Chobe National Park

Country/territory: Botswana

IBA Criteria met: A3, A4i (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 1,069,800 ha

BirdLife Botswana
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2018 low very unfavourable high
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
This site covers a vast area from Moremi Game Reserve (IBA BW003) in the south-west to Kasane in the north-east, spanning 17°45’–19°25’S and 23°50’–25°10’E. It borders the Linyanti swamp in the north as well as the Chobe river and flood-plain (IBA BW002) between Ngoma Gate and Kasane in the north-east. The park includes the dry grassland around Savuti towards the centre of the park, tropical Brachystegia woodlands near Kasane, and grasslands and mopane woodland and scrub in the Nogatsaa/Tchinga area. The Savuti area comprises a range of habitats from the Magwikhe sand ridge, an ancient shoreline of the Great Kalahari Lake, the Mababe depression, the deepest part of the depression being Savuti marsh with its dead Acacia trees, the Savuti channel and outcrops or kopjes of volcanic rock.There are areas of Terminalia woodland on sands, Acacia scrub and mopane. The Mababe depression very occasionally holds water when either the Ngwezumba river from the Nogatsaa area in the north-east flows or when channels from the Okavango Delta flow (this has not occurred for several decades). The Savuti Channel, which runs along a fault-line, discharges into the Savuti marsh, which has been dry in recent years. It flowed from the 1880s to 1959 and again from 1966 to 1979. In the north-east of the park is Nogatsaa/Tchinga, an area of clay and black-cotton soils and seasonal pans, some (such as Kwikamba Pan) holding water throughout the dry season, following wet summers; others are maintained by solar pumps. Bordering the park in the north lies Chobe Forest Reserve between the Linyanti and Ngoma Gate, and south of Kasane the Kasane and Maekaelelo Forest Reserves. The north-east part of the park and these forest reserves comprise dry deciduous forest dominated by Baikiaea, but with a range of other trees such as Brachystegia, Commiphora and Acacia and an understorey of shrubs, creepers and grasses.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 2 for key species. Chobe National Park supports the highest densities of many raptors, such as Torgos tracheliotus and Terathopius ecaudatus, found anywhere in southern Africa. In November/December, and again in March/April, a large migration of both Palearctic and African raptors passes through the park and over the adjacent Khwai valley in the Okavango Delta (IBA BW003). The Mababe depression is regularly used by significant concentrations of Ciconia episcopus. Good populations of Kalahari–Highveld biome species also occur, whilst species such as Eupodotis melanogaster and Neotis denhami, with a restricted distribution in Botswana, occur here. The park also supports important populations of Ardeotis kori and of the Palearctic migrants Falco naumanni (and F. amurensis and F. vespertinus) and Circus macrourus. Those species of bird largely confined to the Chobe river and its flood-plain are discussed under the Linyanti swamp/Chobe river site (IBA BW002), but the pans in the Nogatsaa/Tchinga area also support important breeding populations of some waterbirds, such as Gallinula angulata during wet summers. Locally important populations of Palearctic migrant passerines occur, notably Locustella fluviatilis.

Non-bird biodiversity: Among mammals, Chobe holds the most important population of Loxodonta africana (EN) in Botswana, and predators, notably Panthera leo (VU), Acinonyx jubatus (VU) and Lycaon pictus (EN), are also well represented.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Chobe National Park. Downloaded from on 31/03/2023.