Houseboat safaris on Africa’s major lakes offer the ultimate in relaxing safari holidays with a unique twist

If you are looking to experience a unique African safari holiday, a houseboat safari provides a wonderful alternative to land-based safari activities. Instead of viewing wildlife from a vehicle, why not relax on the deck of a houseboat and enjoy the views as you cruise by, sip sundowners or kick back with a good book. Waking up to the sound of the African Fish Eagle and falling asleep to Hippo’s bellowing sets the scene. The biggest draw factor for most house boat safari enthusiasts is to go fishing for Africa’s notoriously feisty game fish – the Tiger Fish. There are a few destinations where one can enjoy a houseboat safari such as in Zimbabwe, Botswana and in South Africa. The Chobe River in Botswana, Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe and Lake Jozini in KwaZulu Natal , South Africa offer houseboat safaris on vast freshwater lakes where the game viewing, fishing and birdlife are all superb.

Zambezi Queen Houseboat


The pinnacle of luxury houseboat safaris features air-conditioned, en-suite rooms with private balconies that offer spectacular views of the magnificent Chobe National Park on the banks of the mighty Chobe River in Botswana. A swimming pool, restaurant, shop and information centre are all available on board. Enjoy watching the wildlife and scenery of the park pass by, as you relax on the decks of this luxurious vessel or head out on one of the tender boats for game viewing and fishing excursions.

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The Chobe Princess Riverboats


These boats are smaller than the Zambezi Queen catering for families and private groups. The Chobe Princess Riverboats traverse up to 50 kilometres of the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers. Bird-watching and tiger-fishing can be enjoyed from the decks and by heading out on the smaller tender boats. Observe the magnificent wildlife of the Chobe National Park as you cruise down river. The rooms are all air-conditioned with en-suite bathrooms.

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DZimbabwe Houseboat, Lake Kariba


Situated on the scenic Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe, DZimbabwe Houseboat offers an affordable houseboat safari experience. Take in the views of Lake Kariba as you relax in the Jacuzzi or have a drink at the bar on deck. The cabins on board are air-conditioned with en-suite bathrooms. Buffalo, elephant and hippo are among the species that can be seen in the area, as well as excellent birdlife. The top deck also has facilities for a barbecue.

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Shayamanzi Houseboats, Lake Jozini


The two Shayamanzi Houseboats are located on Lake Jozini on the water’s edge of the Pongola Game Reserve in South Africa which is easily accessible from Johannesburg and Durban (4 – 5 hours drive). The rooms on board offer wonderful views across the water with the inspiring Lebombo Mountains as a backdrop, and all have en-suite bathrooms. The larger boat’s rooms are air-conditioned, with the smaller one having electric fans. The boats have lounge, bar and dining areas, perfect for relaxing.  Tiger fishing is the hallmark activity of the houseboats, and land-based activities are also offered in the Pongola Game Reserve.

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