Nothing works up an appetite quite like a day spent on a river safari. The food and beverage offerings onboard the houseboats and at our lodge will certainly fill the gap. The food is exceptional – home-cooked Southern African specialities with a ‘Western’ touch. Not only will you get ample opportunities to sample regional favourites, but you’ll also experience the local culture through these meals and drinks – all served with a smile by our warm-hearted staff.
Feeling hungry? Here are some food and beverage highlights to look forward to on the Chobe River:
Morning coffee with a view
Enjoy your morning cuppa Joe on the balcony of your suite, watching the wildlife wake up on the river and the sun slowly inch above the horizon. Or enjoy it on the upper deck of the Zambezi Queen or Chobe Princesswith your travelling companions. In southern Africa, a morning cup of coffee or tea on safari isn’t enjoyed alone – but with a special side.
Home-baked rusks – A South African favourite – are the perfect morning (or anytime) snack, as you’ll soon discover. Dipped into your chosen warm beverage, a few rusks will tide you over on your early morning boat ride or fishing expedition until you return for breakfast a few hours later.
According to Wikipedia, rusks are a “traditional Afrikaner breakfast meal or snack. They have been dried in South Africa since the late 1690s as a way of preserving bread, especially when traveling long distances without refrigeration.”
The Zambezi Queen Collection takes great pride in sourcing and supporting local, whether recruiting our newest staff member, or gathering the ingredients for lunch.
All staff – wherever possible – are locals and bring their native knowledge and passion for the area to their jobs.
From our boat Captains to our Chefs and Bartenders, our incredible family of staff is one of the many reasons so many of our guests return time and time again.
Meet some of our food and beverage staff:
Starting out as a kitchen assistant in 2010, Moira Mukela – a chef on the Chobe Princess houseboats – worked her way up the ranks of the galley and is now one of our top cooks. Moira was born in the small local village of Kabala on Impalila Island. Read more.
Meet our other fabulous female chefs here.
Mushe is an expert in quenching our guests’ thirst. No holiday is complete without plenty of sundowners, and on the Zambezi Queen, Moses Lubinda (who prefers to go by ‘Mushe’) is the brains behind the bar. Along with plenty of ice-cold beers and other satisfying classics, Mushe also serves up the most mouth-watering cocktails. Moses grew up in Kasika, Namibia. Read more.
Read related content: Read more Staff Stories here.
Fresh from the garden
Did you know that we have a vegetable garden at Ichingo Chobe River Lodge? Our garden supplies fresh produce to our guests – cooked into delicious meals and treats by our talented chefs – and is yet another way in which we are positively impacting the land we occupy and the local community. The fresh produce is organically grown and lovingly tended to prior to harvest so that guests can rest assured that the food served on board is of the freshest, highest quality.
Read related content: Sustainability starts in your garden
Nothing signals you’re on safari quite as efficiently as a good G&T! But on the Zambezi Queen, in particular, you have many more exciting beverage options to choose from.
According to bartender Mushe, the most popular orders amongst guests are margaritas and martinis. The best place to savour every sip is sitting poolside, in the pool itself or in the cosy lounge area. Of course, let’s not forget enjoying your drink soaking up the views from your cabin balcony, which are sure to go down just as well as your chosen beverage.
But what does the bartender recommend? Mushe’s favourite drink to prepare is the “Feel at Home” cocktail, guaranteed to have any guest feeling at home from the very first sip. It’s made with one and a half shots of Absolut Vodka, one double measure of fresh lime juice and a single shot of passion fruit cordial. The mix is served in a tall glass over crushed ice, topped up with soda water and garnished with a slice of orange. Contrary to James Bond’s preference, this one is stirred, not shaken, Mushe says with a grin!
You’re also not going to want to leave without sampling the Zambezi Queen’s signature cocktail – the Strawberry Sunset – created for World Cocktail Day, 13 May, in 2022.
Dinner and a dance
On the flagship Zambezi Queen, guests are treated to traditional song and dance on their last evening on board. Staff from the kitchens and downstairs come up to showcase their natural talent. This special performance is the perfect, heart-warming send-off and a chance for guests to let their hair down and join in too!
Traditional sweet treats
Sweet treats are a favourite in southern Africa, and you’ll get to indulge your sweet tooth in abundance when travelling with us.
Here are some of our staff’s favourites:
Josephine, Head Chef on the Zambezi Queen, crafts the most melt-in-your-mouth lemon meringue. Many guests have spent their lunch hours on the Zambezi Queen debating whether the crust has a hint of coconut (yes, it does!).
Matilda, Chef at Ichingo Chobe River Lodge, is known for her pecan nut pie. Matilda is genuinely part of the Zambezi Queen Collection family, having worked at the lodge for an incredible 23 years!
And if you’re on one of the Chobe Princesses, you simply can’t depart without sampling moreish slices of Chef Jane’s famous carrot cake.
To experience our food and iconic beverages for yourself, contact us today. View our special offers here.