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Sailing Down the Chobe River


Tulips
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I spent a few days sailing down the Chobe as part of my birthday trip to Africa in August/September of 2016.

 

This experience was completely different to Kruger.  The safaris were on the water as opposed to a vehicle and this provided fascinating viewing opportunities on both the Botswana and Namibian sides of the river.

 

I entered in .Botswana, got my passport stamped and then had to cross the Namibian border. That was a bit of an experience.  The officer was as sick as a dog, dehydrated and stuck in a tiny windowless room with no electricity.  I asked about it later and was told no one else wants to work the job so this officer has to work even when he shouldn't.

 

On the Chobe you see vast open spaces and herds of animals as opposed to one or two.  Also, there are lots of animal combos to be seen and oh the birds.......

 

 

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Beautiful!  I wanna do that in Aug/Sept like you.  What was the boat? How many people?  Did you go alone?  Who did you book with?  How many days?  Was that smaller boat unassociated with your trip or did you board a smaller vessel at times?

 

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@Atravelynn my good and very well travelled friend and travel agent booked my trip.  

 

I went higher end for the whole trip.  The boat is the Zambezi Queen and I spent 3 days/nights aboard.  There were about 25 on the boat.  The boat only had so many cabins so there would never be hoards.

 

The smaller boat was not the one I was on.  I just took it because of all the photographers and big lenses.

 

The tender boat I was on had 12 of us and there was plenty of room for everyone to spread out.  Excellent viewing opportunities and the boat came stocked with sundowner supplies.

 

The cabin you see on the end in the middle row below the Namibian flag was mine.     I enjoyed sitting on the balcony early in the morning for the fabulous views.

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Those were some big lenses and we could see them despite the camouflage!

Thanks for all the info.  Looks fabulous.

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Sounds and looks great. I too would like to do this one day. Really nice photos you got from it, although I able to say my favorite is the photographers with their matching mounts and lenses. Obviously I could not go on this tour as I would have the wrong focal length. 

 

 

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@pault not to worry.  I don't have that focal length either.  

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@Atravelynn @pault I had to take that photo.  Game of another sort, so to speak!  I couldn't resist!  My lens was puny in comparison.

Edited by Tulips
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i liked that picture of the bums of those 3 hippos as the young hippo was walking into the waters!

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9 hours ago, pault said:

Sounds and looks great. I too would like to do this one day. Really nice photos you got from it, although I able to say my favorite is the photographers with their matching mounts and lenses. Obviously I could not go on this tour as I would have the wrong focal length. 

 

 

 

Those with shorter focal lengths can always sit in the second row :D ! (and it is also safer when those in the first row starts wagging their lenses :lol:).

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10 hours ago, Tulips said:

The boat is the Zambezi Queen and I spent 3 days/nights aboard.

 

What a way to explore the area! Looking forward to more fabulous photos!

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12 hours ago, Tulips said:

@Atravelynn @pault I had to take that photo.  Game of another sort, so to speak!  I couldn't resist!  My lens was puny in comparison.

I think they may with a company called Pangolin Safari who offer guided photographic trips on the Chobe and the guests get to use the cameras to learn technique with. 

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Can you tell us a little bit about how your days went on the boat?  Did you choose Zambezi Queen out of several options or did your agent suggest this one as the best suited for you?

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@Atravelynn I'm probably an agent's worst nightmare because I do a lot of my own research.  I had stayed at a lodge in South Africa and wanted something a little different.  The boat allowed me to visit both Namibia and Botswana and was the level of high end I was looking for for that particular trip.  My agent travelled on it after I did.  LOL!

 

one can do a variety of activities:  water game drives, fishing, birding,  cultural visits etc.

 

The first day, I did an afternoon water safari as I did not arrive in time for the morning one.  Dinner was a served meal with several choices.

 

The next days were morning and afternoon water safaris and I did a cultural visit to a village in Namibia which is supported by the Zambezi Queen.  A bit touristy, but you do get a real sense of how people live and get by and how difficult it must be.

 

Breakfasts and lunches were buffet with lots of choice.  

 

Drinks are included unless you want fancy schmancy.

 

The staff were so friendly and it was really interesting to hear their stories and learn a bit about them.  If you liked a particular dish, they were more than happy to give you the recipe.

 

There is no wifi and I didn't miss it as I was too busy to notice.

 

I was not bored at all.

 

The boat sails up and down the river, but does not travel the vast length of same.  That didn't detract from the experience though because there was always something to see.  Unlike a lodge where you might get lucky and have some animals wander by and maybe stay a few, the animals here were always around.

 

 

Zambezi Queen Room.jpg

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1 hour ago, Tulips said:

@Atravelynn I'm probably an agent's worst nightmare  I just hope I am not YOUR worst nightmare--more questions below.  because I do a lot of my own research. Just doin' research!  I had stayed at a lodge in South Africa and wanted something a little different.  The boat allowed me to visit both Namibia and Botswana and was the level of high end I was looking for for that particular trip.  My agent travelled on it after I did.  LOL!

Those are really great pictures in the room.

1 hour ago, Tulips said:

one can do a variety of activities:  water game drives, fishing, Fishing was optional, I hope birding,  cultural visits etc.

 

The first day, I did an afternoon water safari as I did not arrive in time for the morning one. If you did not arrive in time for the morning water safari, did you have to catch up with the ZQ by motor boat, or was it docked for the morning?  Do people come and go on the boat, shuttled in and out by a motor boat?  Or is it a set 3-day trip with a departure date and a return date (like most cruisesO? Dinner was a served meal with several choices.

 

The next days were morning and afternoon water safaris  Could everyone go on whatever water safaris they wanted or were you limited by the space in the smaller craft? and I did a cultural visit to a village in Namibia which is supported by the Zambezi Queen.  A bit touristy, but you do get a real sense of how people live and get by and how difficult it must be.

 

Breakfasts and lunches were buffet with lots of choice.  

 

Drinks are included unless you want fancy schmancy.

 

The staff were so friendly and it was really interesting to hear their stories and learn a bit about them.  If you liked a particular dish, they were more than happy to give you the recipe.

 

There is no wifi and I didn't miss it as I was too busy to notice.

 

I was not bored at all.

 

The boat sails up and down the river, but does not travel the vast length of same.  That didn't detract from the experience though because there was always something to see.  Unlike a lodge where you might get lucky and have some animals wander by and maybe stay a few, the animals here were always around.  Would you say most of the wildlife shots you posted were from the ZQ or the water safaris?

 

 

Zambezi Queen Room.jpg

Thanks!

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   2 hours ago,  Tulips said: 

@Atravelynn I'm probably an agent's worst nightmare  I just hope I am not YOUR worst nightmare--more questions below.  Not at all.  

 

because I do a lot of my own research. Just doin' research!  I had stayed at a lodge in South Africa and wanted something a little different.  The boat allowed me to visit both Namibia and Botswana and was the level of high end I was looking for for that particular trip.  My agent travelled on it after I did.  LOL!

Those are really great pictures in the room.  

  1 hour ago, Tulips said:

one can do a variety of activities:  water game drives, fishing, Fishing was optional, I hope   Yes, optional.

 

birding,  cultural visits etc. 

 

The first day, I did an afternoon water safari as I did not arrive in time for the morning one. If you did not arrive in time for the morning water safari, did you have to catch up with the ZQ by motor boat, or was it docked for the morning?  Do people come and go on the boat, shuttled in and out by a motor boat?  Or is it a set 3-day trip with a departure date and a return date (like most cruisesO? Dinner was a served meal with several choices.  I was picked up at the border by a tender boat and ferried to the main boat.  Others arrived at the same time.  They offer two or three night packages.  My boarding was for the late morning and this was fine with me.  I suspect they cluster people, although I didn't ask.  Everyone got off the boat at the same time.

 

The next days were morning and afternoon water safaris  Could everyone go on whatever water safaris they wanted or were you limited by the space in the smaller craft?

 

This was not a problem. It may be different if the boat has more people on it.  I had plenty of space on the tender and could move around freely as could everyone else.  

 

and I did a cultural visit to a village in Namibia which is supported by the Zambezi Queen.  A bit touristy, but you do get a real sense of how people live and get by and how difficult it must be.

 

Breakfasts and lunches were buffet with lots of choice.  

 

Drinks are included unless you want fancy schmancy.

 

The staff were so friendly and it was really interesting to hear their stories and learn a bit about them.  If you liked a particular dish, they were more than happy to give you the recipe.

 

There is no wifi and I didn't miss it as I was too busy to notice.

 

I was not bored at all.

 

The boat sails up and down the river, but does not travel the vast length of same.  That didn't detract from the experience though because there was always something to see.  Unlike a lodge where you might get lucky and have some animals wander by and maybe stay a few, the animals here were always around.  Would you say most of the wildlife shots you posted were from the ZQ or the water safaris?  

 

The photos are from the safaris.  I didn't take loads from the ZQ as I preferred to watch from there.  But there would be no issues taking phtotos from the ZQ.  The river is not that wide so,you are never far from the animals.

 

 

I can't figure out how to change the font colour on my tablet so I used italics.

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@tulips - Wow on the Skimmer ..... that's a good find!  I haven't seen one in many years.

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All your answers came through and made sense despite formatting issues.  Thanks!  Looks like a fab trip.

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The fish eagle with a background of eles has great composition!

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1 hour ago, Marks said:

The fish eagle with a background of eles has great composition!

 

 

Thanks @Marks!  It's one of my favourites!

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Some more photos.

 

The birds are an Egyptian Ibis, Spur Winged Goose, Water Thick Knee.

 

 

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Edited by Tulips
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What a great and different safari !!

 

@Tulips Do you have an image of the tender boat?

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@Geoff I don't.  It wasn't dissimilar to the boat in the photo below.  The roof was metal though and had a bench on top on our tender.

 

 

File 2017-07-26, 6 45 52 AM-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit.jpg

Edited by Tulips
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