Recommendations for Houseboat in Chobe

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Mar 26th, 2017, 08:42 PM
  #1
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Recommendations for Houseboat in Chobe

I'll be volunteering with my 23 year old son for 2 weeks in Zimbabwe; Hwange and Zambezi National Park, June 29-August 12 2017. We'll be living pretty rustically camping out and living in field stations throughout the parks. We will be pretty close to wild life as the project works very closely with the park rangers and anti poaching units of both parks. The organization we'll be working with is Bhejane Trust and is based in Victoria Falls. We'll have a day before and probably a day or 2 after at the Falls. But since we're so close to Botswana, we'd love to go to Chobe and just relax. Specifically, I was looking at the houseboats. I've come across 3 different boats; Ichobezi Safari boat, Pangolin Voyager and the Chobe Princess. I'm hoping someone can provide me with recommendations and details of activities to help me make a decision on which one to go with. Also, I'm on the fence if it should be for 2 nights or 3 nights. Of course, cost is a factor, but I'd hate to feel short changed. I appreciate any input!
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Mar 27th, 2017, 01:06 PM
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Hi Debnyc!

I would recommend the Zambezi Voyager or the Chobe Princess Safari Boat. Both are “houseboats” that cruise the Zambezi, offering water game viewing. Some land-based game viewing by foot may be possible. These are small intimate multi-level boats that meander the river providing up close animal sightings. Clients have enjoyed this as an extension to their safari itinerary that is predominantly land-based game viewing. I would recommend 3 nights over 2 nights. I think 3nights will give you a much better experience and, in the end, you will have the most unforgettable memories. Go for it!

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Dianne
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Mar 27th, 2017, 06:07 PM
  #3
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Thanks Dianne! That's really helpful. Do you think we'll get a good feel of Chobe if this is all we do? (No camping or lodge stays)
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Mar 28th, 2017, 01:00 PM
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Chobe can be congested as it's National Park and not as expensive as Bots and easy to get to for those visiting Vic falls. It can be good as an alternative style of game viewing from water vs land. Are you doing any land based game viewing anywhere?
Dianne
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Mar 29th, 2017, 06:00 PM
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We'll be volunteering in Zimbabwe. Basically we will be living in the bush in Hwange and a bit in Zambezi national park. As I understand, we'll be doing game counts, monitoring the water pans, setting camera traps, possible rescue from snares and collaring for tracking. I did a program like this in The Mara, Kenya and enjoyed it very much. We were very close to wildlife. So yes, we'll be on land for 2 weeks. I think the relaxation, pampering and transition will be perfect! Hoping we can get away from the day crowds being on the boat.
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Apr 2nd, 2017, 02:25 PM
  #6
 
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Hi again debnyc!

Then, if I were you, I would go for 3 nights. The first day/night is about settling in to the boat and a new routine. It could take you a little bit to "disconnect", especially if you are volunteering and working in the bush. It's not like you are on vacation, per se. Consider it a way to treat yourself since you are so kind to do for others!

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Dianne
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Apr 3rd, 2017, 01:12 AM
  #7
 
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The Ichobezi boats no longer exist. They are now the Chobe Princesses, which are part of the Zambezi Queen Collection. There is the Zambezi Queen (the largest and most luxurious of the four boats in the collection) and 3 Princesses - Chobe Princess 1, 2 and 3. Pangolin is a specialist photographic houseboat and very expensive - not that the Zambezi Queen Collection is cheap, but it is cheaper.

We spent three nights on Chobe Princess 1 in August 2016 and it was fabulous - a highlight of our time in Botswana and highly recommended. We also did a day trip with Pangolin Safaris, and we were most disappointed - it did not live up to the rave reviews on Trip Advisor and was certainly not worth the cost. Perhaps their houseboat is better - we have no experience with it.

If you wish to see a full description of our three days on the Chobe Princess (with many photos of the houseboat and the wildlife we saw), then go to the link below. Click on the book and you may preview the entire book WITHOUT having to purchase it. You will have to skip to the end of the book because the houseboat trip on the Chobe River was how we ended our month-long self-drive through Botswana. CR

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/invit...75d21587640583
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Apr 3rd, 2017, 07:46 PM
  #8
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Hello Robin!
Just took a look at your blurb book. Looks like a wonderful trip and now on my wish list to see...elephants swimming!
We'll book the Chobe princess! Unfortunately, we can only afford 2 nights, but sense we'll get a good feel for it. Afterwards, we head to Cape Town. After looking at your book, wondering if we should have 1 night in Kasane or Vic Falls before heading out.
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Apr 4th, 2017, 12:11 AM
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There is no need to stay in Kasane/Vic Falls unless you wish to. The houseboat staff will get you to Kasane in plenty of time for whatever flight you are on. One couple on our boat had an early flight, so one of the guides took them to immigration in Kasane in a tender, while the rest of us drifted slowly down the river in the houseboat. The latest the staff will drop you at Kasane immigration will be 10am (the equivalent of a hotel's check-out time) so, depending on the time of your flight, you might have time to visit the falls before heading to the airport. You could also ask to be taken to Kasane early (before the standard 10am drop off time) so that you have time to visit the falls. If you have not been to CPT before, you will want to leave yourselves plenty of time for the many things you will want to do in that lovely city. Given the choice, I would put the night in CPT not Kasane/Vic Falls.
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