An Afternoon On The Chobe Floodplains
The Chobe Floodplains are some of the most stunning parts of the Chobe Riverfront to explore. Mostly, the road network’s of Chobe National Park run parallel to the Chobe River as well as crisscross the inner areas near the riverfront. There are however a few roads that take you deep out onto the seasonal floodplains. These routes are inaccessible when the water levels push up from overflow of the Zambezi and Chobe River.
When they are reachable, using these roads to explore the floodplains offers spectacular game-drives. The rich open grasslands attract massive herds of buffalo and elephant as they wander across peacefully grazing away. The floodplains unique habitats play host to a variety of species on the Chobe Riverfront seldom seen elsewhere in the park.
Puku antelope, for example, are rare and elusive in Botswana and endemic to this region…but if you are lucky and patient enough you will spot them. In the late 1980’s, cheetah were frequently spotted hunting around the floodplains of Chobe. It’s quite likely that a combination of some years of extremely high flooding pushed the puku out of their usual floodplain habitat leaving them exposed to predators such as the cheetah and significantly reducing their population. These days there are many lion prides along the riverfront who compete and push the cheetah to the drier areas in-land. The few puku we have remain isolated to these floodplains.
Lechwe antelope are a common species and there is a wide range of very special bird species; Rosy-throated longclaw, black coucal, collared pratincole, African skimmers, martial eagle, secretary birds and the elusive sightings of the very shy spotted crake have been recorded.
Along with the good number of lion often following the big buffalo herds, black-backed jackels are regularly seen foraging and scavenging on the floodplain as well.
The long grass and undulation due to flooding damage means that from the riverfront roads looking out…the floodplains sometimes appear to be devoid of wildlife. Those who venture out onto the flats, though, are often rewarded with beautiful sightings of herds hidden deep out on the floodplains. A few of the areas well worth exploring are Puku Flats, Lechwe Flats & Kabulabula. Go and enjoy the floodplains and take your time… the open grasslands interspersed with glimpses of the river, the occasional mahogany tree and golden light make for some spectacular photographs – unrivalled in Botswana!
Business Development Manager at Chobe Game Lodge, an ecotourism certified five star lodge located inside the Chobe National Park on the banks of the Chobe River. Cofounder of @ThisIsChobe promoting Chobe, Botswana, as a travel destination.
Thank you to James for sharing your video on the Chobe Floodplains on ThisIsChobe. The video and images clearly demonstrate the beauty and diversity of the floodplains. An area well worth visiting when exploring Chobe.
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