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On the northern edge of Chobe National Park, fringed by the Chobe River, is the town of Kasane. It’s an important stopover where self-drivers can restock, get fuel and spares, and attend to both major and minor repairs. There is an airport, and the town s proximity to Kazungula (about 12km) and the border posts to Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, make Kasane the gateway to the Zambezi. Most visitors to the region pass through quickly, but it’s worth spending time here.

Because it overlooks the Chobe River and the Zambezi wetlands, it’s a prime spot for stationary game viewing and makes or a welcome break from the road.

There is a handful of accommodation options on the river, but the best for self-drivers is Chobe Safari Lodge, which has an adjacent campsite with its own deck and bar on the river. Here elephants often wade into the water, trunk-deep, to cool themselves off, while large water birds such as black egrets, marabou storks, and sacred ibises search the reed beds for food. With the sun setting almost directly ahead, it’s almost criminal not to open a cold one on the deck while watching the day’s last fiery hues fizzle out behind the glassy water.

WHERE TO STAY

Chobe Safari Lodge has about 23 campsites (some are grouped together for overlanders, so the exact number is difficult to ascertain). Stands are small and close together with little privacy. Each has electricity, there are shared ablutions, and resident warthogs keep the lawns trim. + 267-625-0383 / 2480 or visit www.chobesafarilodge.com (S17° 48.347 E25 08.812′)

ACTIVITIES

Chobe Safari Lodge offers cruises on the Chobe river.

POINTS OF INTEREST

Kasane Waterfront Mall (S17 48.284 ‘E25 08.887 ‘), Botswana Tourism Board (S17° 48.816 ‘ E25 09.250 ‘) Builders World (S17° 47.775′ E25 09.298’), Shell Garage (S17° 47.792 ‘ E25 09.262 ‘), DWNP ( at the Sedudu Gate) ( S17° 50.597 E25 08.615 ‘)