Natural Habitat Adventures

Southern Africa Riverboat Safari

A Romantic Adventure by Riverboat, 4x4 & Scenic Flights in Premier National Parks
11 Days
16
From $14995 (+internal air)

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The history of early expeditions in Africa is replete with tales of its storied waterways. Victorian explorers like Speke and Livingstone met unfathomable hardships as they sought the source of the Nile, yet less than a century later, the continent’s major rivers and lakes were mapped if not tamed. In a far more luxurious mode, we hark back to that exploratory era with a private voyage on Lake Kariba at the heart of this exclusive safari. Aboard an elegant new vessel built for African waters, we access a vast, wild expanse well off the conventional safari circuit, with a special focus on Zimbabwe. Our grand adventure visits four diverse national parks including Hwange, renowned for its big game, and Botswana's Chobe, both celebrated wildlife havens along important rivers that sustain a profusion of species. Plus Victoria Falls!
    A Natural Habitat Adventures traveler views an African elephant from his safari truck in Hwange National Park, ZimbabweAn African elephant wades through the water in Mana Pools National Park, ZimbabweTwo African lion cubs on a termite mound in Hwange National Park, ZimbabweAfrican safari camp tent at Davidson's Camp at night, Linkwasha Private Concession, Hwange National Park, ZimbabweA saddle-billed stork flying at Lake Kariba, ZimbabweView from the African Dream ship on Lake Kariba at sunset, Zimbabwe, AfricaTravelers view two female African lions walking in front of their safari vehicle, Mana Pools, Zimbabwea hippopotamus in the Zambezi River, Mana Pools National Park, ZimbabweView of the African Dream ship at night, Lake Kariba, ZimbabweA guide and traveler cheers with their coffee cups in Mana Pools National Park, ZimbabweTwo African fish eagles perch in a tree, Lake Kariba, ZimbabweThe outdoor deck of Ruckomechi Camp overlooking the Zambezi River, Mana Pools, ZimbabweTravelers view an African elephant walking through the water from their safari vehicle, Matusadona National Park, Zimbabwe

Trip Highlights

  • A Pioneering Safari ApproachOn a private voyage aboard a small luxury ship for just 16 guests, explore the islands, inlets and inland wildlife realms of vast Lake Kariba 
  • Outstanding Private Wildlife ViewingDiscover Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s largest protected area and wildlife crown jewel, from the seclusion of a private concession
  • Diverse Adventures in Four ParksExplore by boat, on foot and by 4x4 safari truck on a comprehensive itinerary that features four national parks—including Victoria Falls!

A Unique Combination Safari on Land and Water

Whether you’ve been on multiple safaris or this is your first, you won’t find another itinerary offering this much variety in a safari destination that features exceptional wildlife but very few crowds. Check our the distinctive features of this wide-ranging adventure:

  1. Explore One of the World’s Largest Lakes Aboard a Deluxe Riverboat
    The centerpiece of this exclusive safari is a private 3-night exploration on Lake Kariba, the world's largest manmade lake. Aboard the Zimbabwean Dream, an elegant new riverboat built for African waters, we have access to a vast expanse far off the conventional safari circuit—including Matusadona National Park bordering the lake. With eight cabin suites, the ship accommodates a maximum of just 16 guests.
  2. Bookend Your Time on the Water with Top Wildlife Viewing Locations
    Before and after our voyage on Lake Kariba, enjoy land safaris in two outstanding wildlife sanctuaries. Discover Hwange National Park, famed for its huge herds of elephant and buffalo, and its healthy predator populations. Then, depending upon your route, finish up in Mana Pools National Park, a secluded wildlife haven on the Lower Zambezi floodplains, or Chobe National Park in Botswana—both are home to prolific hippo, crocodile and diverse hoofed game.
  3. Visit Four Different National Parks
    This comprehensive immersion showcases four distinctly different national parks: Hwange, Matusadona, Mosi-oa-Tunya (Victoria Falls), and either Mana Pools or Chobe, depending on the route you've chosen. Together, the parks showcase a tremendous diversity of wildlife, habitats and dramatic landscapes. 
  4. Travel with Just 16 Guests 
    A small group is essential to the best safari experience, allowing us to get closer to wildlife without disturbing it and enhancing a sense of isolation in the wilderness. With no more than 16 guests aboard the riverboat, we further limit our impact by dividing into two smaller groups for most safari activities. 
  5. Chartered Flights Maximize Your Time on Safari
    Traveling between safari locations by chartered light aircraft, rather than long, dusty drives over rough dirt roads, allows us to spend more time watching wildlife on safari, rather than in transit, while enjoying scenic aerial views.
  6. Stay in Seclusion at Deluxe Camps on Private Concessions
    We stay on private concessions within or adjacent to national parks wherever possible, where visitor density is very low. From intimate safari camps in secluded environs, we feel alone in the wilderness amidst an abundance of wildlife. Yet despite such isolation, surprising luxuries await—you'll lack for no comfort. 
  7. Travel with the World's Finest Naturalist Guides
    Our guests enjoy the personalized service of some of the best-trained, most experienced naturalist guides in all of Africa—a Nat Hab hallmark. Your Nat Hab Expedition Leader will accompany your group from start to finish, ensuring a superior safari experience. Our guides average 15 years' experience, with additional training and resources provided by WWF scientists. Our philosophy on this is simple: an African safari is only as good as the guide, so we provide the very best! See Expedition Leader bios with traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
  8. Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Superior Safari Experience
    With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive guarantee, which clearly states that we will meet the lofty expectations we set in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
  9. Feel Good About Your Carbon-Neutral Journey
    We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you travel with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset—including your round-trip flights from home. Natural Habitat Adventures has been the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company since 2007.
  10. Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF's Travel Partner
    Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our adventures, World Wildlife Fund—the world's leading environmental conservation organization—has named Natural Habitat Adventures as its worldwide travel partner, a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!

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