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Ultimate River Cruise

Explore the islands close to the Victoria Falls, enjoy a quiet picnic on one of the islands, then relax on the top deck of one of the finer cruise boats on the upper Zambezi River

On this adventure on the upper Zambezi River, explore the islands close to the Victoria Falls heading upstream, and then hop aboard the African Queen boat for an exclusive cruise in the captain’s cabin. The river safari starts on a small safari boat with Berkley jet drive at the Royal Livingstone jetty, with a speedy ride across the rapids, then slowing down to a leisurely pace to enjoy close-up river game and birding before stopping for delicious refreshments on one of the islands.

Elephants in the Zambezi River, seen on a river safari near Victoria Falls. Zambia

River safari on the small boat

After the break, the boat continues slowly upstream to meet with the African Queen vessel. This is where you will go up to the captain’s cabin for an intimate cruise with elevated views of the surrounding scenery. Read more about what you are likely to encounter on a Zambezi cruise here.

The African Queen at sunset on the Zambezi River. Zambia.

African Queen at sunset

Sample Menu


Crudités with Aubergine & Lemon Roasted Sesame Dip
Mint Flavoured Vegetable Samosas
Beef Samosas
Fresh Coriander Zambezi Bream Fish Cakes
Crumbed Chicken Wing Lollipops


Chilled Seasonal Fresh Fruit & Cheese Platter
Key Lime Pie


An island picnic awaits on the Zambezi River

Island picnic during the Ultimate river cruise


Minimum to confirm a trip: 2 passengers

Maximum capacity: 8 passengers

Facilities aboard the African Queen: a triple deck 70-foot catamaran furnished with Rhodesian Teak, Beech Wood and brass finishes; Captain’s cabin on the top deck, bar, luxurious cushioned furniture; bathrooms on the lower decks.

Duration: +/- 2.5 hours. Pick up from any lodge/hotel within Livingstone Town from 4:00pm in the summer or 3:30pm in the winter. Drop off at any lodge/hotel within Livingstone Town will be at about 7:00pm in the summer and 6:30pm in the winter.

Minimum and maximum age: none

The Boats on the Ultimate River Cruise


Capacity: HIGH WATER – 7 guests plus 1 crew
LOW WATER – 6 guests plus 1 crew
Capacity: HIGH WATER – 10 guests plus 2 crew
LOW WATER – 4 guests plus 2 crew
Capacity: HIGH WATER – 16 guests plus 2 crew
LOW WATER – 12 guests plus 2 crew
Capacity: HIGH WATER – 22 guests plus 2 crew
LOW WATER – 16 guests plus 2 crew

Hull Type: Aluminium
Propulsion: 350 V8 Chevy with Berkley jet drive
Boat capacity changes in the low and high water seasons. Please note the above numbers are guidelines, boat capacity may change without notice due to changing water levels.


The Decks can accommodate:
Lower Deck 40 – 70 people
Mid Deck 40 – 60 people
Captain’s Cabin Up to 8 people
At full capacity, the African Queen can comfortably accommodate 120 passengers; a minimum number of 110 people is required for exclusive bookings.

The Captain's Cabin on the top deck of the African Queen boat, floating on the upper Zambezi River near the Victoria Falls.

The Captain's Cabin

Included in the Ultimate River Cruise

• Park fees are included ONLY for guests staying at the Royal Livingstone / Avani, and lodges located within the park.
• Shared road transfers to and from your accommodation in Livingstone town.
• Light meals or snacks are provided on the cruise.
• Drinks include mineral water, soft drinks and selected local beers.


• Transfers from AirBnB lodges or out of town lodges and hotels. Additional transfers can be arranged.
• US$10 river usage fee per person (except for guests staying at Avani or Royal Livingstone Hotel).

What to Bring

• Camera
• Sunscreen and mosquito repellent
• US$10 park fee per person

What to Wear

Wear comfortable clothing and sunglasses. In summer, light clothes as it can get hot. In winter, bring warm sweater or jacket for the sunrise and sunset cruises at it can get chilly in the early morning and in the evening.

What Not to Bring

• Valuables. Please leave these locked up in a safe at your hotel
• Anything else that you will not need while on your cruise.

Zooting up the upper Zambezi River on the safari boat near Victoria Falls. Zambia.

The river safari boat going past the islands


Children under 12 pay 50% of the adult rate and 50% of the park fees. Children under 4 years old are free of charge.

Dietary Requirements

Please notify your travel consultant of any special or dietary requirements and allergies as you make your booking, or prior to arrival.


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