A river safari on Botswana’s Chobe River

When we started planning our visit to Victoria Falls with fastjet, I soon realised that Vic Falls, Zimbabwe is actually only an hour away from Chobe, Botswana – one of the best places in the world for safari’s. And I’m a sucker for a good safari!

So plans were set in place to spend the Saturday of our trip on a day trip to Chobe. Leaving our hotel in Vic Falls at 7am and arriving back at 6pm in the evening.

An hour drive across the north of Zimbabwe (and the various government and tour fees) seemed like a small price to pay for an African adventure of a lifetime. So off we went. Across the country, through the Botswana border, via the only town on the planet where 4 countries meet, all the way to the entrance to the Chobe National Park.

And it was totally worth it the moment I saw this view…

The Chobe River


Yes, this was to be the setting for our safari. A river-based safari that wove it’s way up and down the waterways of the vast Chobe River separating Botswana from Namibia‘s Caprivi Strip!

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Within minutes of our launch we started cruising the river banks, searching for signs of life. The first few finds didn’t make it easy with their camoflauged skins against the African earth… a lazy baby croc and his nemesis, the monitor lizard.

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This area of Africa is known for it’s abundance of wildlife and the beauty of cruising silently on the water is that you’re able to get much closer to the animals than ever before…

We spotted a huge pod of hippos in the distance, clambering all over each other, and were able to sneak up closer and closer for an amazing experience. Honestly I never realised that hippo’s loved hanging out with (and on) each other so much! It was great fun to spend some time watching them together.

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The beauty of this area of Africa is the water… the animals roam freely across it and around it. It really does bring life.

As we cruised around we were spoilt to see a lone Buffalo bull make his way across the water from the central island to the mainland, having to swim at times!

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The bird life in the area is also incredible… I’m no twitcher so I can’t name all the birds we saw, but I can say that the variety was amazing.

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Turns out the crocs also like this part of the world… all the way along the river bank we noticed them sunning themselves… and these weren’t even the big ones, these were the babies! Let’s just say you don’t want to go swimming in these waters…


The highlight of the morning was spotting 4 elephant coming down for a drink to the water’s edge. Slowly they made their way towards us, all the while looking as if they wanted to cross over to the island. Our quiet patience finally paid off when they stopped mere inches from the boat, sniffing us out with their trunks.

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Two of them then proceeded to have a dominance duel for our benefit.

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And then, finally, one brave bull made the crossing… allowing us to experience one of the most epic Chobe sights for ourselves!

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Further up the river we came across another huge pod of hippo’s… this time out on dry land all sunning themselves in a huge heap.

Not forgetting the chance to see one of these hefty fellows climbing out the water and making his way to join the party.

Basically, this was a morning of animal encounters straight out of National Geographic.


My favourite aspect? The ferry had a roof viewing deck, I loved sitting high above the scenes and seeing them all unfold before me. At times I was the only one upstairs and it felt like an amazing dream… with a soundtrack of Fish Eagles, of course!


Fortunately the morning didn’t fly by, the time we spent out on the water watching the animals seemed to slow down and I felt sufficiently relaxed (and hungry) on our return to the hotel for a buffet lunch… joined by the odd tame warthog or two. As my husband pointed out – they’re the dogs of this part of the world!

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After lunch it was time to head out on the original 4×4 safari in the Chobe National Park, but not before one last look at the glorious view of our memorable morning from the deck…

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After our Zambezi Sunset River Cruise this was another dream come true, another tick on my Bucket List. This was proving to be a pretty exceptional weekend!


Keen to do a Chobe River Safari while visiting Victoria Falls? Click this link to sign up for a full day tour from Vic Falls to Chobe National Park.



Here are a few more posts about our amazing African adventure!

A 4×4 safari in Chobe National Park

A helicopter flip over Victoria Falls




Taking your family on their first African Safari Holiday?

Be sure to read my post about top tips for taking kids on safari here: Safari kids


If you enjoyed this post or want to re-read it another time please considering pinning it to Pinterest using the image below! Thanks

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Contact Shearwater Adventures

Tel: + 263 (0) 773 461716
Email: reservations@shearwatervf.com
Web: www.shearwatervictoriafalls.com/victoria-falls-activities/

Contact FastJet

South African call centre: +27 (0) 11 722 0226
Email: fnres.jnb@aviareps.com
Book online: www.fastjet.com/za

Contact Elephant Hills Resort Hotel

Email: reservations@elephanthillsresort.com
Web: www.elephanthillsresort.com

We enjoyed our stay courtesy of FastJet, Elephant Hills Resort and Shearwater Victoria Falls. Flights, accommodation and some activities were sponsored but all thoughts, opinions and photos are my own.

Disclosure: 1; 8

Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!


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