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Zambezi Explorer River Cruise

Zambezi Explorer River Cruise

Overview: Zambezi Explorer River Cruise

The Zambezi Explorer is one of the most luxurious boats on the Zambezi River, and with three decks it’s also one of the larger vessels. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and sunset cruises are on offer, although no matter the time of day you can expect an opulent experience with impeccable service, excellent food, and a good range of imported wines and cocktails served throughout your cruise.

Typically lasting around two hours, a cruise on the Zambezi Explorer takes in sections of the upper Zambezi close to the falls, and also further upstream where the Zambezi and Mosi-Oa-Tunya national parks flank the river. The Zambezi Explorer has to stick to the deeper channels in the middle of the river, so you shouldn’t think of this as a wildlife viewing cruise where you can get close up sightings of large wildlife, although elephants, crocodiles, hippo and giraffe may make a pleasant backdrop to your cruise.

The two lower decks on the Zambezi Explorer offer a luxurious setting for your cruise, but the more expensive upper deck ratchets up the levels of luxury with a signature lounge offering incredible style and comfort and unbeatable views over the river.

There are four different cruises offered:

Breakfast Cruise

Pick up time: around 06:00

Setting off at dawn this cruise offers views of the sun rising over the Zambezi River at the vest time of day for bird watching, accompanied by a breakfast of pastries, cereals, fresh fruit, tea and coffee.

Lunch Cruise

Pick up time: around 12:00

A more scenic alternative to many of the restaurants in town, this cruise explores the islands of the upper Zambezi with drinks and a gourmet lunch prepared on board.

Sunset Cruise

Pick up time: Summer (August to April) around 16:30; Winter (May to August) around 16:00

The most popular option, the sunset cruise offers the best chance of seeing large wildlife as it comes down to the riverbank to drink, as well as stunning views of the sun setting over the Zambezi. Cocktails and canapés are served throughout the cruise.

Dinner Cruise

Pick up time: Summer (August to April) around 16:30; Winter (May to August) around 16:00

Available only on the upper deck of the Zambezi Explorer, this cruise combines a three-course dinner and drinks with a sunset cruise along the river.

<Please note: Expert Africa can only arrange a choice of four splendid boat cruises along the Zambezi as part of a full, Expert Africa itinerary which includes a stop in Victoria Falls. See the Holiday ideas, below, for examples of such itineraries.
Start location
Any of Expert Africa's hotels or lodges in the vicinity of Victoria Falls
End location
Back at your hotel
Meals included
Drinks and meals depend on cruise booked
Two hours

Photo gallery

What to look forward to.

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The Zambezi Explorer is one of the most luxurious river cruises on offer in the Victoria Falls area.
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The Zambezi Explorer is one of the most luxurious river cruises on offer in the Victoria Falls area.

Zambezi Explorer River Cruise reviews

52 independent first-hand comments from our travellers.

4 reviews since August 2007
Ms AWfromSW London

3 Sep 2023

"Zambezi Explorer River Cruise review"

"absolutely fabulous …" Read Ms AW’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

A, D, & MfromBoston, USA

18 Aug 2022

"Zambezi Explorer River Cruise review"

"Great service, delicious appetizers and drinks. …" Read A, D, & M’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr & Mrs RfromNorthum

16 Oct 2018

"Very Comfortable enjoyable cruise"

"We really enjoyed the cruise and found the staff very friendly and helpful. …" Read Mr & Mrs R’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mrs K.fromDakabin

18 Nov 2018

"Zambezi Explorer River Cruizabse review"

"Terrific...a great evening …" Read Mrs K.’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

See all Zambezi Explorer River Cruise reviews

Ideas for holidays which can include Zambezi Explorer River Cruise

Add this experience to these trip ideas or contact us to start planning your own tailor-made safari to Zimbabwe.

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Sable Self-drive Safari

12 days • 7 locations

A great-value southern African self-drive adventure from Namibia along the Caprivi Strip to Botswana and Zimbabwe, combining other-worldly landscapes, unforgettable wildlife spectacles and rarely visited places, and ending at Victoria Falls.

US$6,200 - US$8,360 per person

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Klipspringer Safari

8 days • 3 locations

An outstanding-value Zimbabwe safari exploring Victoria Falls and two contrasting locations in western Zimbabwe – Hwange and the Matobo Hills – giving you a real feel for Zimbabwe, its people and wildlife.

US$2,890 - US$3,570 per person

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Nyala Safari

10 days • 3 locations

A superb luxury safari in iconic Hwange and Mana Pools national parks, staying in a pair of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe, with a grand finale at Victoria Falls

US$10,150 - US$15,050 per person

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Great Egret Safari

12 days • 4 locations

This wonderfully varied adventure combines Botswana's Okavango Delta and a live-aboard houseboat safari on the Chobe River, with big game in Zimbabwe's dry Hwange National Park and the stupendous Victoria Falls.

US$9,270 - US$17,180 per person

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Rock Hare Self-drive Safari

20 days • 12 locations

An in-depth look at Namibia from the Namib Desert to the Caprivi, with additional stops in Botswana and Victoria Falls. This three-week adventure includes an unrivalled mix of environments and is great value.

US$5,300 - US$7,530 per person

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Pygmy Mouse Self-drive Safari

18 days • 10 locations

A truly epic southern African self-drive safari adventure from Namibia’s mountains and deserts, along the lush Caprivi Strip to Botswana and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, staying at luxury lodges throughout.

US$6,250 - US$10,500 per person

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Leopard Safari

13 days • 4 locations

Victoria Falls, Botswana and Cape Town – a classic southern African itinerary combining luxury, wilderness, safari and culture. We can't think of a better way to spend two weeks.

US$12,280 - US$18,060 per person

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Pied Kingfisher Safari

9 days • 3 locations

A luxury safari combining three of Zimbabwe's top highlights. The trip uses some of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe and is perfect for a family or small group.

US$7,000 - US$10,780 per person

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The Highlights of Africa

17 days • 7 locations

An epic adventure taking in some of Africa’s most incredible sights and wildlife experiences, from Cape Town to the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, the Maasai Mara and an encounter with mountain gorillas.

US$14,370 - US$18,240 per person

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Other excursions in Zimbabwe

Inspiration and great ideas for other experiences in Zimbabwe to include in your safari.

Ra-Ikane River Cruise

Ra-Ikane River Cruise

Two hours minimum

Cruising the upper sections of the Zambezi reveals another dimension to the river's beauty, adding a sense of serenity to the thrill of watching it cascade over the Victoria Falls. On a Ra-Ikane river cruise, experience the river’s islands and channels, keeping an eye out for wildlife, and the spray from the Falls.

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Helicopter Flight - Zimbabwe

Helicopter Flight - Zimbabwe

Shortest flight is 12-25 minutes

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Guided tour of Victoria Falls

Guided tour of Victoria Falls

Two hours - AM & PM departures

One of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, the mighty Victoria Falls has to be seen to be believed. Why not take an expertly guided trip to learn about the history, geology, flora and fauna of one of Africa's most spectacular sites?

More about Tour of the Falls
100% (4 reviews)
Elephant Encounter

Elephant Encounter

Three hours

For a very personal encounter with elephants, head to The Elephant Camp near Victoria Falls. From its sanctuary for orphaned elephants, it offers close interaction with one of Africa's most iconic species, including the chance to feed the elephants by hand, and talk to the guides who have raised and trained them.

More about Elephant Encounter
92% (5 reviews)
Historical Bridge Tour

Historical Bridge Tour

Two hours - AM & PM departures

A feat of engineering the Victoria Falls Bridge was built in 1905 as part of Cecil Rhodes' vision to link the Cape to Cairo. With an expert guide and the appropriate safety equipment you'll not only discover the wonders of this Victorian marvel but also gain a unique perspective of the Victoria Falls themselves.

More about Bridge Tour
Bushtracks Express

Bushtracks Express

Generally four and a half hours

The Bushtracks Express Train starts its journey at Zimbabwe’s iconic Victoria Falls Station before departing on its route through Victoria Falls National Park the Victoria Falls Bridge, where guests enjoy the stunning view of the Falls. Afterwards, the train will depart for a siding out of town, for dinner.

More about Bushtracks Express
Cookery Course & Activity

Cookery Course & Activity

Six hours - afternoon activity

Make a traditional Southern African ‘potjie dinner’ on the banks of the Zambezi River. You’ll be guided through the preparation process by professional chefs before embarking on an afternoon activity while your dinner cooks. The activity is followed by a 3-course meal, including your self-made Pot as the main course.

More about Cookery Course
Elephant Art Experience

Elephant Art Experience

Three hours

The Wild Horizons Elephant Sanctuary and Art of Africa have teamed up to create a unique experience in the bush, with private tutors running painting workshops and habituated elephants provision impressive models, standing just metres away from your easel.

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Zimbabwe fact file

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