Chobe is famous for phenomenal game viewing. The lush Chobe River floodplains are a magnet for wildlife and home to Africa’s greatest concentration of elephants. If you like elephants; you’ll love Chobe! Then there are the pods of hippos, the crocodiles basking on sunny riverbanks, lion, leopard, giraffe, buffalo, and many other big and smaller game species, along with a colourful abundance of birds.
The best way to see these wildlife scenes is on a Chobe River safari – a holiday like no other! But there’s more to it than that. Each of our safaris helps protect this incredible wilderness. By opting to postpone – rather than cancel – your holiday plans, you’ll not only have an unforgettable adventure to look forward to, but you’ll also be directly contributing to this land, its wildlife and the local people.
Our Zambezi Queen Collection Family
Anyone who’s been aboard the Zambezi Queen, her Chobe Princesses or stayed at Ichingo Chobe River Lodge are sure to agree: our staff are our greatest asset! We employ 150 staff, 98% of whom come from surrounding villages and communities on the Namibian side of the Chobe River.
Each staff salary supports about 8 dependents which is altogether around 1,200 people. There’s no unemployment insurance in Namibia or austerity measures like in Europe, Australia and the USA. The Zambezi Queen Collection remains committed to our family of staff, and are weathering this storm together.
Conserving Africa’s Wildlife
Since we started our collection of 4 houseboats and our tented lodge, there’s been a vast reduction in poaching and community hunting on the Namibian side of the river. Wildlife can now freely cross from Chobe National Park to fresh grazing on the islands or Namibian riverbanks.
While supporting local communities, we also help promote the importance of conservation and wildlife. There used to be frequent friction and unhappiness between the Botswana Wildlife officials and nearby Namibian villages (and understandably so). Since our involvement and increase in local employment, these incidents have greatly reduced.
Then there’s the important projects and programmes that we support. To start with there’s the fees; annually the Zambezi Queen Collection contributes over R1.3 million towards conservation, concession and park fees. Here’s a closer look:
- Conservation & Conservancy Fees: the Zambezi Queen Collection is spread over 3 conservancies. We contribute monthly to each conservancy, and the fees are used for anti-poaching, to patrol for illegal fishing nets, and for general upkeep and cleaning.
- Community Leases: we support communities through a fee paid to the local landowners wherever the Zambezi Queen and Chobe Princesses moor their boats. These families live in 9 different sites along the Chobe River.
- Park Fees: park fees are applicable to all guests visiting Botswana’s Chobe National Park either on a game drive, or those exploring the southern channels of the Chobe River. These fees help to conserve and protect this remarkable wilderness area.
Community Impact Programmes
We’re involved in a range of programmes to uplift local communities. Here is a list of our ongoing initiatives with the bigger projects focused on access to water and electricity, as well as education. Just 3 of our current projects:
- Together with the Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA) we’re helping sink boreholes and install water tanks. For many families, fetching clean drinking water used to be a laborious and even dangerous task. More on the Kasika Borehole project.
- We’re supplying solar water pumps and panels to communities on an ongoing basis. Three villages have been completed so far, and by the end of 2021 we aim to have all the villages in our conservation areas on eco-friendly solar power.
- Two schools of approximately 180 children have been fully kitted in new uniforms and sports kits.
Postpone, Don’t Cancel
As a guest on board the Zambezi Queen, one of her 3 Chobe Princesses or the secluded Ichingo Chobe River Lodge, you’ll be helping to support these impactful community and conservation projects around the Chobe River.
The world is going through uncertain times, but we know we will travel again. So we ask you to postpone, not cancel. We guarantee that it will be worth the wait.