If you’re in the Livingstone area of Zambia, I recommend you treat yourself to a sunset cruise along the Zambezi River. The company I chose was The African Cruise Company; their fleet consists of the African Queen and African Princess. When you arrive (and depart), you’re treated to some live music, which adds to the air of historic luxury that surrounds the dock. Once you check in with the front desk, you can board the boat. I recommend checking in quickly so that you have your choice of seat on the two main decks.
It was still early days of the tourist season when I did this cruise so there were only about 10 of us that evening. Even so, we got to experience the larger African Queen, a very lovely triple deck 70-foot catamaran that can hold up to 120 passengers. Being so few in numbers, having all that space was amazing! I was able to change seats multiple times to take advantage of the panoramic views as we sailed up and down the river. For those wanting more privacy, the third level is available for reservation. You do share it with the boat’s captain, though.
The boat cruise is about two hours long; you start around 4:30pm and end around 6:30pm. This gives you enough time in daylight to see your surroundings and enough time to enjoy the “golden hour” light as well as the main event – the setting sun. While you’re cruising, the very attentive staff looks after you with unlimited drinks (can I tempt you to try a gin and tonic with Angostura bitters?) and a plate of snacks. They call it snacks but for me it ended up being my dinner! I ate roasted salted peanuts, vegetable spring rolls, samosas, and chicken kebabs.
My jaunt along the Zambezi River was in the month of April which is the end of the rainy season. This meant that the vegetation on land was very thick, making game viewing difficult. However, I did still see hippos and a variety of birds. It really was very pleasant to be on this big boat with so few people, sailing along the river taking in the beautiful landscape, sipping on my G&T. It’s a life I could get used to very easily, haha. I can only imagine how amazing it would be to see larger game as well from the comfort of your chair!
And then the sunset! Oh wow, it was very lovely. There were a lot of clouds, but I found that they just allowed the sunset to show-off a wider palette of colours. Reds, yellows, purples – I saw the whole gamut, that evening. I don’t think any words I have could express the loveliness of that sky – I’ll just let you browse through the photos! The whole experience left me feeling so appreciative of the beauty we can find in this world of ours.