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#TravelTuesday: Visit Kasane, the gateway to the Chobe National Park

An elephant snacking on grass on the bed of the Chobe River.
An elephant snacking on grass on the bed of the Chobe River.
Image: Sanet Oberholzer

Kasane is a town in Botswana famed for being the gateway to the magnificent Chobe National Park and home to the world’s largest elephant population. It is also the spot where four African countries almost converge – Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is a town filled to the brim with good holiday feels, drawing you in to kick back and relax – whether on a game drive or a river cruise. Whatever you choose to do, there are two things you’re guaranteed of: having a good time and seeing a LOT of elephants.

When to travel

The best time to travel to Kasane for wildlife viewing is between August and October, with the high season running from July to October. These months can get very crowded and are more expensive so if you’re interested in lower rates, look at travelling during the low season from November to June but be warned: it starts getting very hot from October. The best weather with milder temperatures during the day can be experienced between May and August.

How to get there

The easiest way to travel to Kasane is by car or airplane. If you’re not too keen on doing the roughly 13 and a half hour trip via car (from Johannesburg), the quickest way to travel to Kasane from South Africa is to take a direct flight from Johannesburg. Intercape operate daily busses from Johannesburg to Gaberone. From here you can make your way by bus to Francistown and from Francistown you can use public transport to Kasane – but be warned, this can be a time-consuming process.

Highlights you shouldn’t miss

1. Ask anyone who has been to Kasane what the highlight of their trip was and they’re bound to say it’s a sunset river cruise. Think of it as a safari but on water. Most tour operators allow you to take your own coolerbox onboard so you can sip away on your drink of choice as you pass the Caprivi strip, spotting hippo, elephant, giraffe, zebra – take your pick.

2. The Kasane Hot Springs offer visitors the opportunity to relax in warm, natural spring water believed to hold medicinal powers. Located on the corridor between Kazungula and Kasane, visitors can also fish and bird watch – if you can pull yourself away from nature’s spa.

3. If you’re a lover of wildlife, a good old classic game drive in the Chobe National Park is not to be missed. Spot Chobe’s famed elephants, buck and maybe even lion. The perk of doing a game drive as opposed to a sunset river cruise is the use of guides who provide interesting snippets of information about the landscape and animials you’ll encounter along the way.

4. Visit Kasane’s historical Baobab Prison Tree. Almost entirely hollow inside, the tree was used as a cell during the 1800s and was big enough to hold a few prisoners at a time. Today it stands opposite the more modern Kasane police station building.

The magnificent Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
The magnificent Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
Image: DeAgostini/Getty Images

5. With a drive of a little over an hour, a day trip to Victoria Falls is not only easy but an absolute must if you haven’t yet seen the Smoke that Thunders. You will have to cross the border into Zimbabwe and while a day is enough to visit the small town of Victoria Falls, it might be wise to stay overnight and head back the following day if you’re not planning an extended trip.