Africa - Botswana

Chobe Princess



Special Offers available

Full Service Booking - Personal Trips

EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC OF AFRICA ON BOARD OF OUR PRIVATE FLOATING HOTEL, CHOBE PRINCESS

With only a small number of guests per boat staying in one of the three Chobe Princesses is like being on your very own houseboat. The entire boat can also be booked exclusively, giving you your very own private villa on the water. As you drift down the Chobe River and spot incredible wildlife scenes, you’ll be able to completely relax in an intimate river safari experience.

Each houseboat has a minimum of two smaller “tender” boats for use on daily excursions that take your fancy: mark off over 450 bird species found in this wetland paradise, try your hand at landing a tiger fish, or capture Africa’s unique beauty on a photographic safari. Whatever you choose to do, your day trips will be personal and flexible because you’ll be sharing the tender boats with a small number of guests. Alternatively, simply laze on a deck chair with an ice-cold drink in hand as you soak up the tranquillity that surrounds you.

Each cabin on board the Chobe Princesses is tastefully decorated in a contemporary style, and each has its own private view onto the ever-changing landscapes beyond. As you lie on your king-sized bed, spot an elephant grazing on the riverbank nearby, or see a fish eagle diving for its prey. On the upper entertainment deck, a spacious lounge and bar area encourages you to take time out while there’s also a plunge pool that’s perfect for a refreshing dip. After a day spent doing as you please, fall asleep with the calls of hyena or even a lion drifting through the open doors of your cabin.

 

Our History

Built in the early 1990s, Zambezi Queen was first designed to carry guests on extended journeys from Katima Mulilo down the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers and back. However, the sheer size of the vessel made navigating difficult, and shortly after her inception, Zambezi Queen ended up moored along the river bank, eventually becoming a floating hotel to visitors to the Caprivi Region of Namibia.

In 2008, two entrepreneurs saw the potential of restoring the houseboat to its former glory and a period of intensive re-designing and planning ensued. In 2012, Zambezi Queen was incorporated into the Mantis Collection by travel industry icon Adrian Gardiner along with two investors. The Mantis Collection is a global group of privately owned boutique hotels and eco escapes offering unsurpassed luxury and once-in-a-lifetime leisure experiences to their discerning guests.

In 2014, Zambezi Queen was grouped with her three Chobe Princesses to form the Zambezi Queen Collection, a stable of luxury houseboats that capture the true spirit and adventure of Africa.

 

 

Comfort.able Accommodation Where You're Instantly At Easy

The Cabins

As you lie in bed and drink in your striking surroundings, you’ll find it very hard to leave the comfort of your cabin on board one of our Chobe Princess houseboats. Tasteful décor cleverly combines local flavour with contemporary design, and the overall focal point is the large sliding window that frames the changing African landscapes perfectly.

Two of the 18-metre Chobe Princesses contain four cabin suites, while the third is slightly larger with five suites. Each cabin sleeps two people – either in a king-sized bed, or in two single beds if you prefer. Along with air-conditioning, cabins are fitted with mosquito-proofed windows and en-suite bathrooms with a shower, toilet and basin. Toiletries are provided for your comfort, as well as insect repellant for a peaceful night’s sleep. Hairdryers are available on request.

 

Upstairs

Head to the upper entertainment deck of your houseboat and relax in the spacious lounge and bar, as you take time to simply sit back and soak up the scenery. This deck also has an open-air dining area where you can enjoy superb seasonal meals prepared by our experienced chefs.

Want to cool off? Take a dip in the plunge pool before unwinding on a sun lounger with an ice-cold drink served all day from our bar. Our lounge area comes with comfortable couches, tables and chairs that are the perfect place from which to enjoy a spot of game viewing or simply to spend time with family and friends. As night draws in, enjoy some unforgettable stargazing under a vast African sky.

 

 

Memorable Meals that will satisfy and surprise

 

Our Meals

When you’re on holiday, the food you eat and the meals you enjoy become part of your memories. That’s why as a guest on one of our Chobe Princesses, we make sure that every one of the three hearty meals we serve per day are unforgettably delicious – along with the drinks and snacks we provide in between.

At sunrise, enjoy a warming cup of tea or coffee with wholesome rusks and biscuits before departing by tender boat for game viewing and other excursions. After an exciting morning – or even if you’ve chosen to stay on board and lie in – settle in on the deck for a fresh continental buffet or a hot English breakfast if you prefer.

Lunch and dinner are set menus with a single option, so please do let us know any dietary requirements before you arrive. Unfortunately, due to our remote location, we’re not able to cater for Kosher and Halaal meals. In keeping with the relaxed atmosphere of the Chobe Princesses, we don’t serve high tea at a set time. Instead, we have tea, coffee and home-baked goodies readily available at the bar area of the entertainment deck for you to enjoy at any time of day.

After sipping on a traditional African safari sundowner, sit down to a three-course evening meal as you’re serenaded to the sounds of hyenas, elephant and perhaps even lion nearby. After dinner, enjoy a coffee and a nightcap before heading to your cabin to round off the perfect day.

 

 

 

Uninterrupted relaxation with a unique point of view

 

Our Chobe Princess houseboat itinerary is flexible so while we have a range of activities on offer, you can choose just how much you want to pack into your holiday or how relaxed you want to be. Perhaps you want to enjoy a water-based safari or a village tour on the Namibian side of the river? Or perhaps you’d prefer a spot of bird watching or fishing instead? You may even decide to simply remain on board and soak up the spectacular view as the Chobe Princess houseboat glides its way along the banks of the Chobe River.

 

 

The Fishing

 

The legendary Tigerfish is well known for being one of the most thrilling challenges for any fly fisher. Renowned for their speed and strength, these ferocious predators never fail to put up a spectacular fight. But what exactly does it take to catch these powerful prey? We spoke to Jonathan Boulton from Mavungana Flyfishing, who shared some of the expert insights he’s learned over 25 years of fishing the waters of the great Chobe River region.

 

When is the best season for a Tigerfishing safari?

While it’s true that Tigerfish can be caught throughout the year, I’ve found that late May through September have the best conditions. The water is clear and starts to warm up just after winter. As water recedes back off the floodplains it causes baitfish to be drawn back into the main channel, providing the perfect hunting ground for Tigerfish.

 

Is there a preferred time of day to go Tigerfishing?

Absolutely. We call it the Golden Hour, just before and after sunset and sunrise. Tigerfish are opportunists and hunt using the element of surprise in low light. Tigerfish can hunt their prey far more effectively in the low light.

 

What else do you take into consideration before planning a trip?

At Mavungana Flyfishing, we only book trips during a new moon. Tigerfish struggle to hunt in complete darkness, so when there’s no light from the moon they’re less likely to catch any prey. In the morning when the sun starts to rise, they’re ravenous and readily attack anything that looks like prey.

 

Where are some of the best places to go Tigerfishing in the Chobe River region?

It depends on the season, but there are a few hot spots I’ve discovered over the years. In May and June, when the water levels are high, the main Zambezi is a very active area for Tigerfish. I often head upstream for Golden Pond and Jojo’s Village. Alternatively, in August, the water levels in the Kasai Channel get very low, and the mini Barbel run begins. Barbel hunt in packs and prey on baitfish hiding beneath the papyrus reeds. The Tigerfish take the opportunity to follow the run and feast on all the leftovers in the Barbels’ wake. At the same time, water levels just south of Impalila Island can be very low, and Tigerfish can concentrate around rapids south of Ichingo Chobe River Lodge where the Kasai and Chobe Rivers meet.

 

What equipment do you recommend for the best catch? Any particular tips?

I feel that fly fishing is far more effective than conventional heavy fishing gear. A fly is much lighter and moves more naturally in the water. In fact, I’ve found that fishing with a fly is three times more successful than a conventional line.

I recommend you use the following equipment which is available from Mavungana Flyfishing’s online shop or any other reputable fly fishing supplier:

  • 8 or 9 quality fast-action rods with matching reels
  • Tropically rated DI7 or shooting head fly line
  • 20lb to 25lb straight mono leader
  • Thin piano wire trace material
  • An assortment of Mavungana custom-tied Tiger clousers and bait fish flies

 

What kind of boats do you use?

You want a lot of deck space to move around freely when you hook the Tigerfish. Ichingo Chobe River Lodge‘s boats have space for two anglers on each boat, and plenty of storage room to keep your gear and other belongings out of the way.

 

Is there anything special that guests should bring?

It can get quite cold on the boat, especially in the morning and after sunset. Wear a warm fleece, long pants and a woollen hat with lighter clothes underneath for when the day gets hotter. Don’t forget sunscreen, a sunhat and comfortable shoes. Most importantly, you’ll need a good pair of polarised sunglasses. They don’t just protect your eyes from the sun, but also from any sharp hooks that might swing your way. We also recommend clear safety glasses for after dark, and a finger minder/lappie to keep the line from the vicious pull of the tigerfish.

 

Lastly, what’s one of the most amazing things you’ve seen on your Tigerfishing expeditions?

What always impresses me is just how savage these fish are. I once landed a Tigerfish that was cut clean in half by one of its own kind driven into a feeding frenzy. They’re not known as the most voracious freshwater fish for nothing.

 

Ichingo Chobe River Lodge is located on secluded Impalila Island, making it the perfect base to launch your unforgettable Tigerfishing adventure. All rods, flies, lures, lines, leaders, reels and other fishing equipment are included with every fishing safari package. Stay in one of eight air-conditioned Meru safari tents, dine on world-class African-inspired cuisine, and spot a myriad wildlife and birds on the river banks from your private deck.

 

 

Combination Tours

Staying with the Zambezi Queen Collection will be the highlight of your trip to Africa, whether you stay on one of our four houseboats or at our tented Ichingo Chobe River Lodge.

But even then, the call to experience more of Africa is simply too strong for some. If you’re an adventurer at heart, you can easily combine a stay with the Zambezi Queen Collection with a visit to nearby Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

 

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Our suggested combination package includes a stay at the award-winning Victoria Falls Safari Lodge which offers guests an unforgettable experience. The sunset-facing lodge has endless views of African bush stretching to the horizon, including a waterhole frequented by elephant, buffalo, kudu and other wildlife, as well as a rich variety of birds.

 

Accommodation 

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge has three different room types to choose from – the Lodge Standard Room, the Lodge Waterhole Facing Room and the Lodge Waterhole Facing Suites. All rooms are spacious and light, with glass sliding doors opening on to private balconies with unrivalled views of the bushveld at sunset.

 

Activities

Experience the Big 5 up close on a morning or afternoon game drive, or alternatively join a night drive where you can see some elusive nocturnal animals before returning for dinner. Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is located only 4 kilometres from the town of Victoria Falls, a quick complimentary road transfer allows you to browse the bustling town and then set off on an activity of your choice. Enjoy white water rafting on the Zambezi River – or a more sedate sundowner cruise – or get close to nature with a Victoria Falls rainforest tour. The choice is yours.

Whether you’re on a romantic honeymoon, a family break or an adventure getaway, a combination stay allows you to experience everything this vibrant part of Africa has to offer.

 

A stay with the Zambezi Queen Collection of properties includes:

  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • All soft drinks, mineral water, coffee, tea, local beer and wine throughout your stay
  • Water-based game viewing and bird watching on tender boats
  • A land-based cultural tour of a local village
  • A land-based game drive in the Chobe National Park on your day of departure (time permitting)
  • Tiger and bream fishing in season (tiger fishing is strictly catch and release)
  • Road transfers to and from Kasane Airport and Kasane Immigration Office located on the Botswana side of the Chobe river
  • Boat transfers between Kasane Immigration Office in Botswana and Namibia Immigration Office
  • 15% VAT and 1% Tourism Levy

 

A stay at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge includes:

  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast daily
  • Complimentary shuttle service to Victoria Falls town and rainforest
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • 15% VAT and 2% Government Levy

 

 

Other Activities

ZIMBABWE BIG 5

 

No visit to Southern Africa is complete without experiencing its abundant wildlife, which differs from region to region. Within this part of Africa, Botswana’s Chobe National Park and Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park are two areas not to be missed.

 

Hwange Bush Camp

A stay at Hwange Bush Camp will allow you to come in close contact with the Big 5 (Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Buffalo and Leopard) in their natural habitat. The camp’s highly knowledgeable and experienced rangers add another dimension to your experience, and you’ll learn an incredible amount about these animals during guided activities.

 

Accommodation and Main Area

Nestled under a canopy of trees, Hwange Bush Camp offers authentic accommodation in spacious and tastefully decorated twin bedded Meru tents, each with private en-suite facilities including flush toilets and a bush shower with hot water being made available on request. The shady lounge and dining area which is the focal point of the camp is tastefully decorated with rustic hints of old world colonial charm.

 

Dining

The camp’s kitchen is dedicated to preparing a delicious dining experience, all cooked on a wood burning stove. From fresh breads and incredible main dishes through to delicate filo parcels and chocolate eclair desserts. With advance notification, their qualified chefs are happy to cater to guests dietary requirements.

 

Activities 

Experience the Big 5 up close on a morning or afternoon game drive, or alternatively on a guided walk before returning to camp where a three-course dinner awaits. End your day sharing stories around the campfire and enjoy some unforgettable stargazing under a vast African sky.

A stay at Hwange Bush Camp ties in perfectly with a stay on board one of the Chobe Princess houseboats or Ichingo Chobe River Lodge within the Zambezi Queen Collection.

 

A stay with the Zambezi Queen Collection of properties includes:

 

  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • All soft drinks, mineral water, coffee, tea, local beer and wine throughout your stay
  • Water-based game viewing and bird watching on tender boats
  • A land-based cultural tour of a local village
  • A land-based game drive in the Chobe National Park on your day of departure (time permitting)
  • Tiger and bream fishing in season (tiger fishing is strictly catch and release)
  • Road transfers to and from Kasane Airport and Kasane Immigration Office located on the Botswana side of the Chobe river
  • Boat transfers between Kasane Immigration Office in Botswana and Namibia Immigration Office
  • 15% VAT and 1% Tourism Levy

 

A stay at Hwange Bush Camp includes:

 

  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • All soft drinks, mineral water, coffee, tea, local beer and wine throughout your stay
  • Guided game drives and walks
  • Laundry
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • 15% VAT

Combination Options

Ichingo Chobe River Lodge

Staying with the Zambezi Queen Collection will be the highlight of your trip to Africa, whether you stay on one of our four houseboats or at our tented Ichingo Chobe River Lodge.

 

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Our suggested combination package includes a stay at the award-winning Victoria Falls Safari Lodge which offers guests an unforgettable experience. 

 

Experience the Big 5 

A stay at Hwange Bush Camp ties in perfectly with a stay on board one of the Chobe Princess houseboats or Ichingo Chobe River Lodge within the Zambezi Queen Collection.

 

 

 

Special rates on request - it depends on your individual travel plans. We will help you to organize your stay to explore the beautiful African destinations you wish.

 

 

SEASON

LOW SEASON: Januar - Februar

HIGH SEASON: March - December

 

RATES

Rates are per person sharing. Departs for 2 nights on Monday & Wednesday. Departs for a 3 night stay only on Friday. 

 

LOW SEASON: Januar and Februar 

aprox. USD 408 in cabin per person per night (sharing)

  

HIGH SEASON: March to December

aprox. USD 500 in cabin per person per night (sharing)

 

 

With only a small number of guests per houseboat, a stay aboard one of our three Chobe Princesses provides a sense of intimacy and exclusivity for every guest. Larger groups also have the opportunity to book the entire houseboat for their very own private villa on the water.

The Chobe Princesses sail on scheduled weekly departures every Monday (two-nights), Wednesday (two-nights) and Friday (three-nights).

Our rates vary throughout the season, so please take this into consideration when planning your stay.

For further information regarding our rates, itineraries, child policy, activities, payment information and other important details, please select your applicable travel date below.

Rates are per person sharing on a double occupancy basis for either 2 or 3 nights

A Community Development Levy (aprox. USD 6.70 per person per night) applies to all reservations. This is excluded from the rates and will reflect as a separate line item on your invoice. The funds collected will supplement our community projects and initiatives run by the Zambezi Queen Collection to assist with education, health care, sanitation and basic community services.

 

*23 November 2018, 14 and 21 December 2018 and 4, 11 and 18  January 2019 are 3-night sailings sold at a 2-night rate

*17 December 2018, 7 January 2019 and 16 and 30 December 2019 are 4-night sailings sold at a 3-night rate

 

Single supplement is an additional 30% on the per person sharing rate

 

  • Chobe Princess reserves the right to limit the number of single room rates per trip
  • Chobe Princess reserves the right to amend the published rates without notice

 

Available dates are subject to change at management discretion

 

EXCLUSIVE USE POLICY:

  • Clients are able to book an entire Chobe Princess on an exclusive use basis and a ‘per boat, per night’ rate will be charged
  • The best available rate for exclusive use will be determined by demand for that period and at the discretion of management when booking
  • We reserve the right to limit single rooms per trip
  • The payment and cancellation policies for a ‘Group Reservation’ will apply

 

Included

  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • All soft drinks, mineral water, coffee, tea, and local beer & wine throughout your stay
  • Water-based game viewing and bird watching on tender boats
  • A land-based cultural tour of a local village
  • Tiger & bream fishing in season (tiger fishing is strictly catch and release)
  • Road Transfers to and from Kasane Airport and Kasane Immigration Office located on the Botswana side of the Chobe river*
  • Boat transfers between Kasane Immigration Office in Botswana and Namibia Immigration Office*
  • 15% Namibian VAT
  • 1% Namibian Tourism Levy

 

Not included

 

  • Air tickets
  • Premium alcoholic beverages (such as sparkling wine, spirits & dessert wines)
  • Additional transfers to and from Zambia/Zimbabwe/Namibia or any of the Kasane Lodges
  • A land-based half-day 4×4 game viewing in Botswana’s Chobe National Park
  • Curio shop purchases
  • Gratuities (at your discretion)
  • Visa fees

 

 

SPECIAL OFFER FOR FFTC MEMBERS

 5 % discount

                                                                 

 

 

Transfer Details

Weather, Seasons & Time Zones

The Time Zone is GMT / UTC +2.

There is no best or worst time to visit the Chobe area, because every month offers visitors something special. However, if you’re looking for a pure wildlife experience, the drier winter months from May to October see greater concentrations of game along the banks of the Chobe River. The summer months from November to April see the birdlife explode with the addition of the summer migrants to the area. If you’re a fishing enthusiast, you’ll be excited to know that we have excellent fishing through the summer and winter – it’s just that the techniques we use change.

 

How To Get There

The properties that make up the Zambezi Queen Collection are based on the Namibian side of the Chobe River. Here’s information on how to reach them:

 

By Car:

If you’re on a self-drive safari, secure parking can be arranged for your vehicles next to the Kasane Immigration Office. The GPS co-ordinates are S 17° 48′ 12.618” / E 25° 8′ 54.44”. Please advise at time of booking whether you require secure parking.

 

By Air:

There are four main access points by air:

  • Kasane International Airport, Botswana (BBK) is about 15 minutes drive/transfer from Kasane Immigration Office
  • Victoria Falls Airport, Zimbabwe (VFA) is about 1 ½ hours drive/transfer from Kasane Immigration Office
  • Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport, formerly Livingstone Airport, Zambia (LVI) is about 2 hours drive/transfer from Kasane Immigration Office
  • Katima Mulilo Airport, Namibia (MPA) is about 2 ½ hours drive/transfer from Kasane Immigration Office
  • Flights depart daily from South Africa to Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe and weekly from Namibia. Flight costs are excluded from the rate but can be booked through our in-house travel agent.

 

Transfers

Road transfers to and from Kasane International Airport as well as to and from the Kasane Immigration Office are included in our rate. You can also choose shared or private road transfers at an additional cost from Victoria Falls International Airport, Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport, formerly Livingstone Airport, and Katima Mulilo Airport.

 

Arrival & Departure Procedure

  • On arrival, your first priority is to make sure you get your passport stamped at the airport
  • You’ll then be met by a representative at the airport who will help with your luggage and transfer you to the Kasane Immigration Office (KIO) in an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Once you arrive at KIO, a Zambezi Queen Collection staff member will meet you and help with your luggage as well as formalities at passport control as you exit Botswana
  • A Zambezi Queen Collection staff member will then transfer you by motorised boat to the Namibian Immigration Office, where you’ll get your passport stamped. Please wear comfortable shoes, a hat and sunscreen as there is a short walk to the immigration office
  • Both Kasane and Namibian immigration offices open at 07h30 and close at 16h30 daily
  • When arriving at the Kasane and Namibian Immigration Offices guests needs to fill in the required immigration forms to gain access and departure permission from the relevant authorities. This process can take between 45 to 60 minutes to complete and needs to be considered in terms of timing and pre-planning when coming to stay on one of the houseboats or at the lodge.
  • Should you know beforehand that you will arrive at KIO before 13h00 on the day of your arrival, please notify our reservations office 48 hours before you arrive
  • Collection is from 13h00 on day of arrival
  • Drop off is from 9h30 on day of departure
  • Arrival & Departure Times
  • Check-in is between 13h00 and 16h00
  • Kasane Immigration Office closes at 16h30 and guests are advised to arrive no later than 16h00
  • Guests arriving before 13h00 on day of arrival can make use of the facilities at our nearby lounge in Kasane until check-in at 13h00
  • Check-out is from 09h30 on day of departure to ensure guests get to the Kasane Immigration Office by 10h00
  • Kasane Immigration Office opens at 07h30
  • Guests departing after 10h30 can make use of the facilities at our nearby lounge in Kasane

 

We help you to plan your trip - just contact us! We appreciate to help you to make your dreams about a real adventure trip to Africa comes true.

FFTC Member Contact

The Mantis Collection.

Zambezi Queen Collection.

1st Floor Westlake Lifestyle centre

Westlake

Cape Town

 

Zambezi Queen (SA) (Pty) Ltd – Co Reg 2003/012659/07, South Africa

Zambezi Houseboats (Pty) Ltd – Co Reg 2012/1131, Namibia

 

Kirsty Coetzee

Sales Manager

kirsty@zqcollection.com 

 

Phone: +27 21 715 2412

 

www.zqcollection.com