Lodges

Zambezi Queen

Luxury African River Safari houseboat in the great Chobe River

Zambezi Queen

The Zambezi Queen is a 42-metre long five-star floating boutique hotel offering unsurpassed elegance and luxurious comfort. It will take you on a unique African river safari traversing 25 kilometres of the mighty Chobe River, known as a wildlife photographer's paradise. The main lounge and dining area offer unobstructed views of the picturesque surroundings. There are fourteen luxurious suites from where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and unparalleled game-viewing from the comfort of your own luxurious bed or private balcony. Two and three night itineraries are available. Sumptuous cuisine is served on board and the hospitality is superb.

At the lodge

The hotel

The main areas consist of a dining room, a bar and a comfortable lounge with unobstructed views of the surrounding African landscape. Three delicious meals a day are served in the dining room. There is an air-conditioned reading room on the first level which contains books about the area, a DVD player with wildlife documentaries and computer facilities. The top deck has a pool, a sunbathing area and a relaxation area with comfortable seating.

The rooms

The Zambezi Queen has fourteen luxurious suites - ten standard suites and four master suites. The stylish interiors were designed by renowned South African designer Jenni Button. Each suite has its own private balcony, en-suite bathroom and full length sliding shutters for panoramic views of the river. Hairdryers, toiletries, gowns and slippers are provided. The rooms also have king-sized beds, private safes and fans. Master suites are slightly bigger, and have larger balconies that house two deckchairs and a table.

On safari

Experiences

The Chobe River is one of the best destinations for wildlife photographers in Africa and photographic safari boats are available on request. The Zambezi Queen also offers water-based game drives by tender boat, from where you can see the animals from even closer, bird-watching safaris where you can enjoy the unique and diverse birdlife and fishing safaris where you may catch a tigerfish, one of the greatest fighting fish in the world. Local cultural tours are also available.

When to go

Chobe by month

January

Season: Wet
  • The weather is characterised by high temperatures, relative humidity and a one in two chance of rain.
  • The birthing season provides high excitement as predators take advantage of the inexperienced newborns.
  • A wonderful time for photography, vegetation is lush and in bloom, migratory birds are present and in breeding plumage, the animals are all in prime condition.
  • Bush walks are a highlight during this period, showcasing the numerous overlooked animals of the ground and in the air.
  • Make sure the mosquito repellent is packed during this time of year.

February

Season: Wet
  • In this month temperatures are still high with a drop in humidity and relatively high rainfall.
  • A month of high excitement, due to the many newborns afoot, predator hunts are a frequent occurrence.
  • Take advantage spectacular photographic conditions, with vegetation lush and in bloom, migratory birds present and in breeding colours, the animals are healthy and enjoying this time of plenty.
  • Enjoy exceptional bush walks in February, with smaller game, insects and reptiles particularly active over this period.
  • At this time of year keep the mosquito repellent handy, especially in the evenings.

March

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are still relatively hot, with the number of rainy days decreasing, expect an afternoon shower or two.
  • Wildlife is a little more spread out than in dryer months, however a good variety of species is still present in the area including numerous predators.
  • Prime photographic conditions are experienced, vegetation is vibrant and green, migratory birds are strengthening their wings and wildlife is in pristine condition.
  • Boating provides a different perspective and some cover from the rains should they persist.
  • Make sure the mosquito repellent is packed during this time of year.

April

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures begin to fall but are still quite hot, the average daily sunshine hours increases and rainfall is unlikely.
  • Lion, leopard and wild dog are just a few of the predator's that frequent the region.
  • Enjoy the last opportunity to view the migratory birds before they head North for the dry winter months.
  • Bush walks provide an intimate look at the smaller wildlife that make up the unique Chobe ecosystem.
  • Take advantage of the end of the season, Photographically capturing a lush green wilderness before the dry winter months set in, changing the landscape drastically.

May

Season: Dry
  • A transition month from wet summer to dry winter, offering moderate temperatures and little to no rainfall.
  • The end of the "emerald season" is approaching, vegetation will slowly begin to thin and animals will migrate into the area following the year round water sources.
  • Improved visibility will increase your chances of spotting the rarely seen Sable and Roan antelope.
  • Explore the smaller lesser showcased species of the Chobe with a bush walk.
  • A great time of year to star gaze, with relatively few clouds and no ambient light, enjoy a sky twinkling with a blanket of stars.

June

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures are chilly in the morning and evenings, with the daylight hours being comfortably warm.
  • Animals begin to migrate back into the Chobe region as water sources dry up elsewhere, leading to increased predator-prey interactions, as they compete for dwindling resources.
  • Vegetation has started to thin, improving chances of spotting the rare and endangered Sable and Roan antelope.
  • Walking Safari takes over from bush walks as the on foot activity of choice, showcasing the abundance of big game species.
  • Boating safaris and sunset cruises are at their best in this month with impressive game viewing and picturesque sunsets.
  • Remember to pack a winter jacket, as frost can occur on particularly cold June mornings.

July

Season: Dry
  • The best time to visit, with warm daytime weather, low humidity and not a cloud in the sky.
  • Vegetation begins to thin due to the lack of rainfall, causing wildlife to converge around permanent water sources and the Chobe River.
  • July offers quality photographic conditions, long day length, low humidity and sparse vegetation means wonderful image clarity and no shortage picture of perfect moments.
  • Walking safari in this month provides exceptional encounters and comfortable conditions.
  • This is the best month to view the African Skimmers, a speciality bird species for the region.
  • Be sure to pack a warm jacket for the early morning and late evenings, as temperatures become a little chilly.

August

Season: Dry
  • Enjoy pristine weather, with warm sunny days, low humidity and not a cloud in the sky.
  • Due to the lack of rainfall vegetation begins to thin increasing the density of wildlife along the remaining water sources and the Chobe River.
  • A wonderful month for photography, with soft light, low humidity and sparse vegetation offering plenty of opportunity to get the perfect snap.
  • Head out on foot for an intimate encounter with Africa's wildlife including impressive herds of elephant, buffalo and prides of lion.
  • Boat cruises provide romantic African sunsets and a unique water based perspective on the wildlife in the vicinity.
  • Be sure to pack a warm jacket for the early morning and late evenings, as temperatures can get chilly.

September

Season: Dry
  • The ideal time to visit this region, enjoying sunshine filled days, low humidity and not a cloud in the sky.
  • This is a great time of year for wildlife viewing, the vegetation has thinned substantially and wildlife is congregating along the remaining water sources.
  • The greatest density of elephants in Africa can be found around the Chobe River frontage.
  • September offers ideal photographic conditions, low humidity and sparse vegetation means wonderful image clarity and no shortage of picture perfect moments.
  • Boating safaris are a welcome change of pace from walking and driven safari, all of which are exceptional in this month.
  • Be sure to pack a warm jacket for the early morning and late evenings, as temperatures can get chilly.

October

Season: Dry
  • This is a transitional month with temperatures being very hot and humid preceding the arrival of the wet season.
  • This is the harshest month of the year, water and food are scarce causing animals to congregate in small areas along the Chobe River.
  • Game viewing is still very good with vegetation sparse, ensuring quality sightings of a wide variety of wildlife.
  • Relax with the comfort of a romantic sunset cruise and watch as wildlife come to the river's edge to drink.
  • Be sure you have a hat and high factor sun block packed.

November

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures and humidity are still high with the arrival of the summer rains, expect afternoon showers only.
  • The arrival of the rain replenishes water sources enabling wildlife to spread over a greater area.
  • Migratory birds begin to return, creating a hive of activity and colour in the tree tops.
  • Be sure you have a hat and high factor sun block packed.

December

Season: Wet
  • The temperature is less extreme with lower humidity and afternoon showers providing solace from the heat.
  • The birthing season kicks off towards the end of the month, causing a buzz of predator excitement.
  • The "Emerald Season" is the perfect time for photography, plants are green and in bloom, migratory birds are in full breeding plumage and the animals are all in prime condition.
  • A wonderful time of year to get out on foot, experiencing all the smaller details often missed during game drive.
  • Make sure the mosquito repellent is packed during this time of year.

Wildlife


The Chobe National Park is famous for impressive herds of elephant and Cape buffalo that seasonally congregate along the winding river banks and open grassy floodplains. Expect to see a diversity of hoofed mammals, including the puku (only seen in this part of Botswana), giraffe, warthog, roan and sable, and keep an eye out for the predators—lion and leopard—that are never far behind. The leopard is particularly prominent along the bank of the river so be sure to scan the tree branches.

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