Reviews of Chobe Princesses
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Ichobezi Houseboats review
Our transfer from Nkasa Lupala was efficiently carried out by Nicholas from Tutwa. He was ready at Singwali when our 4WD dropped us off and willingly complied with our request to stop at a supermarket in Katima to but some rooibos tea – the stuff you get in UK just doesn’t taste as good. While he filled up the car we had time for a coffee at the Tutwa office coffee shop – well worth a stop if driving through Katima – good value drinks and food, clean loos, a book exchange and very good Wifi.
After negotiating 4 border crossings and adding to the collection of stamps in our passports we arrived at the boat in time for lunch. It swiftly became apparent that information regarding Jane’s allergy to cheese had not been passed on as the chef had to quickly rustle up an alternative to the prepared meal – this turned out to be delicious!
Our cabin was comfortable although a bit cramped but then we didn’t spend much time in it other than for sleeping! Communal areas were comfortable and we had plenty of space even when all cabins were occupied. I even tried out the plunge pool which was bliss on my tired, dusty feet!
The atmosphere is very much that of a floating house party with communal lounging and eating so it was fortunate that we hit it off virtually immediately with our travelling companions, a group of wonderful Australian ladies. So much so that individual tender boats were abandoned and the groups joined up.
We noticed that there were quite a few houseboats on the river, in contrast to our previous trip, when only those from Ichobezi were seen. However, this is still a wonderfully relaxing way to see the animals and birds around the river – where else could we hope to watch a water monitor devouring lilac-breasted roller eggs from the nest while being dive-bombed by the parents and a passing kingfisher? The monitor, that is, not us!
We also glimpsed a leopard that morning who was still hiding in his bush when we moored up directly opposite him in the afternoon; perfect positioning! Ben, Patrick and the team took excellent care of us and the food the chef produced from his tiny kitchen was excellent.
A point to note is that any laundry has to be sent to Ichingo for washing so it is not practicable to get laundry done unless you are able to pick it up from the lodge or possibly staying on the boat for three or more nights.
Great start to our trip
We couldn't have had a more relaxing or interesting start to our trip. After a long journey it was wonderful to be picked up at the delightful little airport in Kasane and be taken by van and boat through various immigration posts (hint - if you need reading glasses take them with you to the Namibia office. The form you have to complete is in very small print!) and chase after the moving houseboat to finally get on board. All very seamless and good fun.
The boat is lovely - spacious, beautifully decorated, with lots of different places to relax and admire the ever changing views. The rooms are smallish but very comfortable and well equipped and it was lovely to lie in bed and watch river life through the full length windows. The staff of five were great - attentive without being 'ever- present' and very knowledgeable about the area and wildlife. Food, cooked and presented by chef Vincent was excellent and beautifully presented. We were lucky to be one of only two couples on board and even more lucky to have a very pleasant young South African couple as our companions.
We'd chosen to start our journey on the houseboats to have a relaxing start and the 8am morning call was great after an overnight flight the night before. The staff were very happy to let us choose what we wanted to do and when, and we had a couple of very good boat trips which were a perfect way to get up close to the wildlife and see the animals and birds from a different perspective. We saw a python sunning itself along the bank, lots of malachite kingfishers and big herds of elephant coming to the river to drink. The sundowner with elephants silhouetted against the sun was very special. We also had a trip to Vincent, the chef's, village with his brother as our guide, which was interesting and good fun, although there was singing and dancing, didn't feel at all like a show for the tourists.
We had two nights on the boat which was just enough, though a third wouldn't have been a hardship! Highly recommended as a good way to start of end a safari.
Pride of the Zambezi
A wonderful 2 night cruise. So relaxing. Superbly equipped and fitted out.
Maritsa and Norman looked after us and did a superlative job, as well as the other staff, especially Robert the guide, who must be the best guide ever.
Saw lots of wildlife and birds and Robert gave us so much info. He managed to get the tender boat very near to many.
Opportunity to visit a traditional village. Very interesting and worthwhile. I was concerned we would be seen as "gawpers" but that wasn't the case.
I can really recommend this houseboat.
Ichobezi Houseboats review
A superb 3 days on the Ichobezi safariboat and a very relaxing way to view the game without the safari vans with the added bonus of the wonderful bird life on the river. As the boat moved along the Chobe river we were treated to large herds of elephant & buffalo, giraffe, lechwe, kudu, hippo...then you go out in your own boat (one per cabin) with your very knowledgeable guide complete with your drinks of choice, until sunset. Watching elephants & their babies munching their supper at the water's edge as the sun went down was an experience we shall never forget & provided some great photos.
More game viewing the next morning provided close up encounters with large crocs, several species of antelope, some incredibly beautiful birds - kingfishers, fish eagles, rollers, bee-eaters...& a walk on the Caprivi floodplains before heading back for lunch with our fellow guests, then the boat moves off again towards Serondella. As there are only 4 cabins it never feels crowded & has a comfortable lounge area & sun beds on deck. Our cabin was more spacious than expected, had a very comfortable bed, good shower & a balcony.
The food was consistently great thanks to Eustace the chef who always came into the dining room before dinner and "announced" the menu which was a nice touch, and any likes or dislikes were always adhered to. We thoroughly enjoyed our 3 days on this well-run boat with superb game-viewing. Thank you to Raymond for a wonderful experience.
Peaceful cruising on the Chobe River
The houseboats offer a really good way to experience the river scenery and view the wildlife, especially at sunrise and sunset.
The trips on the small tender boats were good, but watching the world go by from the viewing deck of the houseboat was even better.
This is a very relaxing way to spend a few days on the river. If we had not had 3 nights just before at Muchenje I suspect we would have enjoyed the experience even more than we did, but the wildlife experience was very similar to that at Muchenje on the river trip.
The staff (all male) are very friendly and helpful, and the chef was great, trying out interesting recipes and doing a very good job. The rooms are comfortable and shower etc works well. Plenty of opportunity to go out on the small boats, but after the first day we found it more relaxing to animal and bird watch from the comfort of the boat. Lovely to watch sunrise and sunset.
great location, good boat
comfortable, well resourced boat, excellent food.
Room's toilet cystern took 2 hours to fill and mosquito doors had half inch gap that we had to sellotape up.
To look out of your bedroom and see swimming elephants and a resident hippo! Very relaxing on the boat. The houseboat moves maybe daily; the tours are all on smaller power boats. And you get a totally different outlook than you do from a land rover.
This was the only place we met bugs - non-biting (probably flying termites), and swarming around the lights in the evening, but still annoying.
Crew was great.
We went in Nov; it was quite hot outside, and *very* hot in the bedroom (there is a fan, which accomplishes little). There is no A/C! I'd be concerned about doing this in the heat of the summer, but in the cool, it is wonderful.
A must for any visitor to Namibia
Another repeat for us. 2 years ago we had 2 nights, this time 3, neither were long enough!
We were lucky to have 2 of the crew members from our previous visit, Martin, the guide, whose knowledge of wildlife is second to none, and Eustace, the chef, whose skills leave us speechless. Larry, our skipper from 2 years ago, came to the boat to greet us.
Our skipper this time, Ben, was charming. he and his crew made our stay very memorable.
We were very lucky to see Leopards, male, female & a very young juvenile. (hours of patience and good quick eyesight are needed, for the guides & the guests). This family of 'cats' really performed for us.
We spent 2 hours at Inchingo Chobe River Loge, while waiting to go the airport, where the owner, Ralph & his staff looked after us superbly
Different way to see the Chobe
Very different experience with a look at local fishermen at work without feeling intrusive.
Liked having own dedicated boat and guide for transfers and excursions.
Service on the houseboat was excellent. How did they share out all the work? Cabin small but spotless, if a bit hot, and bed very comfortable.