River Cruise – excursions on boats are a superb way to site wildlife as in now areas, at some times of the year, wildlife tend not to stray too far from water. The permanent rivers of southern Africa, from the mighty Zambezi which divides Zambia and Zimbabwe and flows over Victoria Falls, through to the Kunene River in Northern Namibia, they all provide the life line needed.
The boats come in many shapes and sizes, from the mekoros of Botswana’s Okavango Delta through to the canoes used in Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools, but here we are really talking about the larger (sometimes double deck) ones used for example on the Linyanti swamps of Botswana, or the Chobe River, which are ideal for sun-downer cruises or for game excursion spotting wildlife with the Chobe National Park. Some are now totally electric, so the experience is silent, save for the water lapping against the hull.
The boat excursions tend to be your late afternoon excursion which allows for a relaxing end to the day and a water-borne sun-downer. The trips usually depart at about 4:30 p.m.and get you back to camp by about 7;00 p.m, giving you plenty of time to freshen up before for dinner.
Top Tips for River Cruise
- very similar to any mode of safari really; take everything that you think you may need from a fleece for when the sun goes down, to your binoculars and camera
- since you are out water the chances or encountering ‘biting beasties’ is higher than on land, so cover up and use insect repellent.
- keep you hands and legs out of the water.