Reviews of Chobe Princesses
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Relaxing finale to exhausting safari holiday!
We were extremely fortunate to be a party of seven - grandparents, parents and three boys (16, 12, & 7) - so we were able to have the entire houseboat to ourselves which made the whole experience wonderful. After an exhausting twelve days on safari followed by the chaos of typical African Passport Control and Immigration in Botswana and Namibia, it was magical to have the peace of the Chobe river and, of course, the gentle giants.
On our arrival on the boat we were welcomed quietly but enthusiastically and introduced to the mainstays of our three day visit - Vincent, Patrick and David. Vincent was the boat manager and was very efficient. Patrick lovingly took care of the three boys and their father when they went fishing on the three evenings. David looked after my husband, my daughter and myself on the six game trips and was very knowledgeable with a great sense of humour.
We saw a tremendous variety of game and birds on the banks of the river - lion, hippos, impala, kudu, buffalo, crocodiles, giraffe, vultures, storks, fish eagles, etc. - but for the three of us it was the antics of the elephants that was so enthralling. We were amazed at how the herds crossed from one side of the river to the other, not a passport in sight, with the matriarch guiding the herd across. On a couple of occasions we watched the tiniest of elephants (only days old according to David) swimming alongside their mothers and then being helped up the bank the other side, when we all breathed a sigh of relief.
However, apart from all the wildlife, we thoroughly enjoyed our accommodation and had no complaints whatsoever. All in all, a great way to chill on our last few days before the long twenty four hour trek home to the U.K.
Good, but not great
We thought our stay on the Chobe Princess would be the highlight of our trip. Somehow it wasn't quite that. Our room was lovely though the aircon controller holder was falling off the wall, and the toilet seat was wobbly, even after trying to adjust it myself. We had a deck all to ourselves and that was brilliant.
The activities consisted of the same thing - trips in the tender boat up and down the river. We saw lots of elephants and hippo, water monitors and birds, though we felt it was all a bit of the same each time, and we seemed to spend ages just going slowly next to reeds. Most of the water activity involved the tender boats whereas we had thought we'd be cruising up and down on the main boat.
The plunge pool seemed to be filled with brown river water rather than clear water and as a result nobody got in despite the heat, which was a pity and didn't match up to the images of clean clear water on their website.
Food was OK but had the feel of microwaved pub food you get in the UK. The staff were perfectly nice and friendly though we felt they didn't go out of their way to make sure we had a good time as much as other lodges. It was still a good experience but in our opinion we would only do this once.
Fantastic river safari experience
I was unsure what to expect as this was a recommendation by Expert Africa. Since our family had already done a land safari, on a previous trip, and we knew we would be doing them at sites after Chobe, this river safari was really special. It gave us an experience and a view of the animals that is almost impossible to get from land. Also, we've been on river boats before.
I really liked that our cabin was above water rather than below. We got as close as humanly possible to elephants and crocodiles. All the activities on the smaller boats were great as well. We took advantage of fishing one morning as well as seeing the animals much more closely. Our main guide's talks about the animals and the village on the river were very informative.
The only thing that could have worked out better was if John was more helpful in confirming our next day's flight from Zimbabwe airport back to Namibia. In the morning of our last day, I asked John to check with the local tour company that was going to pick us up to check on our flights. He said he would see what he could do. He never got back to me and I failed to follow up. The next day, after we got through immigration and passport checks to get to Zimbabwe airport, we found out that our flight was delayed by 8 hours! Later, we learned that all other travelers were notified by their travel agencies about the delay and the travel agency had found accommodations/activities for them to do during their delay. That was not the case for us and one other couple from Spain. We ended up staying at the airport for 8 hours. Even the other couple's travel agency came and picked them up and took them back to their hotel for most of that delayed time. I think both John at Chobe Princess and Expert Africa could have alerted us to this situation as other travel agencies seemed to have been able to do so.
I will say that on the boat we did receive our luggage. It finally caught up to us and I believe this was due to the efforts of Wild Horizons/Africa Sport & Leisure, as well as Expert Africa, Avani and the Peech hotel, as well as South African Airways. We thank all of you for the herculan efforts to get our luggage to us 6 days after the start of our trip.
Chobe Princesses review
really enjoyed our stay. a totally different experience and relaxing. saw lots of elephants and a great variety of birds. food was excellent, staff very helpful.
our room was good but could probably do with a little updating, but ok considering recent change of ownership.
as at little kwara our last night we had no water of any sort in all the rooms. full marks to the staff in getting it running again by the morning.
Chobe Princess - An enjoyable experience
Our two night stay on the Chobe Princess was an enjoyable experience giving us a different perspective to viewing wildlife.
Getting to the boat from Kasane involved exiting Botswana and entering Namibia through immigration on Impalila Island. This was an adventure in itself and added to the sense of 'doing something different'. All arrangements went like clockwork and we were warmly greeted by Robert on arrival at the boat. Our cabin, one of five on this particular boat , was nicely decorated, well appointed and comfortable. The focal point was the large windows which allowed us to watch passing scenery and wildlife from the bed. The bathroom had a good shower though the availability of hot water was a bit variable. One cabin had its own private balcony and another was on the top deck with full length sliding glass doors these might be worth requesting.
The communal dining and seating area was well furnished, bright and a pleasant area to be in. On deck was a hot tub, though no one used it on our stay. The upper deck had a four chairs , a table and one lounger, a few more of these would have been nice. Mealtimes were communal and it was interesting to chat with fellow guests. The food was delicious and plentiful. All staff were friendly and helpful. Robert, the captain, managed staff, guests and arrangements particularly well.
During our stay there were 11 guests so a 'full ship'. This was good socially but could have been a bit tricky if different parties had wished different activities as there simply weren't enough small boats for this. We asked Robert if we could have a birding river drive and he took us out himself for a morning. It turned out to be one of the highlights of our whole trip. He was very knowledgeable, a great spotter and great company. We saw many birds at very close hand, various animals and even two lions about to mate. Our other excursions were also very enjoyable.
We would have no hesitation in recommending a stay on a Chobe Princess.
A novel African experience not to be missed
Spending 2 days on an African cruise is a great way to see the birds and game that abound on the Chobe River.
The boat was very comfortable and the crew always attentive and the guide we had knew his river well. We even managed to see and photograph a group of three lions one evening.........from a boat!
To drink with elephants was a new experience though I expect the elephants were well used to tourists in boats and were happy to have us quite so close.
perfect start to holiday. Relaxing
three nights was ideal. relaxing way to start holiday. good game from the outboards. good food.
only disappointment was inability to travel further due to water levels therefore had to moor in same spot each evening
Not for us
We were collected by small boat and arrived in time for a late lunch. The boat was nicely furnished and our room comfortable.
A small, very efficient staff team do everything, from guiding to housekeeping. Food was very good and you could help yourself to drinks and snacks.
There were 6 guests on board and the 3 couples were taken out separately in the late afternoon in small boats. This was a plus, as there is not much privacy on board, where we were sharing a small space with strangers. For a family or group of friends holidaying together, it could be a lot of fun, but 1 night was long enough for us.
We were surprised to be told at dinner that there would be no morning activity, as the boat had to be moved so that we could all get off at 9.30am!
Great water based game/bird viewing
Excellent houseboat accommodation with very good meals. This was a return trip and the bird and game viewing exceeded our 2013 trip - including three separate lion viewings with one pride feasting on a buffalo kill.
Multiple tender boats allowed the group to undertake different activities at the same time, although the fishing trips provided better bird viewing results than tiger fish!
A wonderful way to view the Chobe Park
We were delighted to find how relaxing it was to cruise gently along the river able to view the game and birds from anything from river level veranda to upper deck level where we could see over the river bank. The staff were friendly helpful and attentive and our guide was available take us on a game boat drive whenever we wanted.
We were lucky to see from our speed boat a pride of 10 lions (including a big black maned male) feeding on a buffalo kill and a leopard wandering the river bank until she was chased away by a big baboon. We also saw the elephants crossing the Chobe River.
Altogether a very enjoyable experience!