Our three Ra-Ikanes are rather special compared to the usual Zambezi riverboats, as they’re modelled on the one Livingstone used…
African sunsets are some of the best in the world, and experiencing one from a boat on the most famous river in Southern Africa is a must-do and one of the most popular activities Victoria Falls has to offer. Our three Ra-Ikanes are rather special compared to the usual Zambezi riverboats, as they’re modelled on the one Dr David Livingstone used to explore the upper river back in the 1850s and are named after his guide.
They’re small, ranging from 12 to 16 seats, so our guests can enjoy a more exclusive and luxurious journey along the river. This intimate setting offers a more personal experience for the passengers, which sets us apart from the other cruise operators on the Zambezi – and our guests love that our boat captains are also guides with a wide knowledge of wildlife. Our boats are also quieter, allowing guests to get closer to sightings as well as drift peacefully along the river enjoying the sunset while sipping a gin-and-tonic, perhaps, and nibbling on canapés.
Our cruises take two to two-and-a-half hours, leaving from the beautiful Riverside jetty site just 3.5 km above the waterfall. The journey takes you through the Zimbabwean and Zambian islands where you’re likely to spot a number of animals and birds, as well as the ‘smoke’ from the falls. You are almost guaranteed to see hippos and crocodiles and, in the drier months, elephants and you might also see zebras, giraffes, impalas, bushbucks and buffalos. You will definitely hear the hippos snorting, along with the rumble from the Falls.
Being on the water is beautiful no matter the time of day, so we also run cruises in the morning. As local Victoria Falls residents, our hot tip is always that ‘the early bird catches the worm’ and that’s with regards to getting up early and watching the sunrise. Watching it from the river aboard the Ra-Ikanes is a magical experience and the opportunity for some truly stunning photos of glass-like water reflecting the colours of the dawn. The mornings are tranquil, and there aren’t many other boats on the river, so you can take in your surroundings in complete serenity.
The time the breakfast cruise departs depends on the client; we recommend 6am, but if they’d like to sleep in and head out a little later we are easily adaptable. The birdwatching cruise is also one for early risers, and we usually spot around 50 to 60 different species, anything from African skimmer and Pel’s fishing owls to rock pratincoles and African finfoots. On both trips, there’s a delicious continental breakfast, including a selection of freshly baked pastries and muffins, cold meats and cheeses, fresh fruit and yoghurt and muesli, as well as hot teas, coffees and fresh juices – it’s a perfect start to the day.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Adele, who's travelled extensively in Zimbabwe. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember – the ranger who can show you the best game viewing and fishing spots on the Zambezi, the guide who’ll introduce you to ‘moonbows’ at Victoria Falls and the locals who’ll share their dinner with you.
Freephone an expert 01306 744 656