This champagne river safari presents the grandeur of Africa untamed opening with Zambia’s thundering Victoria Falls and then spirits you to the lush wilds of the Chobe River of Botswana and Namibia. Cruise aboard the Zambezi Queen, an elite vessel with 14 suites, renowned for 1st class adventures, celebrated chef and opportunities for indulgence. Teeming with life, behold the largest concentration of elephants in the world, lions, Cape buffalo, sables, hippos, giraffe, crocodiles and exotic birds on game drives, river safaris, mokoro rides or even from the hot tub! Including fishing, local villages, stargazing, 5* lodge, expert guides, flights and more, this decadent journey is a feast for the eyes and soul.
Upon arrival into Johannesburg-South Africa, you will be met at the door of your aircraft with your name on a paging board, and your documents will be handed over to you. You will be assisted through immigration, baggage collection and customs.
A privately driven vehicle will provide you with a transfer between the Airport and your hotel, or vice versa, today.
Situated in Johannesburg's most exclusive residential suburb, The Westcliff provides the ultimate in comfort. Its hillside setting with cascading, sculpted gardens and elegantly opulent accommodation evoke a bygone era of leisure and refinement in one of the world's most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities. Guests are privy to easy access to the city's core. The 115 rooms are grouped in levels along the hillside on which the hotel is perched. Each room is extremely spacious and possesses a well-preserved old world charm. Friendly staff serve delectable dishes from across the world. Authentic and continental dishes feature African ingredients, arranged in buffet style and served a la carte. Use the hotel's swimming pools, tennis courts, and spa for relaxation and cleansing.
Take your flight from Johannesburg to Livingstone today. The flight duration is approximately 2 hours.
Luggage restrictions applicable to this flight: Hand luggage: One piece not exceeding 8kg (18lb) and maximum dimension of 56cm (L) 36cm (W) 23cm (H). Checked luggage: One piece not exceeding 23 kg (50 lb) and maximum dimension of 158cm (62inches).
Airport transfer with private vehicle.
You will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the Royal Landing to meet the African Queen. She gracefully meanders slowly upstream along the length of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in search of a number of animals and a host of bird species which can be viewed from comfortable chairs on the cool wooden decks. Excellent hot and cold food is served on board and the bar is well stocked with spirits, good wines, beers and soft drinks. All food and drink is included in the price and served throughout the cruise by professional, friendly waiters making the whole experience probably the most luxurious cruise on the Zambezi River. The duration of the cruise is about 2 hours and you can expect to be back at your hotel by 19h00.
The Royal Livingstone is one of the most exquisite hotels in Zambia, set quietly on the edge of the Zambezi river belt and within walking distance of the Victoria Falls. With 173 rooms set in 17 colonial-style buildings, the century architecture of the hotel lends to its cool, refined atmosphere. Refreshing, with lounging areas and terraces overlooking the misty waters, the hotel is shielded with privacy by the indigenous trees and plants. One may take meals at High Tea in the lounge, in elegance, or dine comfortably on the veranda with a view of the gardens. Relax in one of the lounging areas of the hotel or test your limits with white water rafting along the river.
Victoria Falls are a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe. A path along the edge of the forest provides the visitor who is prepared to brave the tremendous spray with an unparalleled series of views of the Falls. One special vantage point is across the Knife edge bridge, where visitors can have the finest view of the Eastern Cataract and the Main Falls as well as the Boiling Pot where the river turns and heads down the Batoka Gorge. Other vantage points include the Falls bridge and the Lookout Tree which commands a panoramic view across the Main Falls. Different times of the year will provide completely different experiences of the Falls region. Peak flood season is around March and April and the full power of the falls can be experienced in all its glory. As the floods abate the view of the falls gets better and better through the year, but at its lowest, around November and December the Falls become little rivulets running over the edge and in some places along the 1,7km width no water falls at all.
Later this morning you'll visit the Mukuni Village. It is home to the Leya people. On this tour you have the opportunity to learn more about this interesting culture whilst being shown around the village homes and Chief Mkuni’s Palace, as well as having the opportunity to try out their traditional food and beer. This is a real village with a population in the region of 5000.
Sign up for optional activities at your hotel (not included in tour price); helicopter, ultra-light, Gypsy Moth flights, elephant-back or horseback safari, white-water rafting, bungee jumping, Chobe game park day trip, jet boat, cultural tours, and more.
Transfer between Livingstone and Chobe lodges.
Upon arrival at the Zambezi Queen, board the ship and settle into your cabin. Enjoy a welcome cocktail before dinner and a briefing to cover the scheduled activities over the next couple days.
Game viewing in the Chobe National Park with your skilled guide. You'll have a great chance to view the abundant elephant and other big game species up close.
The Zambezi Queen is unique in that it's a sophisticated, elegant experience that has not lost the essence of all that is uniquely African. When looking at the design it is apparent that no expense has been spared in creating a house boat of a world class standard, and this is especially so, when one considers this boat was built on the banks of the Chobe River.
Try your luck out with fishing, maneuvre through the banks of the Chobe River for some more game viewing by boat, or visit a local village and experience some of the Botswanan culture.
Gliding across the picturesque Chobe River is considered by many as one of the finest game viewing experiences in all of Africa. Boasting some 80000 plus elephants in the park alone provides visitors with very frequent sightings of these majestic creatures along the waterways and flood plain-lands. Other African wildlife including hippos, buffalo, crocodiles, and water fowl are also often seen on these dynamic waters.
Scheduled shared shuttle between Livingstone Airport and your Victoria Falls hotel.
Take your flight from Livingstone to Johannesburg today. The flight duration is approximately 2 hours.
Depart from Johannesburg international airport - End of itinerary.
November 08, 2012
"I am a world traveller and this was one of my Top 3 vacations ever! Kensington Tours did a great job with EVERY little detail, from the planning to being met and catered to every step of the way. Our favorite lodges were Tau Pan in the Kalahari, Botswana & Moon Mountain in Sossusvlei, Namibia. We especially loved the Batswana people and all the animals we saw at Camp Moremi on the Okavanga River. The highlight of our trip was actually our stay in Swakopmund when we stayed on the South Atlantic & went for an exciting boat ride to see all the sealife up close and personal (like a seal coming onboard the boat!), a rollar coaster dune ride in a 4 X 4!! the balloon ride over the red sand dunes over Namibia and several champagne brunches in the middle of the desert. Also, will never forget all the sundowmer game drives which ended with our favorite cocktail, watching the sunset with wildlife close at hand!
Unforgettable. Thanks Ivona for planning it all!"
October 26, 2012
"35 Goose Pond Road
Lincoln, MA 01773
Re: Steven Weru Kinyua, Kenya tour guide
We recently returned from a wonderful 8 day tour of Kenya with Steven, he is an exceptional individual. But one example: As we returned to the Samburu lodge from our first game drive, Steven pointed out a young, sick-looking lion in the shade of a tree. We observed it momentarily and soon returned to the lodge for dinner.
The next day Steven mentioned he had reported the weak young lion to the local Samburu ranger. Steven explained that due to the arrival of a new alpha male in his pride the young lion had likely been chased out before he was able to hunt for himself. He further explained that the young lion would be welcome back in a week or two, if he were alive. I pursued the full story w/Steven. The ranger Steven had reported the weak lion to had been unresponsive, indicating he would do nothing. Steven, unsatisfied w/that response told the ranger to report it to the Head Park Ranger, or he would. The Head Ranger agreed with Steven's analysis of the situation; bought 10 kilos of meat for the young lion; and directed his staff to feed it appropriately.
Steven understood the workings of that lion pride, and has an exceptional knowledge of all the wild animals of Kenya. Furthermore he has a passion for their well-being. He would not accept a lazy, disinterested response from the local ranger. During our trip in Kenya I had occasion to speak to groups of secondary school students. I related Steven's actions as an excellent example of a Kenyan's knowledge, passion and commitment.
One day Steven pointed out a cheetah. We saw the cheetah w/a young impala in its mouth. After the cheetah had choked the young impala, Steven explained the mother cheetah was calling her cubs --it was thrilling to see the 3 cubs come tearing across the plain creating a mini-dust storm in their wake. The mother gave the kill to her cubs. Steven explained they had to learn to open it up. Shortly she sent them off the kill, twenty paces or so, then froze, looking westerly. A lion, smelling the kill Steven explained, was moving off to the north about a 1000 yards away. Intent on the lion the mother cheetah remained frozen in place (as we're the cubs, mimicking their mother). After the lion passed the mother called the cubs back to the kill. Not 15 minutes later the lion came back, followed by yapping jackels, this time moving off to the east of the cheetahs. As soon as the lion appeared, the mother cheetah repeated her previous actions, sending off the cubs and freezing over the kill, intently watching the lion. Steven explained that the jackels were distracting the lion from the kill, knowing if the lion found the kill, nothing would be left for them. Again the lion passed off to the southeast, never able to find the cheetah kill.
This summary highlights events that played out over a 90 minute period. In that time several tourist rovers and vans came, took pictures of the cheetahs, and left. None of those tourists had a complete explanation of the scene that was playing out before us. Game-viewing w/Steven is a rich experience, a clear cut above the average.
In our time w/Steven we had lengthy conversations about the pluses and minuses of grass-burning, the challenges of maintaining wildlife corridors, park encroachment by locals, roadway underpasses for big game, etc. in addition we discussed ukabila and other political challenges facing Kenya. Steven Kinyua is an exceptional Kenyan guide. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and made our Kenya safari a wonderful learning experience we will cherish for years.
Mark Masterson, Ed.D."
Irene Saurwein ,
April 21, 2014
"I thought that both Raymond and Mike were outstanding guides. Our trip was wonderful. The only point I want to make that the food at the Farm House was not very good. Pretty disappointed. Our stay at the Serena in both locations was great. Overall great trip that we will never forget."
Francis Quinn ,
April 21, 2014
"The Mbugani Camps were nice but the beer was warm and they don't have ice. The owner was a great guy. Enjoyed Mara West. The staff and food were great. The second evening the loud mouth owner conducted a business meeting on the front porch disrupting a peaceful cocktail hour. It was totally inappropriate since he was very loud and discussed his business dealings with Kensington with others. They also need an ice machine. They ran out every night. Albert is probably the best guide I have ever had. Very knowlegeable. Mike was great too. Fabulous trip. You guys did a great job. We had a wonderful time."
Shayna Maislin ,
April 21, 2014
"Our party of 4 believe that we were given incorrect information regarding the type of suitcase that we should purchase for this trip. We were advised to buy a suitcase that was soft sided and no wheels. We arrived in Africa to see many others going on Safari with suitcases that had wheels. It was difficult for us to manouever our bags. I would highly recommend the tour guide that we had in the Serengetti . He was extremely knowledgeable, very helpful and courteous. We learned a great deal from Wasari . Our tour guide in the Mara was just ok . It would have been great to have the tour guide that we had in Serengeti for the complete trip. We understood that he could have crossed over from Tanzania into Kenya to get us . There was one flight within the country that we felt we may have been better off driving. We all believed that our Sales consultant could have spent more time with us on the phone going over the itinerary and guiding us through some of the decisions that we were making. For example Lake Manyara was not really necessary and perhaps we could have used that extra day in Zanzibar . These are some of the decisions that we felt our consultant could have assisted us with . We all agree that Kensington has first class staff working for them in Africa. All the camps that we stayed at were absolutely beautiful except perhaps for the one in Lake Manyara. All in all it was a spectacular trip!"
Jeanne Tarvin ,
April 21, 2014
"The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!"
Frank Manna ,
April 21, 2014
"Our guided transfers were exceptionally accommodating even though our flights were considerably delayed. The Annavillanas Jungle Lodge was spectacular for location, accommodations and food. The Rio Carnival experience was unique and unforgettable and our seats were wonderful. Loved the location of our hotel in Rio.......right on the street of Copacabana Beach.......fantastic. The only negative during our entire trip was the routing of the airline flights. Was there no way to avoid the flight from Rio to Manaus and then Manaus to Rio for our flight home. We seem to have travelled 2000 miles to the same starting location. Next time I would appreciate a more thorough exploration of all possible routes that would be more expedient and less strenuous for the travelers. I realize that there are limitations but I rely on Kensington to assist me in making the best decision for my wife and me."
Michael Melvin Marsh ,
April 21, 2014
"The trip was very special and i credit Sunita Singh for helping to make it such. We worked on the itinerary for three months and she was very helpful, knowledgeable and present."
Lucy Gilkes ,
April 21, 2014
"The whole trip was wonderful but the guides were what made it for us. They were knowledgeable and thoughtful a pleasure to spend time with."
Janine Chey ,
April 21, 2014
"Our trip to Masai Mara via Kensington ran very smoothly. We stayed at the Mara West Lodge. Beautiful location atop a ridge overlooking the Masai Mara plains. Our luxury tents were quite comfortable and the staff/service at the lodge were great. Meals were very nice especially the daily soups. Our guide, Steve, was also great...so knowledgeable and eager to show us many interesting things. He planned our daily game drives and took us on a nature hike one afternoon. He clearly knows and understands this ecosystem. He has an amazing eye, finding animals in fields of tall grasses. Our entire family had an amazing time, trip of a lifetime...would love to go back!"
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