We spent 3 nights from 31 May on the houseboat.
We started in room 3 which has a side view of the river and after day one took the opportunity to move to room 1 at the front of the boat. Room 1 has large windows that give an unrivalled low level view of the river. The room contained a large double bed, limited storage/hanging space plus a compact bathroom with shower. For the time you are likely to spend in the room it is more than adequate.
Upstairs - if that is the right nautical term - there is a large seating area on one side with a long dining table. This area is surrounded by folding doors that allow the breeze during the day. To the front is a further lounging area with a couple of sun loungers and further seating plus a plunge pool. There is a bar area which is well stocked with beers, wines and spirits plus soft drinks.
The rear of the boat at both levels is taken up with the galley and the crew's quarters. We had 4/5 crew looking after 6-8 of us during our stay. The cook served very tasty and filling meals from his small galley.
The real reason however for staying on the Houseboat is that moves sedately up and done the Chobe - one day up and the next down. It takes around 2 hours to complete the trip as the pace is leisurely and stops will be made to try and get up close with the wildlife that lives on its bandk or within the river. The Zambian side of the river is the Chobe National Park whilst all the moorings are on the Namibian side, hence the need to enter Namibia through their passport control before being taken by speedboat to the Houseboat mooring.
In addition to the daily cruise, there are sunrise and sunset outings in the Houseboat's speedboats to view wildlife as well as the opportunity for a visit to a nearby village to meet the local people. We also the opportunity to take a mid-morning cruise that took us into the Zambian channel of the Chobe. There we witnessed the crossing of the channel by a large herd of elephants who were in search of better grazing. This was an amazing sight.
We were surprised at the amount of wildlife that we saw from the boat and during the excursions - large herds of elephants, buffalo, giraffes, hippos, baboons, antelope, crocodiles - of all sizes - birdlife plus on one early morning a lion walking along the ridge above the river.
This was the final leg of a journey that had taken us to see the Victoria Falls along with a 4 night stay in a camp in the Okavanga and it was just right as it was relaxing and very rewarding. We felt that 3 nights was about the right length as you got into the rhythm of the river and life aboard the boat.
The experience passed our acid test as we would be happy to return and would certainly recommend to others. Thank You.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled on Impalila Island in Namibia, Ichingo Chobe River Lodge is a tented lodge surrounded by breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife, birdlife and ideal fishing conditions. Ichingo Chobe River Lodge features eight large air-conditioned Meru safari tents set on a secluded island beneath a riverine canopy on the banks of the Chobe River. Step out on to your own private balcony to listen to the rapids, relax on your sumptuous bed and then head to the dining room or bar for something delicious to eat or drink. Ichingo Chobe River Lodge is also perfect for families and welcomes children of all ages. ... more less
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