For wildlife lovers the draw of this ship is simple: The 28-passenger Zambezi Queen is a safari lodge that sails on the waters of Botswana, with daily excursions along the Chobe River for wildlife viewing. The three-deck ship has 14 staterooms (measuring from 215 to 300 square feet), while the top deck has a small tub-like pool at the bow plus outdoor decks at the bow and stern. AmaWaterways books four-night cruises on Zambezi Queen as part of longer itineraries that include time in Cape Town and at Victoria Falls.
What We Love
Safari by River: Zambezi Queen doesn’t move much on the Chobe River (it only anchors in two spots about 16 miles apart). Instead, you will take excursions by tender on the river to see wildlife and enjoy the views and the great breeze.
Animals Close-Up: Botswana's Chobe National Park has the largest population of elephants in Africa. Giraffes, hippos, water buffalos, impalas, baboons, and other species are plentiful as well. In addition to river excursions, the itineraries include a one-day land safari in the park, and AmaWaterways offers safari extensions to South Africa and Tanzania.
Best Known For
All-Inclusive Pricing: AmaWaterways is an almost entirely all-inclusive product, so you'll never need to open your wallet. Tips are much appreciated by the crew, but not necessary.
Local Crew: Most of the staff are from the area, and bring a local perspective to the cruise. That connection extends to the cuisine, and you'll find local dishes in the dining room with a special dinner served on the last night of the sailing.
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Who It's Best For
Well-Traveled Couples: This is a cruise for well-traveled couples or singles with a sense of adventure and discovery. These guests may have already experienced more traditional river cruises, but want the same great AmaWaterways service on a safari experience.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Bring Binoculars: This is a safari cruise after all, so bring a good pair of binoculars for those hard-to-find lions and leopards, as well as plenty of sunscreen, bug spray, and a hat.
For Active Guests Only: There’s a lot of getting in and getting out of the high-speed tenders. So if you’re not able to do that, you might want to reconsider this cruise.