The most popular time to visit the area is during the dry months from May to November, when animals have to venture to watering holes and the river’s edge to find something to drink – making for dramatic game viewing with some incredible sightings.
But while this certainly is a good time to visit the Chobe, that’s not to say you won’t have a memorable experience if you go in the opposite “green” season, when the rains come between December and March. In fact, there are lots of advantages to visiting the area in these months. Here are just a few:
Picture days filled with the sounds and sights of young wildlife, lush green surroundings and softly falling rainfall on your skin. Hot light-filled days are dramatically interrupted by afternoon thunder showers, which quench the dry earth, magically transforming the grass into a vivid green carpet with bright blooms of flowers. After the rains, listen to the cicadas chirping happily, while the sun sets against fascinating cloud formations, as calm is restored to the veld once again. Besides being incredibly beautiful to experience, all this drama is also ideal for avid photographers!
While the odd day may be overcast or a bit rainy, this won’t stop you from doing any of your planned activities such as birdwatching or fishing – and it actually makes the experience that much more refreshing!
It may be slightly more challenging to view wildlife during the green season, but that just makes it feel more rewarding when you do have a dramatic sighting. With the longer grass and denser bush, you’ll have to keep your eyes open to see the animals hidden within, but you may also spot things you wouldn’t ordinarily see in the dry season. Imagine seeing an impala being born, or a tiny zebra taking their first shaky steps into the world? You may also witness predator sightings, which are generally more frequent in the wet season, as lions or leopard stalk the vulnerable baby animals.
The best bird watching
During the wet season, bird migrations from Europe, Asia and further north in Africa to the Chobe area mean that the bird population surges by an incredible 20%. Spot the bright crimson and blue colouring of a carmine bee eater as they flit from branch to branch, or watch an iconic fish eagle swoop down and catch its prey. Kingfishers and cuckoos, bee-eaters and rollers – absorb the wash of bright colours and the symphony of birdsong that fills the air.
Lower prices, fewer people
The green season is not as crowded in terms of visitors, so as a guest here, you’ll enjoy more personal and customised interactions with guides or hotel staff, and get to have more experiences, all to yourself. Enjoy the stillness of water lapping up against your boat as you watch a sunset in silence, or go on a game drive where you hear more animal calls than loud human voices. Many hotels offer great deals over the off-peak season, such as these offers by luxury houseboat collection the ZQ Collection.
Whenever you choose to visit the Chobe, you’re in for an unforgettable travel and wildlife experience. Happy planning and happy packing!