5 things to expect on a Chobe River cruise safari

Days spent lounging on a deck, the sight of an elephant drinking at the shore, and fine dining with a view of the starry African sky – these are a just a few offerings of a river cruise down the Chobe River. The Chobe River runs along the border of Chobe National Park in Botswana and supports one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. A number of luxury houseboats cruise the river, including the appraised Zambezi Queen and Chobe Princesses. These boats offer a magnificent safari experience with accommodation fit for a king. Here are 5 things you can expect to see and experience on a Chobe River cruise safari.

1. A luxury floating hotel

You’ll enjoy a first-rate holiday on water when you set out on a Chobe River cruise. The houseboats promise accommodation that is both elegant and cosy. With en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning and large beds, a cabin on one of these boats is just like being in a hotel room! Most of the houseboats come equipped with spacious lounges, dining rooms and outdoor decks. With world-class service and well-appointed living spaces, you could easily mistake a Chobe River houseboat for a 5-star hotel!

2. Breathtaking sunsets

Africa is known for its unbelievable sunsets, and the view from a luxury houseboat is one that cannot be beaten. As the glowing sun disappears, the reflection of its golden hues can be seen in the lapping water. The uninterrupted view can be enjoyed from the comfort of your cabin, or from one of the boat’s viewing decks with a refreshing cocktail or glass of wine in hand. It’s a romantic experience, and the perfect way to end a day on the river’s still waters.

3. Amazing game viewing

A river cruise is a great way to see some of the river’s wildest inhabitants. The location on the water promises up-close views of crocodiles and hippos, and large herds of elephants can be seen drinking and bathing on the shores. A stay on a houseboat may include a game drive in Chobe National Park. On these drives you can look forward to spotting the Big 5, cheetah, hyena, zebra, giraffe, and a number of antelope and bird species.

4. Brilliant birdwatching

A houseboat offers a fantastic vantage point for avid birders. Home to over 400 bird species, the river is a haven of exquisite birds and you can watch in wonder as they skim the surface of the river, diving for prey. African darters, kingfishers and fish eagles are frequently spotted in the area. Other birds that may be seen include vultures, owls, robins, doves and geese. The wet summer months bring with it migrant birds, and this is the best time for a houseboat holiday if you’re a birding enthusiast.

5. Mouthwatering cuisine

Fine dining is one of the most important features of a luxury river cruise. You’ll never go peckish on a Chobe River houseboat as tasty, wholesome meals and snacks are served daily. Most houseboats serve a combination of local dishes and cosmopolitan cuisine, offering something for every palate. Local favourites include moroho – a dish made with greens, red chili and onion; and pap – a traditional porridge made from mielie-meal. Most dietary requirements can be catered for, granted you communicate your preferences with your travel consultant beforehand.

Colin Dilland is Owner and Managing Director of East Cape Tours and Safaris. East Cape Tours is a South African based travel company offering bespoke tailor-made trips across Southern Africa.

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Comments (2)

  1. Dr Nono Mathabathe says:

    We just came back from there . The Ambiance, the tranquility, the scenery, the beauty of nature. The animals . The speed-boat trips especially the one on New Year’s Eve to the confluence of The Chobe and Zambezi Rivers. And the full view of 4 countries: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Angola. We’ll visit one more time

    • Colin Dilland says:

      Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip. Which boat did you stay on? I can imagine a boat trip on New Years Eve must have been incredible!

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