The flagship vessel, part of a fleet of four houseboats within the Zambezi Queen Collection by Mantis, is now ready to welcome guests back onboard for two, three and four-night river safaris that traverse roughly 25km along the Chobe River that borders Namibia and Botswana. As guests are close to the Chobe National Park, during their voyage they have the opportunit­y to spot herds of elephants by the riverbank – the park has one of the world’s largest population­s of African elephant, estimated at around 120,000.

Design studio Mi Designs has incorporat­ed works from celebrated South African artist Denby Meyer and fabrics specially selected from Ardmore Design’s Luxury Fabric Collection that feature an exquisite selection of unique, hand-drawn designs inspired by African flora and fauna.

The upper deck (bar, lounge and dining area) are decorated in a natural, earthy palette. Creams, greys, greens and taupe work with a range of textures, including natural wood, leather, linen and wicker, to give the common space a fresh, contempora­ry and organic feel. There is also a newly revamped library where guests can relax with a book or use one of the onboard binoculars to spot game.

The outdoor furniture has all been updated, with L-shaped couches and poolside loungers inviting guests to soak up the view from the bow of the boat, while a new cocktail lounge area at the stern serves sundowners and light bites with a view.

The star of the show is the Chobe River and guests can admire every vantage point from the decks or one of the 14 luxurious suites (10 standard suites and four spacious master suites at the bow of the boat). All suites boast large windows that open onto balconies overlookin­g the river and the national park beyond.

Game viewing on the Chobe River is at its most exceptiona­l from March to November as many animal species gather around and stay close to the main water source. Summer and spring also offer unique opportunit­ies to see the landscape burst into life after the first rains of the season. One of the onboard highlights is heading out on a tender, with a guide, to get a closer look at the elephants along the banks of the river. zqcollecti­ — NICK WALTON

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