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9 best off-the-beaten-path river cruises

By: Josh Lew on Nov. 1, 2016, 1:18 p.m.
Tourists look at elephants along the Chobe River

Photo: LMspencer/Shutterstock

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Chobe River

The Chobe River is a magnet for animals in the borderlands between Namibia and Botswana. Elephants, giraffes, buffalo and even the occasional lion come to the river to drink. The best time for this kind of safari cruise is during the summer dry season when the river is the best, or often the only, source of water for local wildlife.

Lodges and tour operators in the area offer daytime safari cruises, but larger boats like the Zambezi Queen, a 137-foot vessel with luxurious rooms, lounges and an on-board swimming pool, offer multi-day trips on the river. The attractive thing about this kind of experience is that it can be combined with a stay in a safari lodge or an excursion into the nearby Okavango Delta or Kalahari Desert.