The original inhabitants of this area were the San bushmen (also known as the Basarwa people in Botswana). They 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.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the region that would become Botswana was divided up to different land tenure systems. At that time, a major part of the park's area was classified as crown land. The idea of a national park to protect the varied wildlife found here as well as promote tourism first appeared in 1931. The following year, 24,000 km² around Chobe district were officially declared non-hunting area; this area was expanded to 31,600 km² two years later.
In 1943, heavy tsetse infestations occur throughout the region, making the idea of creating a national park momentarily left aside. It was only in 1953 that this project received governmental attention again: 21,000 km² were suggested to become a game reserve. As a result, the Chobe Game Reserve was born in 1960 with an area smaller than originally wanted. Finally, in 1967, the reserve was declared a national park.
At that time there were several industrial settlements in the region, especially at Serondela, where the timber industry proliferated. These settlements were gradually moved out of the park, and it was not until 1975 that the whole protected area was exempt from human activity. Nowadays traces of the old timber industry are still visible at Serondela. Minor expansions of the park took place in 1980 and 1987. (from wikipedia)
Google earth image:
Situated among four southern African Countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola, Chobe National Park is the hub of tourism for entire region.
(PHOTOS BY: ANOOP SHARMA)