6 top luxury African river cruises

Luxury boat cruises on peaceful rivers are not what many would imagine for an African holiday, this is one of Africa’s hidden luxury experiences. Africa is blessed with amazing and powerful perennial rivers, and although not exactly the sight one envisions when they think of Africa, several large and luxurious cruise liners are offering world class river cruise holidays with a magical blend between world class luxury and African hospitality.

Signature deck, Zambezi Explorer

African Queen

Every inch of this 70 feet, triple-deck catamaran speaks of African luxury. With its Rhodesian teak finishes, you cannot mistake this catamaran as a product of Africa. And if you look out over the Zambezi River with the soothing sounds of a Marimba band playing in the background, you will be moved to a place where time passes slowly, and where days are spent in luxury. Choose between sunrise, lunch or sunset cruises – each accompanied by a menu offering a feast for a king. And if you want to escape the 120 guests on board, the captain’s cabin on the top deck is the ultimate luxury experience on board the African Queen. The African Queen travels on the Chobe River through Botswana and Namibia.

African Queen

Oberoi Zahra Nile River

The Nile River, with all its majesty and grandeur, needs little introduction. We when talk about river cruising in Africa, the Nile has to take central place. On the Nile, you will find some of Africa’s most sought-after river cruises. Now, imagine yourself on board one of the world’s most luxurious cruises, overlooking Egypt. The Oberoi Zahra cruises between Aswan and Luxor and offers legendary service, including spa treatments, top-class restaurant menus and cabins that will have you wishing you could stay on board forever!

Zambezi Queen

With the Chobe National Park setting the scene, the Zambezi Queen offers overnight cruises, allowing you to enjoy the magic of a sunrise and sunset on the Zambezi River. On this cruise, enjoy some of the best of Africa’s river luxury and wildlife. The Zambezi River is an activity of wildlife and birdlife – the wildlife and bird song will hardly let you forget your African location. The Zambezi Queen cruise starts on the Botswana side of the Chobe River. On board, 14 luxury suites are offered, each enjoying views across the Chobe River with small private decks. Do not be concerned about Africa’s relentless heat – the suites are fully protected against Africa’s summers. And to end yet another sunny day on the Chobe River, watch the sun set from the luxury lounge and bar on board. The Zambezi Queen visits Botswana, Namibia, Zambia & Zimbabwe.

Zambezi Queen

Pride of the Zambezi

Enjoy a very intimate river cruise on the northern Namibian side of the Chobe River – on board the Pride of the Zambezi houseboat. The keywords here are cruises tailored to your desires, privacy and flexibility. Each guest is offered the dedicated services of a guide and tender boat, meaning you can explore the Chobe River as you please. The Pride of Zambezi has not excluded any luxury. Its six cabins are all luxury en-suite cabins, with large sliding windows opening up to the sights and surrounds of the Chobe River. The Pride of the Zambezi visits Botswana, Namibia, Zambia & Zimbabwe.

Rivers of West Africa

The selection of Mega Harmony cruises offer stylish cruise trips and follow the river routes of epic African explorers. These modern cruise ships are equipped with high-tech, comfortable cabins and luxury cruise spaces for all guests to enjoy. The sunbathing deck is a highlight with views over small African villages. The cruise also offers optional day cruises as well as time available to spend at local fishermen villages and markets. West Africa remains undiscovered by many tourists visiting the African continent, and the Mega Harmony cruises are equipped to show you West Africa from the safety of a cruise liner. With only 25 cabins available, you are assured of small group privacy, away from noisy crowds that can so easily spoil a luxury cruise. On there typical eight-day cruise, the cruise departs from Dakar, Senegal, and set sail for Gambia River.

The Luxury Cruise Company from Cairo

One cannot otherwise but be charmed by the world’s longest river, and the pure luxury offered by the Luxury Cruise Company, and their ultimate river cruise launching from Cairo, Egypt. On this cruise, visit several Egyptian historical sites – something every individual should experience! Cruise the banks of the Nile in luxury while the crew serve you with their bespoke service and entertainment on board. The Luxury Cruise Company has a number of Nile cruise liners, including the Nile Goddess. Their Nile cruises are popular – so be sure to book well in advance!

An African river cruise, whether you opt for the South, North or West, the Chobe, Zambezi or Nile – all will offer an entirely unique experience. There are few things in this world as pleasant as river cruises, and if you add African warmth, charm and hospitality, you are in for some of the world’s best luxury experiences, with the adventure of the African continent at your feet.

Javier Luque is a Co-Founder and Director of Your African Safari.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Comments (2)

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  1. Mefi says:

    We love the Zambezi Queen, one of the first boat operators in the area and they have nailed it over the past few years. Thrilled to see such a great list here!

  2. Ash Card says:

    I’ll have to get round to a luxury cruise in Africa. After trying some in the Amazon Rainforest’s Pacaya Samiria Reserve, they’re definitely at the top of the list for life experiences. Are any of the above cruises good for wildlife watching?

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