Are you dreaming of escaping somewhere different this year? Adventure, birding, fishing, gourmet cuisine, nature, relaxation, star gazing, wildlife, and wine – what more could you possibly ask for?
Gliding down the magnificent Chobe River is an extraordinary bucket list experience. The waterways network of shimmering floodplains, thick bush and open woodlands, with animals congregating at the water’s edge, will captivate you as you enjoy the serenity of the natural sounds all around. Best of all, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump across the border.
Below are some of the adventures that await at the Chobe River.
Gentle giants galore
The Chobe National Park in Botswana boasts one of the densest populations of elephants in Africa. Watch as they gather at the water’s edge and the little ones criss-cross in the muddy tracks of their mothers. See them submerge themselves in the deep, and playfully squirt water around – it’s trunks of fun.
“Chenku, the first port of call aboard the Zambezi Queen, is a popular grazing area for buffalo and several species of antelope, making it a sensational spot for game-viewing,” says Kate Powell, general manager marketing, sales and reservations for the Zambezi Queen.
Ruffle your feathers
Birds of a feather flock together, and the birds you will view are simply spectacular. Keep your binoculars handy for spotting over 450 different bird species, a glittering experience as they paint the sky with colour. Spot African skimmers, rock pratincoles and the African finfoot, as well as pied kingfishers and the striking carmine bee-eater.
A photographer’s paradise
Avid photographers can immerse themselves in a plethora of activities and excursions. Guests on the Zambezi Queen, for example, can access a custom-designed photographic safari boat, making it easier to enjoy uninterrupted access to wild animals, absolute silence and golden light. This boat gives you a unique vantage point – and your photography a fresh perspective that's hard to beat.
The catch of the day
Cast your line out for the best fishing Africa has to offer. Hook a tiger fish, or one of the many bream species, African pike, tilapia, catfish or upper Zambezi yellowfish, as you explore mile upon mile of the Chobe River.
Relax on the river
Drift down the river on an intimate river safari experience and get up close and personal with iconic wildlife. The Zambezi Queen is equipped with small motorised tender boats, so you can venture out into the narrower channels, getting close to the action at a moment’s notice, something you wouldn’t be able to do that easily if you were staying at a lodge in the Chobe National Park.
For the lazy birds
The best part of exploring the Chobe on a river cruise is passing buffalo, leopard, lion and other wildlife teeming on the waterfront, all viewed from your open window – a unique perspective of this wildlife extravaganza. Max out your river safari and opt to travel in an exclusively safe bubble with few guests on board, or with just your friends and family in your very own private villa on a floating hotel.
“Imagine relaxing in a hot tub watching the hippos snorting in the river and sipping cocktails from your bed as the sun sets. It really doesn’t get better than this. We’re proud that the Zambezi Queen Collection offers truly unique wildlife safaris cruising the river,” says Powell.
As an added incentive for their Southern African Development Community (SADC) passport holders, Zambezi Queen Collection are offering a saving of 45% on their all-inclusive package on their houseboats, or at Ichingo Chobe River Lodge, with accommodation, transfers, meals, drinks, expert guides and safari activities all included. The offer is valid for travel up until June 30 this year for the houseboats and up until December 31 for the lodge.