Chobe vs. The Kruger National Park – Which is the Best for an African Safari?

The African safari remains one of the most sought-after holidays and when planning an African safari, at first glance the destination choices seem just about endless. 

That is because Africa has an innumerable number of public and private parks for visitors to choose from and each is home to a stunning selection of indigenous wildlife and some of the most exclusive accommodations that Africa has to offer.

Heading out into the bush at the crack of dawn, coffee and camera in hand, keeping an eager eye out for the next animal, the next bird, the next picturesque landscape, makes for a holiday that is unlike any other. 

There is an undeniable magic out there in the wild, and that feeling of out-of-this-world adventure can become even more memorable when you’ve chosen the right safari destination for you. 

Two of Africa’s most iconic destinations for a safari include Chobe in Botswana, and the Kruger National Park in South Africa. 

But deciding which of the two would be best suited to your holiday expectations and your budget can be difficult because both of these destinations are famous for having incredible wildlife populations and easy accessibility. 

To help you make the most of your African safari decisions, we have just the guide for you. 

We’re going to be looking at each of these destinations in detail, giving you all the information you need to know to book the best safari holiday on the wildest continent in the world.

Okavango Delta Tour

Chobe National Park

Chobe lies in northwest Botswana, close to the Okavango Delta. This remote location contributes to its exclusivity and some of the most incredible wildlife encounters.

Highlights of Chobe

  • Elephants: Chobe boasts the largest elephant concentration in Africa. Seeing these vast herds lumbering to the Chobe River is an unforgettable spectacle.
  • Riverine Activities: Boat safaris along the Chobe River often result in the most memorable wildlife viewing as animals gather for a drink at the water’s edge. 
  • Birding: Chobe’s unique habitats attract an impressive array of birds, including carmine bee-eaters and African fish eagles.
  • Luxurious Lodges: Chobe National Park is home to a range of luxurious lodges many of which are perched along the Chobe River, providing breathtaking views alongside providing guests with exceptional, personalised service.
  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Ambiance: Chobe experiences lower tourist volumes compared to th Kruger, creating a more intimate safari atmosphere.

Botswana is hands down one of the most spectacular places in the world for an adventure. The country is famous for being fiercely committed to conservation, and along with being home to possibly the better-known Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park is a real treasure and one that is highly rated as a top destination for safaris in Botswana.  

Chobe is incredibly diverse, and not just in its wildlife populations. 

The park can be split up into 3 distinct regions, each with something amazing to see. 

The first area, and one that is easily the most beautiful of them all, is the Chobe River. This area is characterised by its floodplains and dense woodlands, and it is the only place where you can see the puku antelope. The region is also close to the Victoria Falls, making a day trip to this famous destination possible. Chobe River also happens to be the best place to spot elephant. 

The Savuti Channel is the next area of the park. It is considered to be a bit of a mysterious region, and for a long time it was dry and devoid of water. Now water has returned to the area, and with it, came all sorts of wildlife. Savuti is best known for being home to huge lion prides as well as hyena families, which can often be seen clashing over food. 

And then there is the Linyanti, which is an area between the Delta, the Caprivi Strip and Chobe. The area is incredibly remote and has wide rivers and floodplains, which are home to a range of wildlife and birds. 

Kruger National Park African Safari

The Kruger National Park

The Kruger lies in northeastern South Africa, bordering Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and it is easily accessible from Johannesburg.

Highlights of the Kruger

  • The Big Five: Te Kruger boasts excellent Big Five viewing opportunities (here you can easily spot lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo all within a single tour).
  • Beautiful Landscapes: The Kruger’s spectacular vastness is made up of mountains, bushveld, and savannahs, creating a rich habitat for a variety of wildlife.
  • Self-Drive Safaris: The Kruger offers the unique opportunity for self-drive safaris, allowing for a more independent exploration.
  • Budget-Friendly Options: The Kruger caters to a wider range of budgets, with campsites, lodges, and private reserves available.
  • Excellent Infrastructure: The Kruger has immaculate gravel roads, well-kept rest camps, and visitor facilities, making it a great choice for first-time safari-goers.

Does such a world-famous destination really need much of an introduction? Maybe not, but we love the Kruger, so we are going to talk it up a bit.

The Kruger is legendary for all sorts of reasons.

It is almost the size of Israel, making it the perfect destination to get lost in. In fact, so big is the Kruger National Park that one could easily visit it 6 times and not see it all. 

Guests who come to the park are treated to some of the most amazing wildlife sightings. The Kruger is home to a wonderful range of animals (around 147 different species of mammals, 508 species of birds, 114 reptile species, 51 snake species, and for those who really want the full experience, the park also has around 49 fish species) and is possibly most famous for being one of the best places in the world to see the Big 5. 

The park was founded in 1898 specifically to protect the dwindling wildlife populations, and now includes an area even bigger than the original park, expanding into Mozambique and Zimbabwe, allowing animals to migrate along their natural, ancestrial paths. 

When travelling through the park, you will almost instantly see all kinds of incredible wildlife from the moment you enter. Given the size of the park, the land is divided into several regions, far too many to list in a summary.

Costs of a Chobe Safari vs. a Kruger Safari 

When trying to create a budget for an African safari, there’s much to consider, as a lot of different factors will affect how to plan your budget. Common considerations that you need to think about when planning your safari budget include:

  • When do you want to travel? (high seasons can cost a lot more because there’s limited space and a lot of interest)
  • Do you want a luxury holiday? (these come at a price, naturally)
  • Where do you want to stay? (private game reserves are more expensive than concessions)
  • Are you self-planning or booking a tour? (both options will incur different types of expenses)

You probably already realise that the more money you have to spend on your trip, the more exclusive experience you will get to have. A bigger budget also means you will get to have a holiday that is a lot more private, personal and secluded. 

Public parks will be more crowded, which means you will have to share sightings. With a more exclusive tour, you will also have more opportunities to partake in various activities, such as guided walks or even boat tours, something not generally available in public parks. 

So which destination is the more expensive of the two?

Chobe National Park is going to be the more expensive of the two parks, perhaps only because to get to Botswana’s Chobe, you’ll need to fly in. A Chobe safari also tends to be pricier than the Kruger due to its focus on luxury experiences.

But the money you pay will be well worth it because you will get to tour one of Africa’s last truly untouched wild places.

Kruger Park Accommodation


Chobe National Park has some truly luxurious accommodation options, many of which are built to take advantage of those riverbed views. The remoteness of the lodges will also be immensely appealing to those looking for a more exclusive stay. 

But if what you want is something really rustic, while some camping options do exist, they are limited.

The Kruger on the other hand offers a wider variety of accommodations compared to Chobe, including basic campsites as well as secluded luxurious private reserves. There are also plenty of luxury options should you plan your trip to take place in the Greater Kruger National Park, where private reserves offer guests some of the most extravagant accommodations that Africa has. 

Wildlife Sightings

An African safari is really all about the sightings and both Chobe and the Kruger give guests an abundance of wildlife to see.

Chobe is renowned for its elephant herds, offering some of the best elephant viewing in Africa. Buffalo, giraffe, and hippo are also prolific, while predators like lion and cheetah are present but less commonly seen. Boat safaris provide excellent opportunities to spot crocodiles, hippos, and a variety of water birds.

The Kruger is famous for its Big Five sightings, with guests having a really good chance of spotting lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo. Guests visiting the Kruger will also get to see a range of antelope, zebra, giraffe, and predators like cheetah and wild dog.

African Safari Sightings Giraffe


Activities when on safari are generally focused on seeing as much of the wildlife and the landscape as possible. When booking a tour to either Chobe or the Kruger, you must keep in mind that activities might not be included in the tour but instead need to be booked in addition to the tour. 

When visiting Chobe, you can plan your tour to include game drives, boat safaris, and birding excursions. Night drives with spotlights are also available and offer an utterly fascinating way to see nocturnal animals.

In the Kruger, the activities are fairly similar with game drives, self-drive safaris, guided bush walks, and night drives all being popular options.

Best Time to Visit

Given their very similar climates, both Chobe and the Kruger are best visited during the dry season (April to October). These months are the best for wildlife viewing as animals congregate around water sources. However, the wet season (November to March) turns the landscape green and that creates unique birdwatching opportunities. 

In the Kruger, the shoulder seasons (March-April and November) can also be pleasant because there will generally be fewer crowds.

The Ideal Traveller for Chobe vs. the Kruger 

Chobe is an amazing destination for luxury travellers, elephant enthusiasts, and those seeking a secluded safari experience.

The Kruger is perfect for first-time safari-goers, budget travellers, those wanting a self-drive safari experience, and anyone looking for that classic Big Five safari.

Elephant African Safari

The Final Verdict: It’s All About You!

Chobe National Park and Kruger National Park both make for a serene wildlife safari experience. And choosing the right one really depends on your priorities as well as your budget.

For the luxury aficionado seeking an intimate encounter with Africa’s gentle giants, Chobe beckons.

For the budget-conscious adventurer yearning for a classic Big Five experience, the Kruger awaits.

Ready to book an out-of-this-world African Safari?