In the increasing search for ever more exotic destinations, Africa has shot to the top of everyone’s bucket list. And one river in particular stands out.
The Zambezi River is 2,574 kilometres long and stretches from Zambia through to Eastern Angola, the north-eastern region of Namibia and the northern border of Botswana. It then flows between Zambia and Zimbabwe through to Mozambique before emptying into the Indian Ocean.
The river is protected and is home to a diverse range of wildlife – hippos, crocodiles and monitor lizards, birds such as herons, pelicans, egrets and African fish eagle. If you’re lucky you may even see buffalos, zebras, giraffes and elephants.
And while a river cruise may not be the most obvious way to explore Africa, it’s a great way to experience this vast continent and its wonders in comfort.
AmaWaterways’ Zambezi Queen provides an intimate atmosphere with a capacity for only 28 passengers. The ship was built in 2009 and renovated in 2019 specifically for the Zambezi River.
You’ll get up close and personal with the wildlife and have the opportunity to admire the views of the African landscape from your private balcony.
There are five different African itineraries which combine land and river.
The Wildlife and Falls is roundtrip from Johannesburg. You can experience Chobe River safaris in the morning where you can explore game before returning to the Zambezi Queen for lunch and then enjoy another boat safari in the afternoon.
The next day you’ll take a full-day safari of Chobe National Park in a four-wheel drive vehicle where you can spot giraffes, zebras, sables, warthogs and cape buffalos.
Other highlights include a guided tour of Victoria Falls, a safari in Greater Kruger National Park and a morning visit to a local African village.
Several dates are available between July and November this year or March to November next year, with prices starting from $13,695 per person.
Many options include land and river experiences.
APT’s Cape Town to Nairobi itinerary lasts for 23 nights. You’ll board the Zambezi Queen on the Chobe River in Namibia and will disembark for an African safari on day 13 in Nairobi. You’ll get the chance to visit the Ngorongoro Crater which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tanzania.
It is the world’s largest inactive volcano and 610 metres deep. There’s a lot of wildlife to see such as the blue wildebeest, cape buffalo, the eland, Thomson’s gazelles, waterbucks, cheetah, African leopard, spotted hyenas and serval plus much more.
The Serengeti National Park is in the Mara region of Tanzania and is home to blue wildebeest, zebras and the highest lion population in Africa. The park covers diverse geography including grassland plans, savanna, riverine forest and woodlands. It is close to the Kenyan border and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
CroisiEurope Southern Africa aboard the African Dream sails from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River, Lake Kariba and the Chobe River on a nine-day itinerary.
In Johannesburg, you’ll board private boats and then have the chance to settle into your accommodations set right amongst the wilderness before travelling through the Chobe National Park to Sedudu Island near the Botswana/Namibia borders.
As you sail along Lake Kariba you’ll journey on a safari where you can discover the wild animals in Matusadona National Park and then you’ll see the spectacular Victoria Falls from a private plane before exploring the area on foot.
In Botswana the Chobe National Park has the beautiful Chobe River winding through its small towns, lush floodplains, dense forests of cathedral mopane tree.
Indeed the park is named after this majestic river that protects 10,700 km of the northern Kalahari desert.
The parks is famed for its elephants and big herds of buffalo – matched only by some large lion prides.
There are small Chobe Princess houseboats available – and while they are no match for the larger cruise vessels, they are popular.
Two Chobe Princess houseboats have four cabins each: three Standard and one Superior Cabin. The third Princess is larger with five cabins: three Standard and two Superior Cabins – one with a front balcony and the other located on the upper (top) deck.
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