River Cruise on the Chobe

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Sep 11th, 2015, 01:30 PM
  #1
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River Cruise on the Chobe

My husband and I are looking at ALL the various safari's and places in Africa to take a safari. It is overwhelming! One unusual trip that I keep coming back to is through Amaways - a river cruise and land safari. It's not cheap (about 12,000 USD). Does anyone have any thoughts on whether this is a great idea considering all the other options? So many forum readers/writers have gone on multiple safaris and traveled extensively throughout Africa so any advice is appreciated!!
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Sep 11th, 2015, 02:33 PM
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Hi! Just to make sure I answer the right question, is this the "tour" you are considering? I have been to Africa many times in all seasons and I have been on the Chobe River twice most recently in Feb 2014. It can be an interesting experience to supplement a safari.

http://www.amawaterways.com/IGPID270-2016

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond
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Sep 11th, 2015, 02:36 PM
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Or this one? http://www.amawaterways.com/IGPID271-2016

Both are about 12k per person.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond
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Sep 11th, 2015, 06:00 PM
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The only Chobe River safari/cruise I've seen here is Ichobezi - search for it on the top right to see any trip reports or reviews. From what I remember, everyone loved it. It's on my very long safari-related bucket list. I've never heard of the one you mention, so I don't want to give an opinion one way or the other.

I am not a fan of tours in Africa. It's just too easy to create your own personalized safari using a good safari agent or on your own.

Chobe is easily combined with Victoria Falls, the fantastic Botswana safari destinations of the Okavango Delta, as well as excellent safaris in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Right now the South Africa Rand is very weak against the USD, so you can get a great safari at a great value. The Botswana Pula is also weak but unfortunately most lodges quote in USD. Zimbabwe uses USD as their currency and Zambia usually quotes in USD.

If the Chobe River Cruise is something that really calls you, do it. Combine with a lodge or two in northern Botswana, a lodge or two in the private reserves of Kruger or Zim/Zam. You really can't choose a bad combo and go back to do something else you want to do next time. Not knowing a budget or time frame, it's hard to help more, but Africa gets into your heart and you will want to return. Many of us think that it's a "once in a lifetime" trip. I'm planning my fifth. You can keep to a reasonable budget (everyone has a different reasonable budget) and have a great safari and still have some left so you can go back and do the things you can't do this time. Many of us found ourselves planning our return before we landed at our home airport.

Have fun planning!!

"They tell us that elephants never forget. What they don't tell us is that you never forget your first elephant." - Bill Murray
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Sep 12th, 2015, 12:51 AM
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I would also forget the group tour. If it is one of those trips using the Zambezi Queen, you can do that as part of a private tailor made trip. There's no need to be herded around with a bunch of other people. Apart from the cruise, what do you think of the rest of the trip? To me, it doesn't seem to have a huge safari on land component. What time of year are you thinking of going?

Personally I'd be inclined to mix the Chobe Cruise with Vic Falls and a couple of other lodges in Botswana- maybe one in the Linyanti, one in the delta. Maybe one in one of the desert areas to the south, or maybe a stop in one of the private reserves near Kruger. Whether it's cheaper than $12000 or not will very much depend on the time of year. But I think outside peak season it should be possible to do something for less than that.
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Sep 12th, 2015, 06:01 AM
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Years ago we did a day tour on the Chobe River while staying at the Chobe Safari Lodge, what was then a budget-friendly lodge in Kasane, just outside the actual Chobe NP boundary. (The Chobe Safari Lodge priced all its safari excursions on an "a la carte" basis separate from the accommodation itself.)

The river cruise (half a day I think) was great but far from private; there were 20 or 30 people on our boat, and other boats from other lodges or tour services nearby (including one with visiting politicians from Mozambique if memory serves.) It being Chobe, we saw a whole lot of elephants and hippos, some crocodiles, a lot of birds, that sort of thing. It sounds like you're looking at a much more luxurious experience.

In my view (and opinions vary widely of course) I'd say it was a nice supplement to other safari experiences (we went on to the Kruger area of SA after Chobe) but I wouldn't say it was a primary objective.
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Sep 12th, 2015, 12:24 PM
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I do know that AMA is reselling the Zambezi Queen. I have sat through one of their webinars! As soon as Mary confirms what trip she is considering I will provide commentary.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond
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