If you want luxury,pampering,less crowds and up close wildlife experience the Zambezi Queen houseboat is the way to go. We just returned from a trip of a lifetime and our last fabulous stop was an amazing experience. You can stay at a resort in Chobe but you are on the water with many other boats at a sighting. Zambezi Queen is a must for you wildlife experience on the water!! Do the 3 night cruise you will still leave wanting more
Around 1pm we were picked up by a boat and taken to customs to leave Botswana and then to customs to enter Namibia. The boat is registered in Namibia but we entered from Botswana….we did this several times during our stay. It is a little walk up a dirty path to the Namibia customs and no one was there so we just had to wait till the rep came and found someone….very laid back. Had a sign that said do not reach through the window and stamp yourself.
We were cruising down the Chobe River and around a bend we saw the Zambezi Queen. Our group loves to be on the water and this was just a beautiful site. We were greeted by some of the staff singing and a cool drink. We checked in….told us what staterooms we were in and headed out to the deck for some chardonnay (great wine same as at Lion Sands) and to relax.
Lunch was served and we had salad, quiche, cheese board, breads, meatballs with sauces and fruit. It was all very good.
The Zambezi Queen cruises along the banks of the Chobe River and is uniquely situated only
a few kilometers from the point where four African countries meet - Botswana, Namibia,
of elephants, crocodiles laying on the shore, buffalo and tons of different species of birds which made this a very different wildlife safari experience. The vessel features 10 suites and 2 Master Suites each with en suite facilities and private balconies, king size beds and are furnished to the highest level. You do not cruise very far but it was just beautiful everywhere you looked
That night we enjoyed a nice dinner with 2 to 3 choices of entrée. Lights go out at 10pm and the generator turns off. We were sitting at the bar visiting with the manager Wayne and all felt like it was time to go to bed once we were sitting in the dark. You really are tired by that time. House wine and beer are supposed to be included during meals but again it was all day. Liquor drinks start at $5 and go up.
05 +06 Jul (Sat+Sun) CHOBE NATIONAL PARK on the Zambezi Queen
Our next morning was very leisurely…breakfast is from 7:30 to 9:30 and the water game drive leaves at 10am. We did start hearing footsets above by 6am and our lights came on when the generator came on since we didn’t have our lights off the night before….learned our lesson. The dads and kids went fishing earlier. They caught tiger and catfish. The rest went on a water safari in smaller boats. We got very close to hippos, buffalo and crocs….till this time we just saw them on the banks in the distance.
That afternoon we went and visited a local village. I am so glad we got to do this and meet some of the local tribes people. I am also very thankful we received a list of things to donate to the village. We brought balls, Frisbees, stickers, books and cloths. We were the only group that knew to bring something since African Adventure sent us a list and I have visited locals in other areas of the world so knew to bring something as well. I had quite a few others wish they had known about this. We toured the village and went into an area where they sang and danced for us. We then handed out our gifts and they had local crafts for sale. They preferred Ran which I was told mostly US dollars were used. The price was much higher for US$’s….but still very reasonable and the best gifts I bought by far. The kids got to play ball with some of the local kids then we headed back to the boat. We were all very honored that they invited us to visit. We had a slow cruise back looking at wildlife.
Our dinner tonight was a boma…..we took small boats over to the river bank where they had everything set up…..singing….dancing and more food. We went back to the boat for after dinner drinks and the kids and one dad played cards. We were all convinced we were going to make it a late night but we were all too exhausted from a fabulous day again.
The next morning was another leisurely morning. We left around 9:30 for a Chobe Park safari…..we had this included on our package but some others on board had to pay $45pp. We had to clear Namibia customs (the crew on the ZQ had our forms filled out and sitting by the bed for us) and into Botswana. This safari is so different after being able to go off road. The difference was we saw very large herds here. The views along the river were gorgeous. They had coolers with waters, beer and cider on all safaris…both water and land. We had to go back through customs and back to the boat.
We had lunch onboard…salmon salad, garden salad bar with things like feta cheese and beets. The best lemon meringue pie I have ever put in my mouth….it was so fresh it was still a little warm. A couple of us will dream about that pie….and I am not even a sweets person.
That afternoon ( Wayne had to get permission) we went on a double decker boat down the river on the Botswana side…..we would not have gone if we had to do customs again….not that hard just time consuming. They just needed our names on a list which the driver dropped off. We cruised around….they set up a bar and more food. It was very….very crowded with boats on this side….you could have 10 or more boats per sighting. We all wanted to see some elephant swim across the river but too many boats…..we waited and waited and most of the boats cleared out but no luck…it was getting dark so we headed back. It really is amazing how many elephants, hippos and buffalo are along this river…..100’s if not 1,000’s. The 3 teen boys went fishing again instead….not much luck just one fish.
07 Jul (Mon) CHOBE/KASANE/JOHANNESBURG
Enjoyed breakfast as the Zambezi Queen cruises down the river to its home base arriving at approximately 9:00 am. Disembark the vessel around 10:30 and back through Namibia and Botswana customs and dropped off at the marina hotel for our transfers to the airport in Kasane which was maybe 20 minutes drive. We had a very long line to check in at a very small airport….it probably took over an hour. Our flight was again about 2 hours and we had a 4 hour layover in Joburg
I can't say enough fabulous thing about our Zambezi Queen experience. I highly recommend it and would do it again in a heartbeat.