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Ra Ikane Cruises

Romance and luxury, this cruise is a special experience on the Zambezi River with a variety of options from birding and breakfast cruises to sunset cruises

Ra Ikane luxury Sunset cruise on the Zambezi River - Victoria Falls activities, Zimbabwe

On the Zambezi River at sunset

One of the luxury river cruise experiences in Victoria Falls, the Ra Ikane is named after an important guide and aid during David Livingstone's expeditions, including his discovery of the largest waterfall in the world. A young Lazarus Raikane and David Livingstone met at the Kuruman missionary in South Africa.

The 'Ma Robert' steam boat on which David Livingstone attempted an upstream trip of the Zambezi River

The Ma Robert vessel used by David Livingstone
The Ra Ikane on the Zambezi River near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

The modern smaller boat on the Zambezi River
The Ra Ikane fleet, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

The Ra Ikane fleet
Breakfast on the Zambezi River on the Ra Ikane boat. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Breakfast on the Zambezi
Lunch spread on the afternoon Ra Ikane cruise Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Lunch spread on the afternoon cruise

There are three monohull boats in the fleet, each one designed to look like the elegant Ma Robert vessel that David Livingstone and his crew used to attempt to navigate the Zambezi River from the coast in Mozambique up to the Victoria Falls area - yes, upstream! The vessels resemble a turn of the century riverboat, and boasts a teak superstructure and brass fittings that epitomise Victorian splendour in Africa. Teak tables are dotted around the carpeted floor to fit three people at each, but the open plan allows guests to roam easily between them.

Two of the boats in the fleet are 16-seaters, and the one boat is a smaller 12-seater. Apart from the luxurious look and feel of each of the boats, the size make them more special and intimate. Most boats on the Zambezi are large pontoon cruise vessels, which unlike the Ra Ikane, means that they cannot explore some of the channels on the river, or get a little closer to the Falls.

On each boat is a crew of three - the knowledgeable captain, the guide, and the waiter.

Ra Ikane River Cruises

The river cruises not only offer a personal river safari, but also top service and delicious meals, which are served with premium drinks while you enjoy the scenic beauty of the Zambezi River and its inhabitants.

"Our boats take a circular route around the islands to provide guests with a panoramic view of the upper and lower Zambezi River and the wildlife and birdlife it offers" - Ra-Ikane cruises.

Each cruise is about 2 hours long, and comes with the meals and/or snacks, as well as the beverages served on board. Pickup and drop off at your hotel/town lodge as well as national parks fee (river usage fee) are also included in the rate.

Breakfast Cruise
From about 6:30am, guests are picked up from Victoria Falls hotels and lodges and taken to the pontoon at Ilala Lodge to board the Ra-Ikane. Watch the sunrise over the Zambezi and capture moments of the elephants and other animals coming to the river to quench their morning thirst. A continental breakfast and freshly brewed coffee is included in the experience. Eats such as pastries, freshly baked bread, fruit platters, yogurts, jams and cheeses, are served with your teas and coffees. This cruise drops off from about 9:30am.

Lunch Cruise
Pickups begin at 11:30am from the various hotels/lodges to Ilala Lodge. On this cruise, refreshing drinks are served while the Ra Ikane takes you along the banks of the Zambezi. A buffet of fresh cold meats, salads and cheeses are provided by The Palm Restaurant. A fine selection of beers, spirits, wines and soft-drinks are provided in a fully stocked bar. After the cruise, guests are dropped of at around 2:15pm.

Sunset Cruise
This is usually when a lot of the wildlife come down to the river, although the hippos are a constant sight. It is not unusual to spot elephants playing in the water, crocs along the river's edge, or waterbuck grazing near the river banks. This is the most popular of the cruise options, and many of the operators are on the river at this time of the day. However, being a small boat means that the Ra-Ikane does get to go through channels less traversed, and to the islands upstream that the bigger boats don't go to. Canapés are served on this trip, along with a large range of beverages from the bar. Pickup for this trip begins at 4pm (summer) or 3:30pm (winter), and guests are dropped off from 18:30pm.

Birding Cruise
For the bird-lovers and curious travellers alike, the Zambezi River is home to about 460 bird species, some of which are unique to the Victoria Falls area. The early morning Ra Ikane birding cruise provides an opportunity to relax and spot species such as giant kingfisher, the rarer African fin foot if you are lucky, or the African Fisheagle. This is a very quiet time on the river, and there aren't very many boats around. The best time for birding in this area is probably during the rainy season between November and April. Teas and freshly made pastries are on the menu, along with fruit platters, cheeses and biscuits. Pickup is from 6:30am, and drop-off is at about 9:30am.

What you will need to bring

• Comfortable shoes such as sneakers or shoes with a bit of grip
• Sunglasses
• Warm clothes during winter months, particularly if you are going for the early morning trips
• Camera and/or binoculars

Children
Children under 12 years of age pay 50% of the adult rate

 

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All Activities

Adrenaline & Adventure
White water rafting
River boarding
Bridge swing
Gorge swing
Bridge slide
Zip line
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Boiling Pot Hike
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Night drive and dinner
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Tour of Falls
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Livingstone island tour
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Cultural
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Art of Africa
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Family Friendly Activities

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Client Testimonials

Perfect
by Kate (Zimbabwe)
Many thanks for all your assistance. You have probably been the most responsive and helpful tour organizers I have worked with- anywhere in the world. I'll be sure to recommend you to my colleagues and friends.

All the activities lived up to the hype!
by Alex (Swaziland)
Good Afternoon Boo,
Just wanted to let you know that we are now back in Swaziland and had an incredibly fun time enjoying Victoria Falls! All the activities lived up to the hype and I would like to thank you for all your help in organising a busy but full holiday for us! Everything went smoothly from the moment we arrived to the time we left.
Also wondering where you prefer to have your reviews written?
Thanks again!
All the best

Memory I will not forget
by Sunitha
Hi Jane
Hope you are keeping well.I must say a very big thank you for all your assistance and advice for my trip. I had the most amazing time at Vic Falls, a memory I will not forget.
Thanks a million once again.
Regards
Sunitha

Fantastic Itinerary
by Graham & Janet (United Kingdom)
Dear Boo
We would like to offer our thanks for sorting a fantastic itinerary for our all too short visit to Vic Falls. The cruise on the Zambesi at sunset was a delight and the helicopter flight breathtaking! The pick ups were punctual and staff members were all very smiley, friendly, helpful and good company. The whole experience of the actual Falls and the town itself was outstanding.
We will return! Your company will be our first port of call. Many thanks for a very efficient service.
Best wishes

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