Exploring the Chobe River on a floating villa, in regal style
This trio of elegant houseboats offer an unusual take on a safari. Based on the Chobe River at the eastern end of the Caprivi Strip, where Namibia and Botswana meet, the Chobe Princesses give you a leisurely experience of the birds, water-loving wildlife (elephant, hippo, crocodile) and natural beauty of the waterway. Each boat has four or five cabins and can be booked exclusively for families and larger groups. For special excursions away from the houseboat (fishing, birdwatching, sightseeing), a few attendant craft are available. The hospitality on board is exceptional – you'll feel like royalty on your private vessel.
At the lodge
The communal deck incorporates a lounge and bar with plushly cushioned seating and plenty of shade. You'll find an open-air dining area and a small plunge pool (the size of a Jacuzzi) as well. There's a second, enclosed, dining area surrounded by windows. In either setting, deliciously refined cuisine is served three times a day. Two houseboats have an upper deck area as well, where you can sunbathe or take in the views while sipping and snacking on something scrumptious.
Two vessels have four suites, the third has five, all furnished in sleek, tranquil style in white with splashes of colour. The cabins are surprisingly spacious and airy, thanks to their large sliding glass windows. (It's remarkable what you can spot from the comfort of your own bed.) All have comfortable beds (arranged into one large king or two singles), aircon, mosquito-proofed windows and en-suite bathrooms with a shower, toilet and basin. You may find it difficult to leave.
Besides taking in the sweep of views from the decks, there are a few activities on offer. The tender boats are always ready to get you close to sightings along the riverbank – perfect if you've spotted something from afar, or to photograph some of the 400-plus bird species. Fishing for tigers or bream provides a bit of sporting fun. Otherwise, seeking out a new spot in which to enjoy your sundowner is indeed activity enough.