The Zambezi Queen Luxury River Boat Sails Between Namibia and Botswana

The Zambezi Queen Luxury River Boat Sails Between Namibia and Botswana

The Chobe River, a shallow waterway and natural border between the countries of Namibia and northern Botswana means a stamp in and stamp out process for each country as I make my way closer to my next destination- a luxury river boat called the Zambezi Queen.

Once stamped into Namibia, it’s only a short boat ride up river. We slow our approach for a photo op of the Zambezi Queen, sitting sublimely against blue skies dotted with cotton-puff clouds; her impression casting a mirror image onto the placid waters below.

A warm greeting by staff and owner Tony Stern sets the tone for a three-day luxury cruise where a mix of stunning scenery and epicurean are to commence. Welcome drinks beckon my group to the top deck, where we spy for the first time the 360-degree panorama of two African countries and the body of water that separates them.

Guest rooms are outfitted with modern flair accented in African motif, colors of whites, tans and cremes create a serene milieu. Floor-to-ceiling windows open onto private balconies granting optimal viewing of the river and its inhabitants.

Time moves effortlessly by without boredom, for with each glance, there is something astounding to look at – as if watching nature’s motion picture on a giant screen, while the vessel maneuvers almost silently past giant lily-pads, half submerged hippopotamus pods, and elephants quenching their thirst at rivers edge.

Orchestrated with the help of ZQ staff, the process of stamping out of Namibia and few minute river crossing into Botswana to stamp in, (then reversed upon return) is a small hassle but well worth the effort, for this is the land of the famed Chobe National Park. Thanks to the country’s anti-poaching laws and conservation efforts, game viewing inside is sensational with the highest concentration of game in Africa. Masses of elephant families in the hundreds (estimated at 50,000 in the entire park), calmly meander past game vehicles in route to the river’s verdant edge, and other species, such as giraffe, kudus and zebra are easily spotted on open plains.

Other activities include fly-fishing, bird-watching, a local village visit, aerial game viewing via helicopter and river safari cruising the Chobe’s banks with expert guides.

Adventurous days complimented by 5-star al fresco dining nightly on deck, complete with cayenne colored sunsets, strikes the perfect balance between exploration and pure luxury.

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