The Pangolin Voyager Houseboat floats along the Zambezi and Chobe river throughout the year hosting guests in one of the wildest African settings. The boat itself is on the Namibian side of the river between Namibia and Botswana on the Caprivi Strip. Guest pass through Botswana to the houseboat, please be aware visa requirements for both countries.
The Pangolin ship has three levels affording plenty of space for up to 10 guests at any one time. The lower deck has rooms, the central floor has communal areas, and the upper deck is an observation deck. The lower level has five en-suite rooms with double or twin beds. The beds are fitted with premium linen. The cabins have inbuilt cupboards, ceiling fans and the windows are equipped with a mosquito net.
The middle deck has a lounge equipped with binoculars and reference books, and it is a comfortable and elegant spot to watch the world go by while enjoying a cold one.
The dining area has a deck leading off it to a terrace at the rear of the boat. Meals are had at the large dining table, and the menu changes depending on what produce is in seasons. There is a well-stocked bar to serve your sundowner needs.
The top deck is a viewing deck with chairs, sun loungers a perfect spot to lounge about under African sun while watching elephant on the banks of the Chobe.
There is an eight-seater photographic boat with rotating seats and fitted with state of the art camera mounts. The ships are available all day and alongside should any photo opportunity arise on the river. Boat for wildlife viewing, tiger fishing or for visiting local fishing villages are available as desired. The guides are very knowledgeable about the river ecosystem, and its inhabitants and guests are encouraged to engage with them. Unless you have booked a particular photo workshop, there is no detailed instruction or equipment on board the boat.
The specials listed below will automatically be offered to you when proceeding through the booking process.
This safari visits two of the most iconic and abundant rivers in the region – The Chobe and The Okavango Delta. You will spend the first half of the safari onboard our houseboat The Pangolin Voyager followed by a stay at the fantastic Bushman Plains Camp deep in The Okavango Delta. This package is designed for a small group of guests (up to eight) wanting to have the houseboat and the camp exclusively to themselves.
More and more we have noticed a trend in families and groups of friends with common interests, such as wildlife photography, seeking out an exclusive safari experience where they can have the lodge or camp (or as in this case houseboat) all to themselves.
In response to this we have teamed up with Bushman Plains in the Okavango Delta which not only offers the most fantastic and intimate bush experience but also has the same number of tents as we have cabins on the Pangolin Voyager Houseboat.
We suggest that to make the most of both destinations then a minimum of three nights needs to be spent in each and is really suitable for groups of four to eight guests with any children ideally aged nine and above.
The itinerary can be in either order but here is what you can expect at each location:
The Pangolin Voyager Houseboat
Our floating lodge is moored on the Namibian side of the Chobe river and ranges between The Kasai channel to the East and Serondela in the West. We have three mooring points where you will spend each night.
The houseboat has five cabins and can sleep up to ten people, but we normally suggest a maximum of eight. This allows a couple of members of the family or group who might require their own cabin to be accommodated. Alternatively, this allows for the addition of a private photo guide or pilot to also be accommodated onboard too. Each of the ensuite and airconditioned cabins can be made up as double or twin beds.
During the day you will have access to an eight-seater photographic boat as well as another tender boat for general game viewing. Each of the seats on the photo boat rotates 360 degrees and is fitted with a camera mount which can easily be removed for accompanying non-photographers.
When you go out on the photo boat and for how long is entirely up to you. This is your private charter and the schedule of activities is yours to decide upon. The guides will be on hand to head out at a moment’s notice – with a freshly filled cooler box!
In addition to photography and game viewing there is seasonal tiger fishing in the Kasai Channel which can be arranged with a local operator at a small additional cost.
The beauty of having a private charter is that you will immediately feel at home and should you just want to relax on the sundeck with a good book and a cold drink then that is entirely your prerogative too.
The chefs onboard will keep you well fed throughout the day and you will have access to the well-stocked bar either to help yourself or have one of the crew fix you a drink. We can cater for most dietary requirements and if you are celebrating a special occasion a cake and a tray of bubbly can miraculously appear from the galley right on queue if desired!
Getting from The Pangolin Voyager to Bushman Plains couldn’t be easier. Once you have entered back onto the Botswana side of The Chobe River it’s a five minute drive to the airport and then a one and a half hour flight to the Kadizora Airstrip in The Delta which services the camp.
This rustic little camp hidden on the edge of a tree lined island is one of our favourite places in Botswana. Like Pangolin it is owner managed and does away with all the unnecessary frills to concentrate on the wildlife experience that our more discerning clientele really crave.
As with the Pangolin Voyager there are five guest tents which mirrors the configuration on the houseboat. There is a central dining area, editing tent and a campfire, of course, to enjoy with your friends and family after dinner under the beautiful Jackalberry trees and ultimately the African night sky.
The Bushmen (and women) who own and manage the camp have lived here all their lives and this reflects in the deep understanding of every facet of its ecology. Here people learn about tracking and bush craft as soon as they can walk and this is what makes the wildlife experience so special at Bushman plains.
The camp has two game viewers which are yours to use for the duration of your stay. There are two guides onboard each with one driving as the other one follows the tracks from the “jump seat” on the front. This teamwork is hugely productive. The advantage of having two vehicles is that the group has the option of a drive all together (there are nine seats per vehicle) or to split of there are different interests and needs within the group. Again, the camp is yours and you can decide on the schedule.
An additional activity not to be missed is the game walk where your Bushman guide will take time to explain the tracks that you come across as well as the uses for the various trees and plants in the local culture. It’s fascinating.
During the floods (usually from May to October) it is possible top experience it is possible to experience that most iconic Delta activity – a Mokoro excursion. This traditional dug-out canoe is punted through the channels by expert “polers” and is a wonderfully serene way to experience the Delta.
The food at Bushman Plains is good wholesome fare served in the communal dining tent and once in a while around the fire on your laps in the traditional Bushman way. The well-stocked bar is always open for business (and complimentary) with plenty of chilled alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.
Based on 8 people travelling together