“A wonderful, life changing trip!”
Wilmington, Delaware, USA
Roughly the size of France but with a population of under 2 million, Botswana is one of Africa’s last unspoiled corners. In many ways Botswana is a distillation of all that’s best in Africa: stunning scenery, warm and gentle people, wildlife at natural ease. Over half of this prosperous, stable country has been set aside for game reserves and national parks. We don’t think you should have to rough it while enjoying this ecological hotspot (unless you wish to, of course), and happily, Botswana has some of Africa’s best game lodges.
Your safari begins in Botswana’s north-east with a unique river cruise aboard a luxury houseboat. Chobe National Park is famous for its enormous herds of elephant and buffalo and the prides of lion that stalk them, especially in the vicinity of the Chobe River during the dry months from April to November. A river boat safari is a refreshing way to encounter large pods of hippo, crocodiles and the area’s rich birdlife.
From here you fly by light aircraft to a unique phenomenon, the Okavango Delta, where a great river creates a huge, lush, life-teeming delta in the middle of the bone-dry Kalahari Desert. At Okuti Camp in the Moremi Wildlife Reserve, an area renowned for its large concentrations of mammals, it is not unusual to see many different types of wildlife from the comfort of your own private deck.
Your safari ends at Kanana Camp – immerse yourself into the Delta’s natural cycle, exploring on foot, safari vehicle and by mokoro canoe, when water levels are high enough.
Itinerary at a glance
- Days 1 & 2 :
- Chobe National Park
- Days 3, 4 & 5 :
- Okavango Delta
- Days 6, 7 & 8 :
- Moremi Game Reserve
- Day 9 :
- Fly to Johannesburg where your trip ends
Ashworth Africa specialises in tailor-made itineraries to southern and East Africa.
Please contact us and we will send you the Best of Botswana itinerary which can be customised to your requirements.Request Itinerary
Request Itinerary: Best of Botswana
The Zambezi Queen is a luxury, 45 meter house boat that cruises along the shores of the Chobe River in north-eastern Botswana. The Chobe National Park, with its untamed wildlife and approximately 120,000 elephants and over 400 species of birds makes this river safari an exceptional and unforgettable wildlife experience.
There are 2 and 3 night itineraries, which include water-based game viewing and bird watching on smaller boats, tiger and bream fishing (in season), land-based game viewing in the Chobe National Park and a cultural tour of a local village.
The Zambezi Queen is officially based on the Namibian side of the Chobe River. Most guests arrive from Botswana as the closest airports are at Kasane (Botwana), Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and Livingstone (Zambia). From Kasane village in Botswana, guests are transferred by boat to Impalila Island in Namibia to clear customs before boarding the Zambezi Queen. Just downstream is the point where four African countries meet – Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Accommodation on the Zambezi Queen
The Zambezi Queen comprises three decks. The top deck houses the dining room, lounge and pool deck area, all of which command sweeping views of the river and savanna beyond. The middle deck houses most of the 14 luxurious suites. The lower deck contains the remaining suites and the air-conditioned reading room, curio shop and boarding area.
There are 10 suites and 4 master suites, all with private balconies and king size beds, located on the lower and middle decks. All suites feature magnificent views from floor to ceiling windows and the master suites have private outer areas. The suites are air conditioned, until 10pm at night (when the secondary power source kicks in) after which the ceiling fans can be used. At night there is usually a cooling sea breeze coming off the river.
The air-conditioned upper-deck consists of a dining room, a comfortable lounge and the bar. The forward deck features a plunge pool with inviting sun loungers. The elegant interior furnishings were designed by one of South Africa’s foremost designers and a peaceful ambience is created by the use of
Depending on weather conditions, the vessel slowly traverses the Chobe River for a short distance each day, returning to its mooring site at night. The perennial Chobe River forms the border between northern Botswana and Namibia’s Zambezi Region (formerly called Caprivi Strip). The Chobe joins the Zambezi River not far from the launch site and then continues eastwards onto and over the Victoria Falls. The region is a renowned wilderness area encompassing huge wildlife areas both in and out of national parks. The river is home to many species of fish as well as hippo and crocodiles while the banks are frequented by large numbers of African wildlife including elephant, Cape buffalo, lion, the rare puku antelope, leopard, waterbuck, roan antelope and more.
After breakfast, guests can choose to explore the river by motorboat, watching out for wildlife on the
banks and in the water as well as admiring the amazing birdlife, or visit Namibia for a cultural visit to a local village. After lunch, guests can venture out again for game viewing by motor boat; go fishing (seasonal); explore the Chobe National Park in Botswana by Landrover (extra cost) or relax in the Zambezi Queen’s pool.
Sustainable tourism lies at the heart of this project, resulting in the Zambezi Queen being designed and built to highly specific requirements. The vessel does not use conventional propellers but a jet propulsion system which reduces damage to the river bed and enables the boat to operate in very shallow water.
At night, the boat switches over to a low emission power system for lighting, refrigerators and other requirements, and allows guest to enjoy the sounds of the surrounding wilderness.
Hot water is supplied via solar panels which transfer the sun’s heat to storage boilers. Taps and showers incorporate advanced water saving designs and all used water is stored in holding tanks and not discharged directly into the river. With the exception of drinking water, all water used is filtered river water. For drinking water the boat uses a state-of-the-art purification system incorporating U.V. radiation for producing clear, sparkling water.