Zambezi Queen: Into Africa


There’s even more reason now to visit Southern Africa. The 135-foot-long Zambezi Queen
, with capacity for an intimate 30 guests, has begun operating cruises along the Chobe River, which dissects Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The ship’s two- and three-night itineraries depart from Kasane in Botswana and travel along the banks of the Chobe National Park.

Room Aboard: The ship has 14 suites total—eight standard and six master suites. Each has a private balcony (perfect for eyeing the scenic feral landscape). Rooms have a modern design, similar to what you might expect to find in one’s home or at a boutique hotel (think glass-enclosed showers, large sinks, floor-to-ceiling windows and animal-prints in the bedrooms). Note: The ship doesn’t run on conventional propellers, rather water-jet drives.

Cuisine is also a serious pursuit. Pete Goff-Wood, a food guru and one of South Africa’s top chefs, oversees the restaurant on the third deck, which, as Tony Stern ([email protected]), the ship’s owner, tells us has a modern African-centric menu. Also on the third deck is a lounge area with wood-burning fireplace, bar and outdoor pool area.

Of course, the main attraction is outside the ship: prides of leopard and lion, buffalo, waterbuck, roan, eland and giraffes, just to name some of the animals. Zambezi Queen has two game-viewing boats that afford access so close up, you can hear the animals chewing, says Stern. At night, the ship turns over to a low-emission power system, so quiet that guests can sleep to the sounds of the bush.

We say this experience could be perfect as a post-excursion, perhaps after another game drive. Getting There: Kasane Airport, minutes away, services Air Botswana. Livingstone Airport in Zambia is another option, a little more than an hour’s drive away.

Suggested Articles:

Bhutan is a top nation to visit in 2020 for its snow-capped mountains, Buddhist architecture and unusual culinary delights. Learn more here.

Air New Zealand plans to launch the first and only nonstop service between New Zealand and the East Coast of the United States, starting October 2020.

Flight Centre says more travelers are seeking to beat the crowds and discover something special before everyone else catches on. Learn more here.