Meet the safari gone eco: Zambezi Queen, the latest in a new wave of luxury experience travel that aims to enlighten, pamper and teach, while sustaining the environment.
The first eco-friendly, floating boutique hotel in Southern Africa, the Zambezi Queen took its inaugural journey last year in Botswana, marking a major departure in high-end river experiences and a landmark event in African tourism.
Now in its second year, the Zambezi Queen takes guests along Botswana’s Chobe River, presenting the numerous wildlife species and nature along the riverbanks from a unique vantage point. Elephants, leopard and lion prides, buffalo, giraffe, the rare puku, hippos and crocodiles come to the river to drink and can be seen as part of this eco tour adventure.
But there is even more behind the luxury. Sustainable, responsible tourism lies at the heart of this project. One of Zambezi Queen’s major concerns is the preservation of the unspoiled area through which it travels. The boat uses a jet propulsion system instead of conventional propellers, which reduces damage to the riverbed and enables the boat to operate in very shallow water.
At night it switches over to a low emission power system for lighting, refrigerators and other technical equipment. This system also cuts down on equipment noise, allowing guests to enjoy the natural atmosphere. All hot water requirements are provided by solar panels, which transfer the sun’s heat to storage boilers. Taps and showers incorporate advanced water saving designs and all wastewater is stored in holding tanks, so as to prevent discharging directly into the river.
At 135 feet long, the ship also boasts a library, numerous games, computer facilities with Internet access, a dining room and fully-stocked bar headed by one of South Africa’s top chefs, and a pool on the upper deck. Safaris are available year-round, with two and three night voyages available.
To learn more about the Zambezi Queen’s luxury African river safaris, visit www.zambeziqueen.com.