Pangolin Voyager Houseboat
Binoculars? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Hat? Check. Good. You’re ready to board.
Jump on from Kasane waterfront immigration. A transfer boat will then collect you and take you through to Impalila Island for Namibia immigration formalities.
Spread over three levels, the houseboat holds up to 8 guests per trip.
It generally moves every second day in the Kasai Channel as well as Kasika and Serondella within Chobe National Park. It’s a nice way to pass the time. Extremely nice.
And it doesn’t matter if you’re a wildlife enthusiast, photographer or just want a holiday, you’ve made a good choice here. Why? Well, it’s not unusual to wake up to hundreds of buffalo grazing peacefully next to the boat. Cool.
The Pangolin Voyager can sleep a maximum of eight guests, plus a guide or pilot, so it’s good for small groups. You can take over the whole boat for a private safari experience.
On the lower deck there are five en-suites. These can be configured into either double or twin-bedded rooms. They’re furnished with African rosewood and Egyptian cotton. There are built-in cupboards, centralised air conditioning, plenty of plug points and a fan.
The bathrooms in each cabin feature a shower with complimentary shower gel and shampoo.
8 seater photo boat
boat for general game viewing and visits ashore
This is your chance to have the most likes on an Instagram photo of the day. Don’t blow it.
Listen up. Alongside the houseboat there’s an eight-seater photo boat. Yes! And listen to this - the chairs on the boat can be fitted with specialist camera mounts. Smart.
And you are in arguably one of the top game viewing destinations in Africa. The Caprivi floodplain throws up a lot of game. Apart from elephant herds which the Chobe is renowned for, you should see loads of buffalo and sable too. Predators often wander up riverside to check out dinner options.
Basically, you design the itinerary. You can do whatever you fancy throughout the day and meanwhile the boat’s two chefs will get your meals and snacks sorted.
The guides have all undergone photo guide training and are aware of light and positioning as well as being knowledgable about animal behaviour. But there isn’t a photographic host, tuition or camera equipment - unless you’re booked on one of the workshops.
Or, if you just want to watch game live their lives, please do. Most of the animals spend a large chunk of their year round the river, so they are used to the boats. There is another boat for general game viewing and visits to the local communities and landmarks.
The Chobe is also an important birding area. 390 species have been seen from the boats alone. These include slaty egret, western banded snake eagle, rock pratincole, African skimmer, Schalow’s turaco and coppery tailed coucal.
If birds are your passion then come when the houseboats moves upstream. Once a year the Pangolin Voyager chugs up the Zambezi to a Southern Carmine Bee-eater breeding site for a month. Tens of thousands of these colourful birds arrive from Central Africa to breed on one small sandbank. The guides are exceptional birders and very happy to help seek out specific species that you may want to view. Birding season runs from January until the end of March with several top ornithologists hosting safaris during that time on the houseboat.
If you’d like to learn more about the locals you can. The people of the floodplains are called the Subiya, and their language is related to Western Tonga and one of the earliest languages of the Zambezi, believed to have arrived around the Iron Age. You can visit a local village as the Pangolin has a close link to the community.
Or ask your guide to take you for a walk on the floodplains, or on the nearby Impalila Island. You can climb a giant baobab tree at the point where the four countries of Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia meet. The walk is wonderful and gentle.
Similar Properties in Chobe National Park
Chobe Safari Lodge
Chobe Safari Lodge is conveniently positioned in Kasane, Botswana - the hub of the Chobe-Victoria Falls tourist route - and on the edge of the Chobe National Park.
Chobe Bush Lodge
If you need a comfortable, good value compromise between staying at an exclusive safari lodge inside the game reserve and spending a pricey night or two in Victoria Falls, then Chobe Bush Lodge is a good option.
Tlouwana Camp is in Botswana's Lesoma Valley Reserve adjacent to Chobe National Park. Owner-run, Tlouwana is homely, comfortable and very very quiet.
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