The Zambezi Queen Collection consists of 4 luxury houseboats offering leisurely cruises on the Chobe River supplemented by trips in a tender boat to view animals and birds, enjoy some catch-and-release fishing, visit a local village visit and go for sunset cruises. Game drives are not included but can be arranged at additional cost. The dress code on board is casual, in fitting with the relaxed atmosphere. Each boat has a partially open upper deck, ideal for sunbathing by day and star gazing after dark.
The fleet is headed by the 42-metre long Zambezi Queen, an elegant vessel with 14 air-conditioned suites arranged over 2 decks. The decor is stylish and refined and you're provided with bathrobes, slippers and toiletries for the shower room. Each suite has a balcony where you can sit and watch the scenery. The lounge, bar and dining room are located on the upper deck, which also has an open area with loungers and a pool.
The Chobe Princesses are smaller, 2 with 4 cabins and 1 with 5, and are used for shared and exclusive cruises. The air-conditioned cabins are furnished in a contemporary style and have picture windows so you can watch wildlife on the river banks as you glide past. Each has a shower room with a supply of toiletries. As with Zambezi Queen, the upper deck is the social heart of the boat, with a large lounge-bar, al fresco dining area and deck with a plunge pool.
Open: The Zambezi Queen Collection operate all year. Zambezi Queen has set 2-night itineraries departing Monday and Wednesday, and a 3 night cruise departing on a Friday. Chobe Princesses do not have set departure dates, and can be booked for shared or exclusive use.
Location: The houseboats are on the Namibian side of the Chobe River. The nearest airports are Kasane in Botswana, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Harry Mwanga Nkumba (formerly Livingstone) in Zambia and Katima Mulilo in Namibia. Once underway the vessels cruise at a gentle pace and moor at in the afternoon. Vessels are moored overnight and there is no night time sailing. The itinerary and activities are flexible.
Rooms: Zambezi Queen: There are 14 suites in all: 2 standard and 2 master suites on the lower deck, 8 standard (including 2 triple) and 2 master suites on the middle deck. All have a private balcony. Beds can be made up as twins or doubles. All are air-conditioned and have a safe, hairdryer, dressing gowms, slippers, toiletries and a bathroom with a shower and full running water. There are shutters for the windows.
Chobe Princesses: 2 have 4 cabins and 1 has 5 cabins. All cabins are air-conditioned, can be configured as twin or double, and have a bathroom with shower, basin, toilet, 24 hour water and toiletries. Hairdryers are provided on request. Every cabin has a full length window.
Activities: These include game drives and cruises on tender boats in Chobe National Park, bird watching and fishing (conventional and fly fishing). Pride of the Zambezi has 3 professional guides on board and is equipped with 4 tender boats. Day trips to Victoria Falls and Livingstone can be organised, as can village visits on Impalila Island. Activities are tailored to passenger wishes.
Facilities: Zambezi Queen: the reception area is on the lower deck, where there is also a gift shop. The remaining social areas are on the upper deck and comprise the lounge-cum-bar and dining room, both spanning the width of the vessel with windows to both sides, the pool and pool deck, and an open smoking deck at the rear.
Chobe Princesses: The upper deck of each boat has open and covered communal areas. Indoors there's a lounge and bar, and outdoors there's a dining area and a plunge pool and sunloungers.
Power on all vessels is provided by generators which are turned off at 22:00hrs each evening, This means that the air-conditioning, main lights and power sockets do not work at night, but there are reading lights, fans and emergency lights in the bathroom.
Dining: Meals are eaten together in the dining area. The chef prepares delicious meals in the galley. All meals, soft drinks, mineral water, tea, coffee, beer and wine are included.
Children: Zambezi Queen welcomes children aged 7 and older, while the Chobe Princesses can take children of all ages.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is no internet access.
Notes: Currencies accepted on board are the Namibian Dollar, South African Rand, Botswana Pula, US Dollar and Euro. The only cards accepted are MasterCard and Visa.
A varied safari taking in prime game locations and staying in top-of-the-range accommodation
"We were on the Chobe Princess 1 with 8 other guests. The room was very comfortable. We were made very welcome and it was just like being at a safari camp with "game trips" in the smaller boat. Food was very good. The common room was very comfortable. The whole experience was very relaxing. The only drawback might have been if you had been with less congenial people than we were."