• Rovos Rail & Zambezi Queen Belewenis

Rovos Rail Treinrit, Zambezi Queen Bootvaart, Chobe Nasionale Park en die Victoria Valle

13 – 21 Februarie 2020

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Ons reis soos in vanmelewe se dae op die Rovos Rail na die donderende Victoria-valle waar ons tuis gaan in die historiese Victoria Falls Hotel. Nog ‘n hoogtepunt is die bootvaart op die Choberivier aan boord van die luukse huisboot, die Zambezi Queen. Hier geniet ons die ongerepte natuurskoon en wild wat Chobe ‘n móét maak op elke reisiger se wenslysie.


Day 1: 13 February 2020

Pretoria – Beitbridge

Our great experience begins! The Pride of Africa departs from the Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria and travels in a northerly direction towards the border at Beit Bridge. Guests may freshen up in their suites before joining fellow travellers in the midway lounge car or observation car at the rear of the train.

Lunch is served in the dining cars as the train traverses Warmbaths (Bela-Bela), so named for its mineral waters, and Nylstroom (Modimolle), christened by the Voortrekkers as the source of the Nile River as the town’s river happened to be flowing north. The train passes the edge of the escarpment where the Highveld drops precipitously.

Tea is served in the midway lounge car or observation car at the rear of the train. Dinner is served in the dining cars as the train crosses the Tropic of Capricorn en route to Messina and the border with Zimbabwe.

Overnight On train at Beit Bridge Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 2: 14 February 2020

Beitbridge – Mpopoma

Breakfast is served in the dining cars from 07:00-10:00. The train departs from Beit Bridge and travels on the BBR railway line via Rutenga and Somubhula.

Lunch is served in the dining cars en route to Bulawayo: second city of Zimbabwe, capital of Matabeleland and industrial capital of the country

Tea is served in the midway lounge car or observation car at the rear of the train. Dinner is served in the dining cars.

Overnight On train at Mpopoma Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3: 15 February 2020

Mpopoma – Thompsons Junction

Breakfast is served in the dining cars from 7:00-10:00 as the train departs from Mpopoma. Lunch is served in the dining cars. The train travels between Gwaai and Dete along one of the world’s longest stretches of straight railway line – 114 kilometres – and along the eastern edge of Hwange Park.

Disembark at Kennedy Siding for a game drive at The Hide in Hwange National Park. Dinner is served in the dining cars.

Overnight On train at Thompsons Junction Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4: 16 February 2020

Thompsons Junction – Victoria Falls Hotel

Breakfast is served in the dining cars from 7:00-09:30 as the train departs for Victoria Falls. Arrive at journey’s end at the incomparable Victoria Falls.

On our arrival at the beautifully tended colonial-style railway station at Victoria Falls, you will be welcomed and taken to your destination for tonight, the nearby Victoria Falls Hotel. Zimbabwe’s oldest hotel has come far from its humble origins as railway workers’ accommodation in 1904 to the world-famous luxury hotel it is now. However, you will still be able to enjoy the Edwardian charm that has been lovingly preserved throughout many renovations and upgrades.

Probably the most striking aspect of the hotel is its location within easy walking distance of the Victoria Falls, with a grandstand view of the bridge that connects Zimbabwe with Zambia.

This afternoon and evening you can explore this quaint town on your own and enjoy dinner in one of the many restaurants on your own or with the new friends that you have made on the train.

Overnight Victoria Falls Hotel Breakfast

Day 5: 17 February 2020

Victoria Falls – Chobe National Park

After a scrumptious breakfast overlooking the falls we visit the Victoria Falls. David Livingstone was the first European to see and record the existence of these magnificent waterfalls, naming them in honour of his Queen Victoria. The local people called the Falls the “smoke that thunders” in several different languages.

This name is very apt and a striking description of the rushing and thundering sound of the water that can be heard at a distance of many kilometres at high water and the spray that is visible as a white cloud over a great distance.

Victoria Falls has been listed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and it is designated as an UNESCO World Heritage site.

In bare terms, the water of the Zambezi River plummets into the gorge to a depth of over 100 meters and at high tide across a breadth of 1.7 km.

However, these dry facts do nothing to describe the highly impressive and emotional reality of the Falls. A visit both in the morning and in the afternoon is recommended, because the sun shines into the gorge from noon onwards and often creates several rainbows in the spray. Guests should take their time to savour the visit, the incredibly loud thunder, the always changing, but hypnotic sight of the falling water, the fresh smell of the river and, of course – depending on the season, the occasional or almost constant shower from the spray.

The guided tour takes about 2,5 hours and allows us to have a look at the impressive vista that opens up from every viewpoint.

After our visit to the Falls, we enjoy lunch in the Look Out Café before we depart to our next exciting destination: Chobe National Park in Botswana!

The destination is the Ichingo Chobe River Lodge. It is the perfect platform to experience all that the Chobe has to offer with the added benefit of being on the Namibian side of the river. Quieter, more secluded and personalized the lodge to enjoy the very best of an African river safari. Accommodation consists large air-conditioned Meru safari tents, each beautifully turned out with its own private balcony overlooking the Chobe rapids and an en-suite bathroom

Dinner will be served in the lodge.

Overnight Ichingo Chobe River Lodge Breakfast , Lunch and dinner

Day 6: 18 February 2020

Ichingo Chobe River Lodge

Today you can choose your own activity;

Elephant Bay Guided Game Viewing is an evening tender boat activity into the Chobe National Park and Caprivi Wetland areas, to the
aptly named Elephant Bay. This natural harbour is away from the very busy river sections and allows you to enjoy the magnificent Chobe Sunset with the possibility of watching elephants playing and swimming in the Chobe River.

Zambezi River Excursion is an absolute must. The Kasai Channel is a small, beautiful waterway that is filled with a huge variety of birds,
the occasional hippo and wonderful views of the Caprivi floodplains. It meanders from the Chobe River, ending up at the majestic Zambezi River which is an iconic African river.

Guided Fishing (catch and release basis) in over 100kms of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers for Tiger Fish, Bream and several other fresh
water species. The Tiger fish is Africa’s great river sport fish and provides thrilling fun for those looking for a bit of an adrenaline surge.

It is also a great excuse to spend a few hours peacefully on the waterways watching the birds, hippos and crocs at play.

All fishing equipment (conventional and fly), bait and fishing licences are supplied.

Guided Walks on Impalila Island give you an insight into the life of local inhabitants, introduce you to the stark beauty of the area and amaze you with the enormity of the Baobab trees. The end point of the walk is to an ancient (over 2000 years old) Baobab tree which the more energetic can climb to see where Namibia, Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe meet, and the great Chobe and Zambezi Rivers converge. You will then be driven by vehicle back to the lodge.

Guided Birding is a must for all enthusiasts as this region is home to over 450 species of birds (in the summer months) including some of those in the ‘lifer’ category. African Skimmers, Rock Pratincoles, African Finfoot, Pels Fishing Owl, African Pygmy Goose and Black Coucals being but a few. So grab your complimentary birding checklist and our incredibly knowledgeable guides will be happy to accompany you on a tender boat through the beautiful Kasai Channel, or on foot on through the lodge grounds and onto Impalila Island itself.

A vehicle based game drive in the Chobe National Park on the day of departure is also included in the programme.

Overnight Ichingo Chobe River Lodge Breakfast, Lunch and dinner

Day 7: 19 February 2020

Ichingo Chobe River Lodge – Zambezi Queen

After breakfast we depart with a game drive on route to our cruise bout theZambezi Queen.

This luxurious houseboat sails the Chobe River, allowing guests to enjoy the stunning views and wildlife sightings along the banks and in the water of this famed tributary to the mighty Zambezi River.

Relax in a luxury room, with a view of the Chobe National Park, or sip a sundowner on deck as hippos pop their heads up above the water to watch as the boat passes. Try your luck with a rod and reel, and maybe catch some delicious dinner. Alternatively, maybe you might prefer to hop onto one of the small tender boats for a closer look at the wildlife and birds along the riverbanks. Especially in the dry season, animals depend on the river to drink, thus there is a very good chance of seeing large herds of elephants on the banks or bathing in the river. You will most probably also encounter hippos and crocodiles during your boat ride. The boats can move in close to the riverbanks, allowing for bird watching at quite close range as well. There is a good chance that you will see at least one or two species of kingfisher and some brightly coloured bee-eaters. Fish eagles, herons and egrets are also frequently seen along the Chobe River.

Overnight On Zambezi Queen Breakfast, afternoon refreshments and Dinner

Day 8: 20 February 2020

Zambezi Queen – Chobe National Park

Today is a day for relaxation. We may watch the sunrise as we sip on our coffee while others may want to take a more leisurely approach. We may choose our morning activities, opting for a waterbased safari or a village tour on the Namibian side of the river. Those who wish may prefer to do a spot of bird watching or fishing instead, or may even decide simply to remain on board as the luxurious Zambezi Queen glides on its way along the banks of the Chobe River.

In the afternoon, we may join our guide for a water-based safari on a tender boat where you can get close to an array of wildlife, including some of the 120 000 elephants for which the Chobe is well known. After a delicious dinner, settle down for a restful and tranquil night in your luxurious suite.

Overnight On Zambezi Queen Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9: 21 February 2020

Chobe National Park- Kasane – Johannesburg

Weather permitting, this morning, our wildlife spotting will take us to the Chobe River where our game drive will meander along the banks of the river, followed by the call of the majestic African fish eagle. We will explore the park from the landside, looking onto the river during the course of a morning game drive.

One of the most striking sights is the flocks of brightly coloured Carmine bee-eaters; however, they are migratory birds and not always present. Also attracted by the water are flocks of open-billed storks. In the evenings, elephants cross the river back and forth between Botswana and Namibia. If left undisturbed, they will spend hours drinking and bathing in the shallows.

Huge trees host large troops of baboons that are also fun to watch when the heat of the day abates and they forage along the riverbank.

Your voyage will not only be all about wildlife: Botswana as a country would not be where she is today without her very special people. You will have the opportunity to meet the people whilst on a cultural tour of a village in the vicinity.

Late morning, we will transfer to Kasane Airport for our flight back to OR Tambo after an experience that will never be forgotten!

Bon Voyage!

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