A national park in northern Botswana was first suggested in 1931. By 1953 there were further initiatives from the government and in 1960 the Chobe Game Reserve was created. The reserve was declared the Chobe National Park in 1967.

The park covers 11,700km2 and extends from Kasane through Serondela (the Chobe Riverfront) to Western Chobe, the Ngwezumba pans, Savute and Linyanti.

Western Chobe covers from Ihaha, the mid-point of the National Park, to Ngoma and Muchenje. Western Chobe has no traffic congestion and is untouched wilderness.

The lifeblood of the park is the Chobe River, one of Africa’s most beautiful rivers. Western Chobe supports diversity and concentration of wildlife unparalleled anywhere else in the country. The Chobe River forms the northern boundary of the park and, with its close proximity to Victoria Falls and the Southern African region, the park is the ideal location for anyone interested in a combination of the natural wonder of the Victoria Falls and magnificent wildlife experience.

Muchenje is situated in the Chobe National Reserve just a short drive from Western Chobe National Park. There are no fences here and the animals roam freely from the park as from Namibia, Zambia and beyond.

The animals of Western Chobe

This area is famous for its huge concentrations of elephant, hippo and Cape buffalo. Together with this, there are the predators- lions, leopards, wild dogs (painted wolves), hyenas, jackals, serval cats, caracal (lynx), honey badgers and crocodiles. There are estimated to be over 60,000-120,000 elephants in the Chobe- in the dry season one can see hundreds of these magnificent animals on the flood plains at any one time, most of which are family groups, with a few generations represented.

Nowhere in Africa are you going to see such large herds of elephant… watching them drink, play and cross the river is something you are unlikely to ever forget.

Zebra Migration

The migration of the zebra from Nxai Pan in Makgadigadi to the Chobe Flood plains is an annual phenomenon and is always a signal of the oncoming rains.

The flood plain in front of Muchenje is the start and finish point of the zebra migration to and from Nxai Pan to the south. The distance between the Western Chobe River floodplain and Nxai Pan is around 250km, which makes this wildlife migration the longest mammal migration in Africa. The zebra congregate on the flood plain during the dry season between the months of May and November each year, returning to Nxai Pan at the start of the rainy season.

Up to 15,000 of these animals make this yearly migration and hundreds of zebra are concentrated in and around Muchenje Safari Lodge during the dry winter months.

Buffalo Herds & Plains Animals

In addition to the elephants, herds of buffalo are also impressive with vast numbers of them milling around on the flood plains and surrounding hills. Plains game are abundant and include giraffe, sable antelope, roan antelope, kudu, waterbuck, red lechwe, impala, puku and Chobe bushbuck (both endemic to the Chobe), tsessebe, eland, duiker, warthog, steenbok, zebra and duiker. Chacma baboons, Vervet monkeys, genets, banded mongoose, slender mongoose, otter, squirrel, porcupine, bat eared fox, pangolin and civet are all seen frequently in the Muchenje area.

Africa’s Premier Birding Safari Venue

Over 500 species of birds have been recorded in the Okavango Delta, Chobe and Caprivi region, making this one of the finest bird watching localities on the African continent.

More bird species occur during the summer months (December through to April), when migrants from further afield are present, and when the smaller songbirds are most vocal.

The ebb and flow of the Chobe River

The Chobe River is unique in Africa in that it flows both ways – it is  the lifeblood of the park.

In the early months of the year the heavy rains in Northern Angola and Northern Zambia vastly increase the volume of the Zambezi River. The Zambezi overflows into the Chobe River at the confluence of both rivers at Kazangula, near Kasane. Massive amounts of water then flow westwards down the Chobe River creating huge lakes on the floodplain.

In front of Muchenje the lake extends 6km inland into Namibia and 35-40km westwards to the villages of Parakarungu and Satau. The depth of this lake can be up to 3m; it is truly impressive. Hippos and crocodiles follow the river as it ebbs and flows.

In July/August the river reverses and flows eastwards, draining the lakes, and reducing the river to a trickle just a few metres across and less than a metre deep by November.