives in the West Caprivi Game Park are popular activities. A 4 km hiking trail promises to surprise with over 300 recorded bird species and indigenous flora. A low-level flight over the camp will activate pick-ups from the gravel airstrip.



Situated on the Chobe River in the North Eastern corner of Botswana’s Chobe National Park, and twenty kilometers upstream from the confluence of the Chobe and Zambezi rivers, is a place where elephants concentrate in large herds. And Chobe Game Lodge is part of this place.

Situated on the banks of the dry Savute Channel in the heart of the world famous Chobe National Park, Savute Elephant Camp offers a magnificent birds’ eye view of elephant in their natural habitat. Savute is renowned for high concentrations of elephant and lion with high predator activity in the area, including the endangered wild dog.

Chobe River - Impalas

Chobe River – Impalas

It is on the banks of Botswana’s fabled Stolen River, that you will find Savute Safari Lodge in a setting of remarkable beauty. The now dry Savute channel is part of the dynamic Savute eco system renowned for its large concentration of elephant and lion and their troubled relationship.

Deep in the heart of the Botswana wilderness lies Chobe Chilwero Lodge, one of the most enchanting places on earth. With gorgeous, breathtaking vistas as a backdrop, you’ll come face-to-face with the abundant creatures of the bush, and some of the most spectacular sunsets Mother Nature bestows.

Uniquely located in the North-Eastern corner of Botswana where the four African nations of Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia converge, Chobe Marina Lodge is surrounded by the natural beauty of Africa. The Chobe River, Chobe National Park, Kasane Forest Reserve, the Caprivi Strip and the mighty Zambezi river, each offer their own attractions and with Victoria Falls but 70 kilometres away, Chobe Marina Lodge is an ideal base to explore this region.

Chobe Safari Lodge is situated on the banks of Chobe River in Kasane, and sharing a border with Chobe National Park.

If you’re passing through and just want to spend a night or two in Kasane itself, Liya Guest Lodge is a convenient budget place very near the airport. They will meet flights, arrange transport and, like most lodges in the area, arrange game drives.

On the banks of the mighty Chobe River lies the luxurious Mowana Safari Lodge. In this tranquil bush setting…

The Garden Lodge, in Kasane, offers only 8 rooms on the banks of the Chobe River. The small size of this establishment makes for an intimate, relaxed atmosphere in lush, tropical surroundings.

Water Lily Lodge is situated in Kasane, north-eastern Botswana, gateway to the famous Chobe National Park and just a short distance from Victoria Falls. It is a small and private lodge catering for a maximum of 20 guests.

Kubu Lodge is situated on the banks of the Chobe River, 2 km upstream from the confluence with the Zambezi, in the village of Kazungula. The property covers 30 hectares of mostly undeveloped forest reserve and is a sanctuary for the Chobe Bushbuck.

The Chobe region is home to the largest population of wild elephant in the world, estimated to number about 120,000 individuals. Their sometimes daily passage takes them from Zimbabwe through the Chobe and on into Namibia before returning. Elephant Valley Lodge lies along one of these routes and is situated in the Kasane Forest, adjacent to the Chobe National Park.

Privately owned Muchenje Safari Lodge is on an embankment overlooking the banks of the Chobe River and offers unparalleled views over the floodplain.

Saile Tented Camp is a small 8 bedded tented camp designed on the Hemingway style Meru East African tents. The camp is situated on the swaying river banks of the Linyanti Marsh in the Chobe area.

  One Response to “Chobe River”

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