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Zambezi Cruises - Zambia

Unforgettable cruise on the Zambezi River with spectacular scenery, birds and animals

The African Queen vessel cruising the Zambezi River

The African Queen vessel on the Zambezi River

Going on a sunset cruise on the Zambezi is an absolute must when you visit Victoria Falls. The beauty of the luscious bush and vast Zambezi River is such a peaceful experience. Not only do you get to take in the sights, but during a sunset cruise, you most certainly will see the river regulars such as the hippo, crocodile and elephants, to name a few. Sunset is the time when a lot of the animals converge for their last drink of the day.

There are a number of Zambezi cruise options in Zambia.

African Queen and African Princess

The African Queen and African Princess, are amongst the most popular vessels. The African Queen is the larger boat, which can accommodate 120 guests comfortably. The African Princess is smaller in size, accommodating 80 people. They are comfortable luxury boats with lower and middle deck, plus a Captain's cabin which offers a more private option for up to 8 people on the African Queen and 6 people on the African Princess.

Breakfast cruises pick up from 7am, and drop off at 10am. The cruise itself is 2 hours long, and includes breakfast on the Zambezi River. See the sample menu below:

• Fruit Juice, Tea, Coffee
• Bran Muffins
• Toast, Butter, Preserves
• Fruit Yoghurt
• Cornflakes, All Bran
• Seasonal Fresh Fruit Platter
• Scrambled Eggs
• Bacon
• Beef / Chicken Cocktail Sausages

Lunch cruises pick up from 11:30am and drop off at 2:30pm. The cruise is 2 hours long and includes drinks and lunch on the river. See the sample menu below:

• Rosemary Herb Bread
• Rolls & Butter
• Greek Salad
• Vegetable Quiche
• Savoury Rice
• Chicken Schnitzel
• Beef Fillet with Pepper Sauce
• Seasonal Fresh Fruit Skewer
• Chocolate Mousse Tot
• Tea & Coffee

Sunset cruises start to pick up guests from 4pm in the summer or 3:30pm in the winter, departing from the Royal Landing jetty at 16h00 during winter and 16h30 in the summer months. While you sip on delicious cocktails and freshly made snacks, the boat will take you around the nearby islands on the Zambezi. The cruise boats do not go closer than 4km from the edge of the Victoria Falls but you will be able to see the rising spray from the safety of the vessel. The duration of a single trip is about 2 hours. See the sample menu below:

Served at Separate Intervals...
• Salted Roasted Peanuts
• Bread Sticks with Chickpea Hummus
• Toasted Canapés with toppings of Egg Mayo, Cheese & Tomato, Roast Beef & Pickled Onion
• Vegetable Spring Roll, Fresh Rosemary Flavoured Chicken Nugget Nest with Cocktail Sauce
• Chocolate Torte Delight – Gluten Free

If you want a more private affair, the Captain's Cabin provides the ultimate in luxury and privacy. Enjoy your choice of a Breakfast, Lunch or Sunset Cruise on the top deck, in the exclusive company of the Captain. See the sample menu below:

• Salted Roast Peanuts
• Cheese Straws
• Shooter Glass Carrot & Cucumber
• Crudités with Hummus Dip
• Mint Herb Chicken Samosas
• Aubergine & Cream Cheese Roll with Chimichurri Sauce
• Sesame Seed Chicken Nuggets with Sweet & Sour Sauce
• Mini BBQ Beef Kebabs
• Seasonal Fruit & Cheese Platter

Transfers for African Queen / African Princess Zambezi cruises are provided from the Day Activity Centre to the jetty.

Spectacular Sunset on the Zambezi River

Spectacular Sunset on the Zambezi River

The Lady Livingstone

From the David Livingstone Safari Lodge & Spa comes one of Zambia's finest cruise vessel called the Lady Livingstone. Also a luxury cruise boat, it is larger than the African Queen or the African Princess. The Lady Livingstone takes you along the Zambezi River at the edge of the Mosi oa Tunya National Park while you enjoy freshly baked snacks and drinks which are included in the price.

An experienced guide accompanies each cruise and has good knowledge on the wildlife and local history of the area. With a fantastic hospitality team, including chef, barmen and host, guests are taken on a luxury adventure in comfort and style. All that's left to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the Zambezi style gourmet cuisine, excellent service and the spectacular scenery.

The lower deck accommodates 80 passengers, the middle deck 50, while the top deck can comfortably take 24 guests.

Sunset cruises are offered on the Lady Livingstone, picking up from 4:30pm in the summer or 4pm in the winter months. Each cruise is 2 hours. Breakfast and lunch trips are available but require a minimum of 15 guests.

The Lady Livingstone cruise boat on the Zambezi River near Victoria Falls

The Lady Livingstone vessel

Sample Menu on the Lady Livingstone is as follows:

• Cucumber cups with feta
• Avocado tart with tomato relish
• Basil pesto crostini with roasted cherry tomatoes
• Thai chicken skewers
• Beef, Olive and Red Onion
• Pear and blue cheese basket with chopped nuts
• Caprese salad skewers
• Chocolate truffles
• Brownies
• White chocolate rocky road

Ultimate River Cruise

This cruise is a true exploration of the Zambezi River above the Victoria Falls. It takes you through the small channels and past the islands on the Zambezi River, then you hop onto the African Queen boat for a sunset cruise to the evening, with an island picnic in between. More on the Ultimate River Cruise.

Ultimate River Safari on the Zambezi River near Victoria Falls

First part of the Ultimate River Cruise

Ultimate River Safari on the Zambezi River near Victoria Falls

Sipping and snacking aboard the African Queen captain's cabin

Budget Zambezi Cruise

If you are wanting to save a bit of money, you can opt for the budget Zambezi cruise aboard the MV Makumbi (or MV Mambushi). These two boats are based at the Waterfront Lodge. They are not as luxurious as the Lady Livingstone or African Queen boats, but these boats offer a bit of a party atmosphere at times.

For a sunset Zambezi cruise, guests are picked up from 4:30pm in the summer or 4pm in the winter months. Each cruise is 2 hours long. Breakfast and lunch trips are available but require a minimum of 4 guests. The sample snack menu is as follows:

• Groundnuts, Carrot & Cucumber Batons, Tortilla Crisps with Dips, Mini Pizza, Sausage Rolls & Chicken Wings
• Boerewors, Grilled Chicken, Green Salad, Coleslaw & Fresh Bread Rolls

MV Makumbi is the larger of the two, taking up to 100 people at any one time. The hospitality team on this cruise include barmen and hostess.

Fun on the Zambezi River on a cruise near Victoria Falls

The MV Makumbi boat

The MV Mambushi is a much smaller boat, for up to 20 passengers at a time. It is also ideal for a private or specialist group.

Budget Zambezi cruise near Victoria Falls

The MV Mambushi

What you will need to bring

• Camera
• Sunglasses
• US$10 National Park fees to be paid on entry
• Warm jacket in the winter months


Children's rates vary with each Zambezi cruise, but generally, children pay 50% of the adult price for the cruise as well as the parks fees. Please contact us for assistance.


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Customer Feedback

Brilliant service and so helpful
by Sally (Blisworth, U.K.)
I stumbled across Victoria Fall Guide by accident, but I am so glad I did. Tony and Boo were so helpful, advising us on the best activities for us as I have mobility issues, and arranging our itinerary and booking everything. I had no worries about using them, or sending a very large payment to someone I didn’t know. Everything they booked for us was so well organised, pick ups on time, knowledgeable and friendly guides, clean transport. We did the walking tour of the falls, the sunset dinner cruise, full day at Chobe, the team, lion encounter and the helicopter and every single one was faultless. We were also due to do the lunar rainbow but unfortunately it was cancelled, however boo arranged the refund immediately. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone. We are so grateful to them for making our special holiday even more so.

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