|Address Chobe, Botswana|
|Area 11,700 km²|
|Similar places Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, Etosha National Park, Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Mokolodi Nature Reserve|
Map of Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park, in northern Botswana, has one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa. By size, it is the third largest park in the country, after the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Gemsbok National Park, and is the most biologically diverse. It is also Botswana's first national park.
- Map of Chobe National Park
- Chobe game lodge chobe national park botswana unravel travel tv
- Chobe national park botswana a day trip
- Geography and ecosystems
- Park history
- Elephant concentration
Chobe game lodge chobe national park botswana unravel travel tv
Chobe national park botswana a day trip
Geography and ecosystems
The park can be divided up to 4 areas, each corresponding to one distinct ecosystem:
The original inhabitants of this area were the San bushmen (also known as the Basarwa people in Botswana). They were nomadic hunter-gatherers who were constantly moving from place to place to find food sources, namely fruits, water and wild animals. Nowadays one can find San paintings inside rocky hills of the park.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the region that would become Botswana was divided into different land tenure systems. At that time, a major part of the park's area was classified as crown land. The idea of a national park to protect the varied wildlife found here as well as promote tourism first appeared in 1931. The following year, 24,000 km2 around Chobe district were officially declared non-hunting area; this area was expanded to 31,600 km2 two years later.
In 1943, heavy tsetse infestations occurred throughout the region, delaying the creation of the national park. By 1953, the project received governmental attention again: 21,000 km2 were suggested to become a game reserve. The Chobe Game Reserve was officially created in 1960, though smaller than initially desired. In 1967, the reserve was declared a national park.
At that time there were several industrial settlements in the region, especially at Serondela, where the timber industry proliferated. These settlements were gradually moved out of the park, and it was not until 1975 that the whole protected area was exempt from human activity. Nowadays traces of the prior timber industry are still visible at Serondela.
Minor expansions of the park took place in 1980 and 1987.
The park is widely known for its spectacular elephant population: It contains an estimated 50,000 elephants, perhaps the highest elephant concentration of Africa, and part of the largest continuous surviving elephant population. The elephant population seems to have solidly built up since 1990, from a few thousand.
Elephants living here are Kalahari elephants, the largest in size of all known elephant populations. They are characterized by rather brittle ivory and short tusks, perhaps due to calcium deficiency in the soils.
Damage caused by the high numbers of elephants is rife in some areas. In fact, concentration is so high throughout Chobe that culls have been considered, but are too controversial and have thus far been rejected.
At dry season, these elephants sojourn in Chobe River and the Linyanti River areas. At rain season, they make a 200-km migration to the southeast stretch of the park. Their distribution zone however outreaches the park and spreads to northwestern Zimbabwe.