Kelsy Chauvin is a writer and photographer based in Brooklyn, New York.
In 2017, CroisiEurope Cruises introduced the African Dream to cruise the waters of Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe. The 110-foot-long luxury vessel features eight well-appointed cabins; a bar/lounge; restaurant; small pool on the bow; and outdoor lounges on the stern and upper sun deck. With a friendly crew and a manageable number of daily excursions, guests can enjoy wildlife spotting along the lake shores and on a land safari in Matusadona National Park.
This Southern Africa cruise spans three nights in Zimbabwe. The weeklong itinerary also includes three nights at Croisi’s private Cascades Lodge, located on Impalila Island in Namibia (with flights to and from Kasane, Botswana). There, more safari excursions continue along the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers, as well as in Chobe National Park, which is home to lions, elephants, hippos, crocodiles, water buffalo, giraffes, antelope, and many more animals and colorful birds.
Passengers will also spend one night in Johannesburg, from which the trip begins with a city tour. Cruisers will also visit the town of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, where they can join a scenic walk and take in sweeping views of the world’s widest waterfall.
What We Love
Smart Layouts: All eight cabins are similar in size (two with outdoor decks on the lower bow). Each have decent storage space and incredibly comfy beds. Notably, the cabins have fairly large bathrooms (complete with a full-size standing shower) for a compact ship — you can even shampoo without your elbows crashing into the walls. At Cascades Lodge, bungalows are well situated with plenty of room in the main space, bathroom, and private outdoor terrace with plunge pool.
African-Inspired Modern Decor: The African Dream’s cabins and common areas are outfitted with natural wood grains and other natural building materials. Native potted plants, art, and maps draw in the local scenery, along with polished horns and artistic versions of African fauna. At Cascades Lodge, the luxury accommodations are decorated with natural materials and local artworks.
Best Known For
Contemporary French style: Though you’re in Africa, the famous French refinement of CroisiEurope is infused into every experience (including the company of your fellow passengers). The crew speaks French as well as English, the wine is almost exclusively French, and the food is derived from classic French gastronomy.
Impeccable packaged adventures: For one price, Croisi guests can experience a full array of African safari adventures. Both the river cruise and the land lodge portions of the journey lend to the authenticity of an African escape, with daily game drives via sightseeing boats and safari jeeps. On this trip, almost all excursions come with the package, except for the Victoria Falls helicopter ride (prices vary, but generally cost about $300 USD).
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Who It's Best For
Adventurers Who Love Convenience: This is an ideal African safari cruise for travelers who appreciate luxury, and know the value of leaving the itinerary and logistics to the experts.
Luxury-Minded Economy Travelers: Service across each experience and accommodation is polished, yet pleasantly down-to-earth. Plus, with features like gourmet three-course meals, alcohol, and mid-trip transfers and lodging included, it’s a great value.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Learn to Love Your Shipmates: With capacity for just 16 passengers, this safari cruise is intimate. Guests may speak little English (tending instead toward French or German), so it’s wise to plan this journey with your own mate — or even a small group, to ensure you’ll have a companion to personally share all of its wonderful experiences.
It’s Not Accessible: As a smaller vessel, African Dream has no elevator to access its cabin deck, lounge and dining deck, and outdoor sun deck. Additionally, The Cascades Lodge is not wheelchair accessible due to boat transfers and long wooden walkways connecting its dock, main house, and bungalows.
by: Kelsy Chauvin