Botswana

Chobe

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Take your time on the Chobe

Take your time on the Chobe

Cruising in luxury on the Chobe River, there is always something to see
Cruising in luxury on the Chobe River, there is always something to see
Mantis Collection

There was something positively welcoming about the Pride of Zambezi as we approached it by tender boat after having cleared immigration (the vessel is registered in Namibia). Located along the banks of the Chobe River, the Pride of Zambezi departs only a few kilometres from the point where four countries meet, namely Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and of course, Namibia.

Upon arrival our host welcomed us with an oshibori and a glass of chilled refreshment before allocating us one of the five comfortable luxury suites, each with large sliding windows and bathrooms equipped with showers. Nice as these suites are, we did not linger too long, having been famished by travelling the mere 90 minutes by road from Victoria Falls!

The middle deck features an open-plan lounge, bar and dining area with unobstructed views. For breezy nights, electric shutters come down for welcome protection.

Lunch was carefully prepared and served, as were all meals on board, and it was nothing short of astonishing what the chef came up with given the remote location of the vessel. The steak salad we had for lunch was succulent and paired with a decent selection of wine. The quality of all the meals that followed was equally scrumptious with dinners being the highlight. There is just something idyllic about enjoying a meal whilst languidly cruising along the Chobe.

Pride of Zambezi is all about personalised service. Our hosts were always ready to top up our glass or ensure our comfort. Whilst enjoying our sundowners out on the middle deck, delectable canapés and snacks were unobtrusively replenished.

We had front row seats to nature itself from the deck. The ChobeNational Park is home to around 120,000 elephant and large numbers of hippo. Giraffe and buffalo are a common sight. Water based game viewing by tender-boat brought us even closer to the wildlife. Birding excursions along the ChobeRiver and the Kasai Channel excited the birders amongst us, while tiger and bream fishing was another popular activity – and came with an experienced, personal guide and tackle included.

For those wishing to do something active, a walk in the cultural village on ImpalilaIsland was a great way to discover the local community and a typical working village. A two-night stay was simply too short to enjoy all the comforts and I can only recommend you stretch your stay as long as your time will allow.

Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Chobe

Read more articles from this issue:
Zambezi Traveller (Issue 14, Sept 2013)