Chobe Princesses: Information from the owner
All the information on this page is supplied to us directly from the lodge owner and reflects their view, not ours.
For Expert Africa's view, see our own report, which contains our own observations and views.
|No. of rooms||13|
Main description of Chobe Princesses
A RELAXED, INTIMATE RIVER SAFARI EXPERIENCE
With only a small number of guests per boat and no set itinerary or departure dates, staying in one of the three Chobe Princesses is like being on your very own luxury houseboat. The entire boat can also be booked exclusively, giving you your very own private villa on the water. As you drift down the Chobe River and spot incredible wildlife scenes, you'll be able to completely relax in an intimate river safari experience.
Each houseboat has a minimum of three smaller "tender" boats for use on daily excursions that take your fancy: mark off over 450 bird species found in this wetland paradise, try your hand at landing a tiger fish, or capture Africa's unique beauty on a photographic safari. Whatever you choose to do, your day trips will be personal and flexible because you’ll be sharing the tender boats with a small number of guests. Alternatively, simply laze on a deck chair with an ice-cold drink in hand as you soak up the tranquility that surrounds you.
Each cabin on board the Chobe Princesses is tastefully decorated in a contemporary style, and each has its own private view onto the ever-changing landscapes beyond. As you lie on your king-sized bed, spot an elephant grazing on the riverbank nearby, or see a fish eagle diving for its prey. On the upper entertainment deck, a spacious lounge and bar area encourages you to take time out while there’s also a plunge pool that's perfect for a refreshing dip. After a day spent doing as you please, fall asleep with the calls of hyena or even a lion drifting through the open doors of your cabin.
Chobe Princesses: Facilities
|Room facilities||Air Conditioning, En-Suite, Hair Dryer, Safe, Shower, Electrical Outlets, Fan, Lounge Area|
|Available services||Airport Shuttle (Complimentary)|
|Activities on site||(some activities may be seasonal) Bird Watching, Catch-and-release Fishing, Game Viewing, Safaris, Big 5, Fine Dining, Game Drives, Wildlife Tours, Boat Cruises, Cultural Tours, Fishing, Fly Fishing, Game Walks, River Cruises, Animal Encounters|
Room types at Chobe Princesses
As you lie in bed and drink in your striking surroundings, you’ll find it very hard to leave the comfort of your cabin on board one of our luxury Chobe Princess houseboats. Tasteful décor cleverly combines local flavour with contemporary design, and the overall focal point is the large sliding window that frames the changing African landscapes perfectly. Two of the 18-metre Chobe Princesses contain four cabin suites, while the third is slightly larger with five suites. Each cabin sleeps two people - either in a king-sized bed, or in two single beds if you prefer. Along with air-conditioning, cabins are fitted with mosquito-proofed windows and en-suite bathrooms with a shower, toilet and basin. Luxurious toiletries are provided for your comfort, as well as insect repellant for a peaceful night’s sleep. Hairdryers are available on request.
Activities at Chobe Princesses
With over 450 species, a mix of terrains and a dramatic African backdrop, the Chobe River is the perfect setting for a highly rewarding birdwatching safari. Birding season starts in September, when the first migrants arrive, boosting the bird population sometimes by 20% compared to the winter months. From December through to March birdlife on the Chobe is extremely busy and the colourful breeding plumage on display is an extraordinary sight.
Experienced birders and even eager amateurs will delight in spotting distinct birds such as African skimmers, rock pratincoles and the African finfoot, either through their binoculars or with the naked eye. Having access to your own knowledgeable guide and tender boat lets you spend many hours on your birding safari also viewing cattle egrets, fish eagles, open-billed storks, lesser-striped swallows, pied kingfishers and the striking carmine bee-eater. The slow drift of the tender boat means that you won’t disturb the peaceful silence and can also get up close to the birds and observe their fascinating behaviour.
Sit patiently and absorb the beauty around you and soon you’ll be rewarded with a unique sighting that you’ll want to photograph. Because you’ll have access to the Chobe National Park and the Caprivi wetlands, you’ll get exposure to a wide variety of species you may have never seen before. The distinct sounds of the call of an African fish eagle mingling with the grunt of hippos will stay with you long after your Chobe River birdwatching safari is over.
One of the best ways to learn more about a country is to experience its culture. A village tour while on board the Zambezi Queen will take you by tender boat to a local Namibian village called Ijambwe, situated on the floodplains of the East Caprivi. Meet village elders and locals and gain a greater understanding of how the inhabitants of this 100-year old village live, including their daily challenges and traditions.
Wear a large sun hat and apply sun lotion, bring a bottle of water with you and wear comfortable shoes. You’ll start by taking a slow, non-strenuous but sandy stroll through the village as you snap a few photographs and meet the Headman of the village as well as his children. The men of the village either fish to provide meals for their families, while the women and younger children perform the chores and produce handmade crafts. Pick up a woven basket, beaded jewellery or a carved wooden animal as a memento from your trip – sales of these crafts empower village inhabitants by helping them earn a living. If you want to give the children of the village gifts, bring along school stationery, books or clothing – all will be highly appreciated. Finally, enjoy a display of traditional dancing and singing at the end and join in the fun!
Guests can also go on a walking tour to a 2000-year-old baobab tree where you'll learn more about the medicinal and spiritual value of Impalila Island’s flora. For our more adventurous guests, if you have the inclination to climb the tree, you’ll be rewarded with a bird’s-eye view of the meeting place of two rivers and four countries.
No trip to the Chobe is complete without trying your hand at a fishing safari where if you’re lucky, you may even catch a tiger fish. One of the greatest fighting fish in the world, the tiger fish is the most sought after prize of these waters and is known for its ferocious spirit. It's not all about tiger fish though. You may also hook one of the many bream species, African pike, tilapia, catfish or upper Zambezi yellowfish as you explore over 100 kms of the Chobe and Zambezi rivers, as well as the winding Kasai Channel and thrilling Chobe and Mambova rapids.
We offer both conventional equipment as well as flyfishing equipment for our fishing safaris, because we know that the area is renowned worldwide for its flyfishing. We supply rods, flies, lures, lines, leaders and reels and all equipment is included in our rate.
Because of our unique location, we offer excellent fishing safaris all year round – from the annual floods starting in March to the feeding frenzies in the winter months. Our highly knowledgeable guides, the tackle and bait we supply as well as well stocked cooler boxes make fishing in Africa an experience to remember. Land an eight pounder or more and earn bragging rights for years to come, as you enjoy a fishing trip that's second to none.
Uninterrupted access to wild animals. Absolute silence. Golden light. The Chobe River is an unforgettable photographic safari destination, and one of the wildlife photographers’ hotspots in Africa. To help you capture that perfect moment, our custom-designed photographic safari boats are available on request and cater for 6 clients in individual photographic seats. The boat contains custom-designed swivel chairs that give you greater stability and 360-degree views for a wider range of subject matter. Every seat is equipped with a mounting for resting SLR cameras of all types and you’ll get your own experienced safari guide who’ll help you find that perfect shot.
Bring your own photographic equipment as we don’t supply this - the optimal lens to bring is an 80 - 400mm zoom. Because this is a water-based safari, you'll be able to take unique shots in a safe environment, being able to view the animals in the Chobe National Park surrounded by that magical golden light Africa is renowned for. Tea and coffee will be offered in the morning during the winter months and soft drinks, local beers and wines will be served in the afternoon. Light snacks are also served during your excursion, providing you with a photographic experience that's also about pure comfort.
Departure times are early morning and late afternoon and the safari takes three hours. Please let us know at the time of booking your holiday if you’d like to use our customised photographic safari boat. Capture your stay with breathtaking photos of the unique African landscape and the wild animals that surround you.
Water-based game viewing
Staying on board one of the Chobe Princesses is like being on a permanent game viewing vehicle, but with a much higher comfort factor. Situated in the heart of the Chobe region with access to river frontage of the Chobe National Park, we also offer water-based game drives by tender boat, allowing you to experience the enormous diversity and concentration of wildlife up even closer.
Game viewing on the Chobe River is at its most exceptional from March to November when the weather is drier and the animals are more mobile as they search for food and water. Summer and spring also offer unique opportunities though, as you watch the landscape burst into life after the first rains of the season. Catch sight of huge herds of elephant as they swim across the water, as well as buffalo, lion, crocodile, lechwe, puku, giraffe, zebra, sable, kudu and the occasional leopard as they gather to quench their thirst at watering holes. Besides animal life, you’ll also see a huge variety of birdlife and plant life as you listen to the sounds of a hippo grunting and breathe in the sweet smell of African grass.
The Chobe is known as a photographer's paradise and for good reason. The soft early morning light and the sunsets at dusk, combined with striking animal behaviour, make for dramatic and unusual photo opportunities. Before your game viewing excursion, remember to apply sunscreen and wear a hat, as temperatures can reach over 40 degrees centigrade. You should also bring along a jacket for the chillier temperatures in the early mornings and evenings.
Enjoy the ultimate in game viewing safari decadence as you sip on a drink and cruise along the river in one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet.
Restaurants at Chobe Princesses
When you're on holiday, the food you eat and the meals you enjoy become part of your memories. That's why as a guest on one of our Chobe Princesses, we make sure that every one of the three hearty meals we serve per day are unforgettably delicious - along with the drinks and snacks we provide in between. At sunrise, enjoy a warming cup of tea or coffee with wholesome rusks and biscuits before departing by tender boat for game viewing and other excursions. After an exciting morning – or even if you've chosen to stay on board and lie in – settle in on the deck for a fresh continental buffet or a hot English breakfast if you prefer. Lunch and dinner are set menus with a single option, so please do let us know any dietary requirements before you arrive. Unfortunately, due to our remote location, we’re not able to cater for Kosher and Halaal meals. In keeping with the relaxed atmosphere of the Chobe Princesses, we don’t serve high tea at a set time. Instead, we have tea, coffee and home-baked goodies readily available at the bar area of the entertainment deck for you to enjoy at any time of day. After sipping on a traditional African safari sundowner, sit down to a three-course evening meal as you’re serenaded to the sounds of hyenas, elephant and perhaps even lion nearby. After dinner, enjoy a coffee and a nightcap before heading to your cabin to round off the perfect day.