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Discover Family Safari in Chobe

Refundable, Rebookable, Authentic Chobe Safari

Refundable, Rebookable, Authentic Safari

Family Safari in Chobe

Watching a child see his or her first elephant twirling trunkfuls of water to its mouth, or laughing in delight at the impossible scale of a giraffe is a wonderful thing. Children and wilderness areas can go together like ducks and water. The bush can be wildly exciting and a tactile and stimulating experience for children – miles away from the screens and stresses of their ordinary lives. Few children will not delight in a good tent and a campfire.

Botswana family safaris will enthrall adults and children, alike

That said, young ones have very different energy levels, attention spans and when they get older, interests. Long, bumpy car journeys and extreme heat are not going to make small children happy. The hours-long game drives that keep adults enthralled may also feel interminable to a very young child. Lodges may insist that families with children under a certain age have their own vehicle for game drives or other activities, which can involve extra costs. And there are potential health issues such as malaria, making travel for under-fives more risky. As such, doing adequate research or asking for expert advice before booking your dream trip are wise decisions.

All sorts of specialised activities are on offer at certain lodges and camps. These can include mini eco-tours or walks on lodge grounds, educational art and crafts; caring for the environment, private flexibly timed game-viewing activities for families (it does take the stress out of trying to keep the kids quiet when they see their first lions), treasure hunts, pizza-making and shortened kiddie game drives.

Educational excursions are an excellent way to learn about the indigenous cultures of Botswana

In the end however, it’s important to remember that you know your child best. There is often no need for a lengthy list of child-friendly activities; some “games” can leave children nonplussed. Decide what’s most important for your family: baby-sitting, children’s meals, a swimming pool and the right accommodations with interleading rooms or family suites and tents are all some families need. Making memories together is the important thing.

We’d recommend the Chobe Riverside area to families with young children. There are simply more activities on offer, from river cruises as well as land-based safari game drives, to tiger-fishing (yes, some lodges will help your child catch-and-release their first fish). Prices, too, can be more manageable as accommodations are more plentiful and charter flights need not be taken. Proximity to town can be a plus and a distraction from the daily game drive regime. Attractions here include CARACAL, a conservation centre where you can see rescued animals such as long-fingered bushbabies (they do excellent conservation work too); open 9am to 5pm daily. Shopping doesn’t interest most kids, but they may enjoy curio shops while parents seek out the beautiful handwoven mokolwane palm leaf baskets made by Botswanan women. Even buying a stick of sugarcane from a roadside vendor can be fun; chewing on the stalks is bound to be a new experience. And visiting an African village on Impalila Island or elsewhere will give the children a lot to think about (cultural tours can be booked). Take a soccer ball to make instant friends.

Children can get close to nature and learn while having fun

Some accommodations will also have games and TV rooms, whereas a swimming pool is a real plus for families with children of all ages – although they may be unfenced.

Older teens will miss contact with their peers more and unless you can persuade them to pack away the phones, will appreciate wifi connectivity. Again, the Chobe Riverside is best placed to offer this, although you may get lucky in patches deeper in the park.

Mobile and private guided safaris in the Riverside area as well as Savuti and Linyanti are options families – and family friends – can consider, although once again there are likely to be age limits and we would recommend children are 12 and up. Pairing with other families where possible and depending on the group sizes may be desirable.

Gill Staden, Zambian-based journalist and author notes that “parents have to think carefully when taking small children into Chobe National Park because distances and driving time can be long. And then when in camp, parents have to be on the lookout for wildlife hazards. I took my son through Chobe when he was small, but he was used to being in the bush and loved every minute of it. Having said that, we were often in the company of friends with other children. I think if I were a parent of young children I would want to be in a group of at least one other family. Parents can take turns entertaining the children.”

For those lucky few for whom budgets really are not an issue and have children over six years old, fly-in options within the private concessions in the Linyanti and Selinda areas may be the answer. It’s not as busy and commercial as the Chobe Riverside, and you can expect excellent service and care.

Travel Tips
  • Before leaving, let first-time safari kids practice using the binoculars; dexterity with “bins” is a huge asset.

  • Keeping checklists gives children that sense of achievement many enjoy.

  • Pack child-friendly sunscreen in case it is difficult to find.

  • The hottest month is usually October, and even green season may be too warm for some. See the calendar.

  • Most lodges (and of course mobile or privately guided trips which set up camp) are located in unfenced areas. If your child is small enough to need constant supervision, this is likely to be exhausting for the parents. Some Chobe Riverside properties are fenced.

  • Some lodges don’t accommodate children, and others will have age limits (over six or over 12 is quite common). Check this before setting your heart on a certain location.

  • Babies under two, if accommodated, can usually stay free, but note the next point.

  • Game drives will have an age limit. Expect rules such as “Children between the ages of 5 and 11 years are permitted to participate on the game drives at the sole discretion of the lodge manager. Children under 5 require the permission of the lodge manager and is subject to the booking of a private vehicle.”

  • Game walks are generally off-limits for children.

  • Chobe is a malaria area, and prophylaxis is officially recommended. Use mosquito nets, repellent and long sleeves and trousers to avoid being bitten, as no medication is guaranteed 100% effective. (Which doesn’t mean older children should not take the pills.). Most antimalarial medications, however, cannot be given to infants or very young children: discuss this with a doctor.

  • The sun can be shockingly strong: hats and high factor sun-creams are essentials year round. Remember the top of the feet!

  • A basic first-aid kit is recommended for independent travellers, but those on all-inclusive trips can be sure guides and staff will be equipped for most common ailments. Some staff will have excellent first-aid training.

  • Avoid standing water; there is a risk of bilharzia.

  • Parents on self-drive holidays can pack or take the ingredients to prepare oral rehydration salts to treat diarrhoea in children.

  • No-one wants to get bitten by insects on holiday but it can happen. Take antihistamine creams and keep a sharp eye on any sting sites. Also treat all small scrapes and bumps with respect, disinfect at the first sign of infection. But try not to let health concerns spoil your trip. Botswana has excellent medical facilities. Good health travel insurance is all most will need.


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Chobe National Park Safaris

These recommended tours for Chobe can be tailor-made to match your budget.

When is the best time to travel to Chobe National Park?

Peak Low Mixed
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Chobe in January

Summer December to February is peak rainy season in Chobe, and the Riverside area receives more rain than anywhere else in Botswana: up to 650mm a year. The great herds won’t be visiting the Riverside, but elephants and hippo are always present. Vegetation everywhere will be splendidly lush and the herds dispersed. By now, trees like the sour plum, African Mangosteen and marula trees are fruiting: taste them! “Green season” is the time to look for excellent accommodation specials.…

Chobe in January

Summer December to February is peak rainy season in Chobe, and the Riverside area receives more rain than anywhere else in Botswana: up to 650mm a year. The great herds won’t be visiting the Riverside, but elephants and hippo are always present. Vegetation everywhere will be splendidly lush and the herds dispersed. By now, trees like the sour plum, African Mangosteen and marula trees are fruiting: taste them! “Green season” is the time to look for excellent accommodation specials. Savuti can be very good at this time of the year. Migrant birds will be swooping about all over the park. “Green season” is the time to look for excellent accommodation specials. Malaria risks are higher in summer, so get advice on the correct precautions to take before travelling.

The green season in Botswana generally has some great accommodation savings

Chobe in February

Summer - the rains continue. Spectacular cumulus thunderheads build up and explode, drenching the earth in water and sound. For all the energy of the storms, most are over in a couple of hours. Nogatsaa can simply be too wet to traverse at this time. Birding is fantastic in all regions, with the migrants present and correct. “Green season” is also the time to look for excellent accommodation specials. Malaria risks are higher in summer, so get advice on the correct precautions to…

Chobe in February

birding safari botswana

Summer - the rains continue. Spectacular cumulus thunderheads build up and explode, drenching the earth in water and sound. For all the energy of the storms, most are over in a couple of hours. Nogatsaa can simply be too wet to traverse at this time. Birding is fantastic in all regions, with the migrants present and correct. “Green season” is also the time to look for excellent accommodation specials. Malaria risks are higher in summer, so get advice on the correct precautions to take before travelling.

Chobe in March

Autumn - March usually sees the last of the rains and the bush is verdant. A lovely time for those happy to enjoy the space, big skies and landscapes and prepared to spend a little more time on the move looking for good game sightings. Nogatsaa can simply be too wet to traverse at this time. Zebra could be migrating through Savuti at this time. Nearby Victoria Falls will be in full flood if the rains were good, so consider an add-on. March and April are when the malaria risks are…

Chobe in March

Autumn - March usually sees the last of the rains and the bush is verdant. A lovely time for those happy to enjoy the space, big skies and landscapes and prepared to spend a little more time on the move looking for good game sightings. Nogatsaa can simply be too wet to traverse at this time. Zebra could be migrating through Savuti at this time. Nearby Victoria Falls will be in full flood if the rains were good, so consider an add-on. March and April are when the malaria risks are highest on the Chobe Riverside.

Migrating zebra in Botswana's Savute region

Chobe in April

Autumn - Zebra and Wildebeest begin their return migrations towards the permanent rivers as water sources and the bush begins to dry out. Savuti and Nogatsaa can see a migration of zebra in April and May. Low temperatures drop below 20°. The last summer bird migrants are on the wing, heading north again until the next rains. A good time to visit Savuti – and the central areas of the park if not too wet.

Chobe in April

Magnificent lion overlook the Savute

Autumn - Zebra and Wildebeest begin their return migrations towards the permanent rivers as water sources and the bush begins to dry out. Savuti and Nogatsaa can see a migration of zebra in April and May. Low temperatures drop below 20°. The last summer bird migrants are on the wing, heading north again until the next rains. A good time to visit Savuti – and the central areas of the park if not too wet.

Chobe in May

Winter - Some say Botswana is the most beautiful country in Africa this month – and it’s still shoulder season, so specials can be found. Temperatures are definitely cooler in mornings and evenings, take layers. Kasane and the Chobe Riverside will be getting busier as high season approaches. Game of all kinds will start to be drawn to water sources and is easier to see, but it’s still a little early to guarantee enormous herds. Nogatsaa can see a mini-migration of zebra and…

Chobe in May

Winter - Some say Botswana is the most beautiful country in Africa this month – and it’s still shoulder season, so specials can be found. Temperatures are definitely cooler in mornings and evenings, take layers. Kasane and the Chobe Riverside will be getting busier as high season approaches. Game of all kinds will start to be drawn to water sources and is easier to see, but it’s still a little early to guarantee enormous herds. Nogatsaa can see a mini-migration of zebra and wildebeest in April and May. Towards the end of the month, go tiger hunting – tigerfish that is, “18lb of pure fight”. This is when smaller fishes start moving back from the floodplains to the main river channels. Late May and June see feeding frenzies as tigerfish lie in wait.

Historic baobab trees can be see throughout Botswana

Chobe in June

Winter - It’s cold at night and in the early mornings (temperatures can drop close to 0°) so take warm extra layers for game drives, but sunshine is almost guaranteed. It’s the start of high season, so you will be meeting other vehicles on the roads and sharing sightings, especially on the Chobe River. But what sightings! Day by day there will be more elephant, plus buffalo, crocs and much more. Savute will be dry now, but permanent boreholes attract thirsty animals and…

Chobe in June

Chobe is a serious treat for the senses

Winter - It’s cold at night and in the early mornings (temperatures can drop close to 0°) so take warm extra layers for game drives, but sunshine is almost guaranteed. It’s the start of high season, so you will be meeting other vehicles on the roads and sharing sightings, especially on the Chobe River. But what sightings! Day by day there will be more elephant, plus buffalo, crocs and much more. Savute will be dry now, but permanent boreholes attract thirsty animals and competition for the precious water makes for great sightings. Self-driving adventurers can tackle the park’s dirt roads, not always possible in wet season: this is a good time to drive to Nogatsaa, although game will be moving north. It’s also prime time for tiger fishing at the Riverside.

Chobe in July

Winter - The coldest month. Nights can get close to zero, although the days warm right up. The elephant extravaganza continues on the Chobe and Linyanti Rivers. Literally hundreds can be seen at the river at a time, as well as great herds of buffalo. It’s peak high season, which also means more park visitors – so if you want peace, it may be worth heading to the further reaches of the park or the private concessions of Linyanti and Selinda. Linyanti’s prime game watching window…

Chobe in July

Winter - The coldest month. Nights can get close to zero, although the days warm right up. The elephant extravaganza continues on the Chobe and Linyanti Rivers. Literally hundreds can be seen at the river at a time, as well as great herds of buffalo. It’s peak high season, which also means more park visitors – so if you want peace, it may be worth heading to the further reaches of the park or the private concessions of Linyanti and Selinda. Linyanti’s prime game watching window period is also the winter months, and the area is known for wild dogs. The dogs den this month, making these sought-after predators easier to find…

Chobe in August

Winter - It’s still cold enough to really need warm layers for early mornings and evenings. Wild dog puppy season! (The Linyanti concession areas are the best place to see them.) And the numbers of elephant at Chobe Riverside proves why Chobe is rated one of the best places in the world to admire the giants. It’s still high season, which means more park visitors as well as more elephant – so if you want peace, it may be worth paying extra and heading to the further reaches of the…

Chobe in August

Winter - It’s still cold enough to really need warm layers for early mornings and evenings. Wild dog puppy season! (The Linyanti concession areas are the best place to see them.) And the numbers of elephant at Chobe Riverside proves why Chobe is rated one of the best places in the world to admire the giants. It’s still high season, which means more park visitors as well as more elephant – so if you want peace, it may be worth paying extra and heading to the further reaches of the park or the private concessions of Linyanti. The Selinda Spillway may have enough water for mokoro paddling. Fishing alert: there’s a barbell run in the Kasai Channel, and it’s still a good time for tigers…

Chobe in September

Spring - It’s pretty hot by day now, with Kasane temperatures averaging about 30° Celcius. The first bird migrants return: yellow-billed kites and carmine bee-eaters are first back; woodland kingfishers come later. Botswana’s Independence Day is celebrated on 30 September. Dry season continues, so once again, the Chobe and Linyanti Rivers are the place to be for big game sightings. The Selinda Spillway may have enough water for mokoro paddling. Tiger fishing on the Chobe River…

Chobe in September

Spring - It’s pretty hot by day now, with Kasane temperatures averaging about 30° Celcius. The first bird migrants return: yellow-billed kites and carmine bee-eaters are first back; woodland kingfishers come later. Botswana’s Independence Day is celebrated on 30 September. Dry season continues, so once again, the Chobe and Linyanti Rivers are the place to be for big game sightings. The Selinda Spillway may have enough water for mokoro paddling. Tiger fishing on the Chobe River should still be good (although the fish can be caught year-round).

Herds of zebra cross the plains during Botswana's dry season

Chobe in October

Spring - One of the hottest months in Chobe, with temperatures hitting about 35° to 40°. Elephants will soon start to disperse from the permanent rivers, after which things quieten down a bit in Chobe Riverside. Shoulder season rates kick in, but as there is likely to be little rain, this is still a good month for travellers who like it warm. Good fishing around Impalila Island. Hot nights are also good for sleep-outs and camping.

Chobe in October

Spring - One of the hottest months in Chobe, with temperatures hitting about 35° to 40°. Elephants will soon start to disperse from the permanent rivers, after which things quieten down a bit in Chobe Riverside. Shoulder season rates kick in, but as there is likely to be little rain, this is still a good month for travellers who like it warm. Good fishing around Impalila Island. Hot nights are also good for sleep-outs and camping.

The high water boma at Chobe Bakwena Lodge

Chobe in November

Summer - Weather is still mostly hot and clear (lows average 20°C; highs 33°C), but “Green Season” begins. The first rains settle the dust (wet, hot African soil smells better than just about anything else on earth). Acacia trees, baobab, sausage tree and apple leaf begin to flower and nutritious grass sprouts up soon after the first showers, triggering calving season. It’s a baby bonanza with skinny-legged herbivores wobbling to their feet all over the bush. It’s also…

Chobe in November

Summer - Weather is still mostly hot and clear (lows average 20°C; highs 33°C), but “Green Season” begins. The first rains settle the dust (wet, hot African soil smells better than just about anything else on earth). Acacia trees, baobab, sausage tree and apple leaf begin to flower and nutritious grass sprouts up soon after the first showers, triggering calving season. It’s a baby bonanza with skinny-legged herbivores wobbling to their feet all over the bush. It’s also shoulder season, so look out for accommodation specials. November/December sees the beginning of the zebra migration: following ancient migration routes they head south from the Chobe River to enjoy the new grasses at Savuti Marsh and the Mababe Depression and will continue on to the pans further south; they return to the Chobe river area by May.

The historic baobabs are ancient trees that dot the landscape

Chobe in December

Summer - Humid, with rain. The wetter weather can bring cooler temperatures, so pack a jacket or jersey. The antelope baby boom peaks: by mid-month, most wildebeest, impala, tsessebe and warthog will have dropped their offspring. Good rains will have soaked the earth and termite alates (the ones with wings, often called flying ants) erupt from the ground, sparking bird feeding frenzies. Even raptors like Steppe eagles love termites. But many park roads become tricky or impassable, so…

Chobe in December

Summer - Humid, with rain. The wetter weather can bring cooler temperatures, so pack a jacket or jersey. The antelope baby boom peaks: by mid-month, most wildebeest, impala, tsessebe and warthog will have dropped their offspring. Good rains will have soaked the earth and termite alates (the ones with wings, often called flying ants) erupt from the ground, sparking bird feeding frenzies. Even raptors like Steppe eagles love termites. But many park roads become tricky or impassable, so self-drivers should pick a dryer month. A wonderful time to visit Savute.

A spider feeding off termite alates

Our Recommended

Tours in Chobe

These recommended tours for Chobe can be tailor-made to match your budget.

Our Destination Expert

Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard

Meet the Team

Alice Lombard

Alice is Discover Africa’s Sales & Product Manager, responsible for managing the Discover Africa Sales Consultants as well as all the products and itineraries that we promote.

About Alice

What does Alice love about African travel?

The people, the culture, the diverse scenery, the wildlife and of course the food & wine.

What African countries have you travelled to?

Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls), Botswana (Okavango Delta, Linyanti, Chobe), Namibia (Southern), Zanzibar, Kenya (Mombasa and Malindi), Mauritius and South Africa.

What is Alice’s favourite place in Africa?

Victoria Falls and Cape Town.

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

Megan Warrington Megan Warrington Megan Warrington Megan Warrington Megan Warrington Megan Warrington

Meet the Team

Megan Warrington

Megan is an Africa Concierge Expert at Discover Africa, she is responsible for compiling travel programs for people in search of their dream safari in Africa.

About Megan

What does Megan love about African travel?

There is always a new adventure around the next corner.

What African countries have you travelled to?

South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana and Tanzania.

What is Megan’s favourite place in Africa?

Namibia

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard

Meet the Team

Alice Lombard

Alice is Discover Africa’s Sales & Product Manager, responsible for managing the Discover Africa Sales Consultants as well as all the products and itineraries that we promote.

About Alice

What does Alice love about African travel?

The people, the culture, the diverse scenery, the wildlife and of course the food & wine.

What African countries have you travelled to?

Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls), Botswana (Okavango Delta, Linyanti, Chobe), Namibia (Southern), Zanzibar, Kenya (Mombasa and Malindi), Mauritius and South Africa.

What is Alice’s favourite place in Africa?

Victoria Falls and Cape Town.

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

Matthys van Aswegen Matthys van Aswegen Matthys van Aswegen Matthys van Aswegen Matthys van Aswegen Matthys van Aswegen

Meet the Team

Matthys van Aswegen

Matthys is Discover Africa’s Senior Travel Consultant, with over 13 years experience in the travel industry and a keen eye for photography.

About Matthys

What does Matthys love about African travel?

Diversity and abundance of landscapes, cultures, wildlife, beaches, food and everything you can think of.

What African countries have you travelled to?

South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mauritius and Tanzania.

What is Matthys’s favourite place in Africa?

Cape Town

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

Adelle Bell Adelle Bell Adelle Bell Adelle Bell Adelle Bell Adelle Bell

Meet the Team

Adelle Bell

Adelle is Discover Africa’s Senior Travel Consultant and has been in the travel industry for the past 10 years. She is a FIT specialist and has extensive experience in planning and executing dream itineraries in luxury travel.

About Adelle

What does Adelle love about African travel?

You have not lived if you have not experienced an African Safari - the early morning safari drives with the African sun rising in the distance, the smell of morning freshness, coffee in the Bush. You have got to experience a morning in Africa!

What African countries have you travelled to?

South Africa (Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands and Phinda Game Reserve), Botswana and Mozambique.

What is Adelle’s favourite place in Africa?

Kruger National Park

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

Antoinette Van Heerden Antoinette Van Heerden Antoinette Van Heerden Antoinette Van Heerden Antoinette Van Heerden Antoinette Van Heerden

Meet the Team

Antoinette Van Heerden

Antionette is a Travel Consultant at Discover Africa, with 5 + years experience in the travel and tourism industry. She specializes in luxury safari packages.

About Antoinette

What does Antoinette love about African travel?

Adventure combined leisure travel makes for the best trip!

What African countries have you travelled to?

South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

What is Antoinette’s favourite place in Africa?

South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

Wonderful vacation and service.

David

30 Jul 2021

Best Safari EVER

Zuleyka Farnes

24 Nov 2021

Matthys van Aswegen organized a tour of Botswana and Zimbabwe that exceeded my wildest expectations!

JJ

04 May 2022

Amazing experience!

Preeti

01 Dec 2019

Exceeded our expectations.

Stella

05 Jun 2019

They delivered on all promises timely and accurately!

Ron

27 Sep 2017

Superb safari and well organised

Geoffrey Burton

18 Jun 2015

Amazing Africa

Enrico Liberati

09 Sep 2016

What an experience!

Jon

15 Jun 2017

Willing to go above and beyond for the client

Claudia

26 Apr 2022

Megan has exceeded our expectations. Thank you so much, we highly recommend you

Monica

05 Oct 2016

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