Chobe was Botswana’s first national park, for good reason: its 4,500 square miles (quite a bit more acreage than the island of Jamaica) are home to one of the world’s greatest congeries of wildlife. Most Micato safaris in Chobe center around the Savuti Channel, a river- and marshland that attracts savannah and grassland animals in search of water. Rhinoceros, warthog, kudu, impala, zebras, wildebeest, and Cape buffalo are numerous, along with Chobe’s famously large population of elephants (some place their numbers at more than 120,000; these are Kalahari elephants, largest members of the elephant family).
Almost needless to say, predator species find Chobe an attractive domicile, too. Lions abound, along with leopards and smaller, canny members of the carnivoran order. Massive crocodiles bide their time on river banks, avoiding even more massive hippos. Birders are enthralled by Chobe’s more than 450 species, which include life-list gems like the sacred ibis, Egyptian geese, and fish eagles who streak across its vast African sky, and enliven its golden savannahs and forests, offering safariers one of the continent’s sublime joys, “soft and golden mornings,” as Elspeth Huxley wrote, “alert with the praise of birds.”