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Zambezi Queen

Rivers and Rails of Africa: Zambezi Queen & Rovos Rail

15-day luxury rail & cruise holiday from £12,640 pp incl. flights


Short description

Let luxury river and rail journeys showcase the natural beauty and city wonders of South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe


  • Contrast Cape Town's big-city energy with the vineyard beauty of the nearby Winelands
  • Spot Africa's wildlife icons on a luxury Botswana river cruise
  • Experience nature at its most powerful with a stay at Victoria Falls
  • Travel in style aboard Rovos Rail, stopping off for a Big-Five safari at Hwange National Park

In Brief

  • 3 Nights Cape Town
  • 1 Night Kasane
  • 2 Nights Chobe National Park
  • 1 Night Chobe River
  • 2 Nights Victoria Falls
  • 3 Nights Rovos Rail


Recommended for:
Rail journey | River cruise

Begin in Cape Town, whose Table Mountain backdrop provides the remarkable setting for expert-led excursions encompassing everything from sweeping Winelands estates, to history-defining Robben Island and the Western Cape's rugged Atlantic coast. Then, fly north to Botswana for a four-day river cruise aboard the elegant Zambezi Queen as you spot wallowing hippos, roaming lions and great herds of elephants in Chobe National Park and examine the country's unique culture first-hand on a guided village tour. Lastly, cross the border into Zimbabwe to feel the full force of nature at Victoria Falls before an opulent journey aboard Rovos Rail takes you, via a safari at Hwange National Park, back to South Africa and its capital, Pretoria.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK to Cape Town

Start your holiday in style with included VIP lounge access before your overnight flight to Cape Town.

Day 2
Cape Town

Arriving into South Africa's Mother City you'll be met for an included transfer to your luxury V&A Waterfront hotel – the Cape Grace. Situated in the shadow of Table Mountain and lined with pristine white sand beaches and multi-cultural neighbourhoods, Cape Town provides a postcard introduction to your stay in the Rainbow Nation.

Stay: Cape Grace V&A Waterfront, Cape Town (Deluxe)

Meals: D

Days 3-4
Around Cape Town

The next day, you'll head out along the coast, passing the 12 Apostles, Hout Bay and Chapman's Peak, to arrive at the Cape of Good Hope where the Portuguese attempted to establish a trade route with their ports in the Far East. After lunch overlooking False Bay, you'll head to Boulders Beach to meet and perhaps even swim with the resident penguins. Then, on day four, a choice of guided excursions will either showcase the Winelands' award-winning estates, or take in the chequered history of Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was once held captive. The latter tour also includes a cable car ride to admire the views from Table Mountain's lofty summit.

Stay: Cape Grace V&A Waterfront, Cape Town (Deluxe)

Meals: B L

Day 5
Chobe River

Leaving South Africa behind, you'll transfer to Cape Town Airport for your flight north to Kasane in Botswana. Clearing customs in both Botswana and Namibia, you'll arrive at your departure point on the northern bank of the Chobe River to begin your adventure aboard the Zambezi Queen. This afternoon, after lunch on board, you'll head out by private tender to watch as animals gather at the river for sunset. Then, return to the ship for welcome cocktails with the captain on the upper deck, followed a three-course, wine-paired dinner.

Stay: Zambezi Queen (Deluxe)

Meals: B D

Days 6-7
Chobe River & National Park

Perhaps rise early to sip coffee as the sun rises over the river before heading out on a boat safari to explore the Chobe's wildlife-rich banks. Then, after a delicious lunch on board, you'll embark on a further water-based safari, this time by double-decker barge, as you head in to the meandering southern channels in search of hippos and elephants. The following day you'll swap water for dry land as you set out in an open-top 4x4 vehicle to explore Chobe National Park. Here, everything from giraffe, elephant and zebra to sable, warthog and cape buffalo share the open savannahs, riverine forests and vast floodplains with roaming prides of lions, packs of hyenas and solitary leopards. In between game drives, you'll enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch served under the shade of camel thorn and acacia trees.

Stay: Zambezi Queen (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 8
Chobe River

A change of pace this morning as you disembark to explore a typical village on the banks of the river. It's a unique chance to learn first-hand about the local customs and culture, and to spend time playing with the children and talking to the elders. In the afternoon, there's a choice of excursions including birdwatching, catch-and-release fishing or another boat safari. Then, return to the ship for an African-themed dinner hosted by the crew, complete with singing and dancing.

Stay: Zambezi Queen (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Days 9-10
Victoria Falls

Disembark and transfer across the border to Zimbabwe and the thundering torrents of Victoria Falls. Checking into the Victoria Falls Hotel, whose unrivalled terrace views take in the spectacular Second Gorge, you'll have a free afternoon to explore the nearby town or experience one of the many activities offered at your hotel; there's everything from bridge swings and bungee jumps to helicopter flights and game drives. This evening, step back in time as you board a historic steam train for a scenic journey across the iconic Victoria Falls Bridge. Expect sweeping views, five-star service and sunset cocktails before returning to the hotel for an included dinner. The next day you'll join a local guide for a tour of the falls themselves followed by another afternoon of optional activities and a sundowner cruise complete with drinks, tapas and live music.

Stay: Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe (Deluxe)

Meals: B D

Days 11-13
Rovos Rail

There's more time for optional activities this morning before your transfer to Victoria Falls train station. Here, you'll begin your opulent journey south aboard Rovos Rail. Settling into your luxury cabin, you'll watch as Zimbabwe's vast expanse rushes past before heading to the dining car for the first of your included gourmet meals, wine-matched of course. Then, after a restful night, you'll disembark early for a full-day safari in the Hwange National Park. One of the continent's 10 largest national parks, it's home to an incredible diversity of wildlife with some 400 species of bird and 107 different types of animal. On any given day you can expect to see  lion, giraffe, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and elephant. In fact, the park is home to one of the world's largest elephant populations with around 40,000 of these magnificent beasts roaming its endless pans and shady woodlands. The next day, crossing the Tropic of Capricorn, you'll arrive back into South Africa, passing through an arid landscape of baobab trees en route to Pretoria. Enjoy more delicious onboard dining and spend a final night in your opulent cabin before arriving into the capital.

Stay: Rovos Rail (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Days 14-15
Depart for UK

Transferring to the airport in nearby Johannesburg, board your overnight flight back to the UK. 

Stay: Rovos Rail (Deluxe)

Meals: B



Any element of this cruise can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.


15-day luxury rail & cruise holiday
from £12,640 pp incl. flights

Price from
Book by: 31 July 2024


  • Return scheduled flights from the UK in economy class (upgrades available) plus:

Cape Town

  • Arrival airport transfer
  • 3-nights at the luxurious Cape Grace hotel in upgraded Table Mountain View Rooms including daily breakfast
  • Welcome Reception with drinks and tapas
  • Full day Cape of Good Hope tour including African Penguin encounter and local lunch with drinks
  • Cableway to the summit of Table Mountain
  • Cape Winelands tour including tastings and lunch OR guided visit to Robben Island followed by lunch and tour of Cape Town’s diverse neighbourhoods

Zambezi Queen

  • 4-night accommodations in a balcony suite
  • Chobe National Park safari
  • Private boat safaris along the banks of the Chobe River
  • Visit to African village for a cultural interaction with the community
  • Traditional African dinner
  • All meals included during the cruise with complimentary wine and beer

Victoria Falls

  • 2-night stay at the Victoria Falls Hotel in upgraded Stable Wing Rooms including daily breakfast
  • Elephant Interaction Experience at a Wildlife Sanctuary and Orphanage
  • Guided tour of Victoria Falls National Park
  • Exclusive Zambezi River Sundowner Cruise with drinks, tapas and music
  • Victoria Falls neighbourhood tour with home hosted lunch

Rovos Rail

  • 3-night or 4-night journey on the Rovos Rail luxury train depending on departure date
  • All meals and drinks included on board the train
  • Excursions accompanied by a qualified guide
  • 24-hour full room service and bar facilities

Price varies by departure date and cabin availability, please call for details.

Terms & Conditions: Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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