Today, President Clinton visits the Chobe (CHOH-bay) National Game Park inKasane (ka-SAH-nay), Botswana. Chobe National Park, established two yearsafter Botswana's independence in 1966, extends over 11,000 squarekilometers (4,297 square miles) and contains the most diverse wildlife inthe country. The Chobe River provides a year-round water supply for one ofAfrica's healthiest herds of elephant. The Government of Botswana isattempting to balance the needs of its citizens in Chobe District and amassive elephant population. The burgeoning herd at Chobe, numberingapproximately 25,000, has devastated large tracts of land and increasinglyfinds itself at odds with local communities dependent on natural resourcesthat are being destroyed by pachyderms.
The Chobe River channel also serves as the border between northern Botswanaand Namibia's Caprivi (ka-PREE-vee) Strip. The town of Kasane, at theconfluence of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers, marks the converging boundariesof four countries --Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Kasane is theadministrative center of Chobe District and the gateway to Chobe NationalPark.