Nogatsaa area is a very distinctive and far more remote area away from the hustle and bustle of the Chobe Riverfront.
Nogatsaa, an off-the-beaten-path sweeping expanse of grasslands with mopane and deciduous woodlands, is only 80km south of Kasane, but feels like another world. Nogatsaa Pans Lodge is the only lodge in the area. Nogatsaa area has a cluster of natural clay-bottom pans which fill during the rainy season. During the dry season the pans get supplemented with borehole water thereby reducing some wildlife pressure off the congested Chobe River. Four of the waterholes also have “hides” (raised wooden platforms) which lends itself to some amazing game sightings. The clay-bottomed pans here are magnets for game and provide water well into the dry season: herds of elephant, buffalo and antelope stop by. Interesting species include oryx (gemsbok), eland, roan and the delicately limbed oribi.
Although it’s not the best destination for those desperate to tick off key species within 24 hours. This is a place for repeat safari goers who will relish the pure wilderness experience, reminiscent of safaris of yesteryear.
The Ngwezumba River has its origins in this region and runs to the west of the Nogatsaa area and has some beautiful trees along its length which has an abundance of birdlife.
It is often said that the Savuti grasslands provide the best game viewing in Africa today, with one of the highest concentrations of wildlife on the continent, through all seasons.
In the dry winter months, you will have the best opportunities for game viewing, as predators tend to lurk around the water holes.
Savuti is also famous for its large concentrations of Elephants that congregate around the waterholes at sunset.
Jutting from the vast, dry lands of Savuti are the Bushman Hills (also known as Gobabis), another interesting geological feature of the region are the hills formed nearly one billion years ago due to volcanic activity.
The San bushmen (also known as the Basarwa people in Botswana), the original inhabitants of this area, were nomadic hunter-gatherers who were constantly moving from place to place to find food sources, namely fruits, water and wild animals. Nowadays one can find San paintings inside rocky hills of the park.
During the rainy season the rich bird-life of the park (approximately 450 species in the whole park) is well represented. Large Secretary Birds and Kori bustards are often seen strutting around the Savuti marsh and small Redbilled francolins provide as a noisy morning wake up call. Interesting summer migrants and water birds include Abdim’s storks, Carmine Bee Eaters and even Fish Eagles. Little Quelea finches are quite a spectacle as they gather in thousands. They reach a frenzy of numbers in about April when a single flock could contain tens of thousands of these small twittering birds.
The region is indeed reputed for its annual migration of Zebras and predators. Thousands of Zebras moving slowly across the plains in their twice yearly migration, is a sight to behold. Large concentrations of lion also follow this Zebra migration intently, and Leopard and Cheetah are also sometimes seen.
Some other Chobe wildlife to look out for:
Rare and endangered Wild dog, Zebra, Wildebeest, Impala, Sable, Roan, Eland, Giraffe, Baboon, Warthog, Elephants and Buffalo are some of the other animals to be found here. A variety of bird-life unique to the Chobe.
The Chobe National Park is in the Northern part of Botswana and the second largest in Botswana. Chobe is known for its superb game viewing all year round, as it has one of the largest populations of game on the African continent and is probably best known for its impressive Elephant herds. The Chobe River supports the largest concentration of Elephant found anywhere in Africa and it is not uncommon to encounter herds in excess of a hundred animals.
Chobe National Park encompasses four distinct ecosystems:
Serondela area (or Chobe riverfront) in the north-east has lush plains and dense forests which attract huge numbers of Elephants and Buffalo. The Serondela area is the most visited part of the Park.
Savuti Marsh is situated in the west of the park. The Savuti Channel bisects the Chobe National Park and empties into the Savuti Marsh. Savuti region is covered with extensive savannahs and rolling grasslands, which makes wildlife particularly dynamic in this section of the park.
Linyanti Swamps are situated in the western section of Chobe. The Linyanti River and marshes are complemented by the contrasting dry woodlands.
The Nogatsaa and Tchinga, a hot and dry hinterland – this area is for the discerning traveller. It holds water well into the dry season and attracts a profusion of game between August and October.