Are you staying in Victoria Falls, one of the seventh natural wonders by Unesco and looking for an add on? Have you read about Chobe National Park but aren’t sure if the trip is worth it?
If you want to spend a day exploring one of Botswana’s National Parks next door without overnighting there, this article is for you.
Deciding whether the day trip is worth the money and time spent and especially knowing whether the wildlife sightings are worth it (after most likely visiting another safari destination in Southern Africa) is something we want to know.
Luckily for you, I went on a Chobe Day trip and can share all of these insights with you. After this post you can decide if going there is worth it for you or not.
What and where is the Chobe National Park?
Chobe National Park is in the North of Botswana, and it is known for having the largest population of elephants in Africa.
Its varied ecosystems, landscapes and variety of animals (especially mammals and birds) make this area a prime destination for safari lovers. The Chobe river runs through the park and creates flood lands and woodlands.
The closest town to the Park is Kasane, with a domestic airport. It can also be reached by road transfer from Victoria Falls, hence why the Chobe Day Trip appeals to some budget-aware travellers.
How far away it is from Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and Livingstone (Zambia)
When we speak about “staying in Victoria Falls” one can either stay in Victoria Falls town or Livingstone – the closest towns to the falls.
Victoria Falls is within walking distance from the falls themselves while Livingstone is about 18 minutes away by car. The distance from Victoria Falls to Chobe is around 1h30 and from Livingstone we should add another 30 minutes.
To go to Chobe National Park you will be going through borders in order to either:
- Leave Zimbabwe and enter Botswana; leave Botswana enter Zimbabwe
- Leave Zambia and enter Botswana; leave Botswana and enter Zambia
Keep this in mind when you check your visa requirements – you will need a multiple entry visa!
What do you do during the Chobe Day Trip
The bus will pick you up from your accommodation around 7h00 and start the drive to the border. During the drive, the road is tarred but you drive inside the National Park so you should look for animals!
On arrival to the border, you will queue to go through customs and then walk to the other side, where another bus will be waiting for you. The guides will direct you during the process, so you don’t get onto the wrong bus – don’t worry!
From the border you have a short drive to the hotel that you are going to use as a base.
The hotels that the different suppliers use for the day trip all have entrances to the river. You will then embark on your river cruise safari. Here you’ll have the opportunity to see elephants crossing the river or large herds of buffalo. The chances of seeing hippos and crocodiles are also super high!
On arrival back at the hotel lunch is included. You will have some lunch time and after that depart on your 4×4 safari through another part of the park. You will then have the opportunity to check out the area from a different perspective.
When the safari is finished you’ll go back to the hotel to get back on the bus. The estimated arrival time back at your accommodation, where they will drop you off, is about 17h30.
What is the price of the Chobe Day trip
There are different suppliers offering this activity around Victoria Falls. The prices per person range between 160 USD – 180 USD in 2018. (depending on inclusions and exclusions)
Chobe Day trip: is it worth it?
The landscapes of Chobe National Park are something else.
It is a great way to discover a little piece of Botswana without overnighting and paying the high prices that characterise Botswana’s accommodations.
If you are afraid that, after being on safari before, Chobe is going to feel like too much safari, you shouldn’t be. Again, you might have seen the animals before but the difference in landscape is noticeable. The chance to see elephants crossing the river will make the experience very different and worth the time.
The best experience for me was doing the boat safari and seeing the diverse landscape. Found the 4×4 safari to be average compared to other safari experiences in Africa.
If you haven’t been on a safari before and are not sure if it will be to your liking, this day is a great way to discover two different types of activities (the boat safari and the 4×4 safari) in a single day and get a glimpse of how amazing the world of wildlife can be.
If you are a world travelled safari-goer but have never been to Botswana the day trip will give you a quick look, so you know what to expect in the country.
The Chobe day trip is totally worth the money during your stay in Victoria Falls. It acts as a great complement for the end of your trip.