The Chobe River Region Ticks Every Box for 2024 Travel

By Carly Baatjes 

In Conde Nast Traveller’s predictions of the trends set to influence the year of travel of 2024, five trends came up that are particularly of interest for the Southern Africa traveller interested in nature, wellness, adventure and wherever possible, grabbing a bargain: astro-tourism, longevity and wellness, shoulder season travel, private group travel and multi-generational “skip gen” trips. For SADC travellers who don’t want to endure long flights or jet lag, the wildlife-rich Chobe River region conveniently ticks all these boxes.

“The Chobe allows Southern African travellers to indulge their wanderlust and explore theregion while reconnecting under starry skies, across generations, at an accessible regional destination focused on guest well-being,” explains Kate Powell, General Manager, Sales and Marketing, of Zambezi Queen Collection, which operates a luxury floating hotel and refined houseboats in the area as well as a popular fishing and family-friendly lodge.

The Chobe River delivers on these six travel trends for 2024:

Astro-Tourism: Pristine Skies for Stargazing

Far from light pollution and overlooking the Chobe National Park on one side, the remote Chobe is exceptional for astro tourism. Travellers can easily chart the crystal-clear southern constellations from the luxurious Zambezi Queen’s top deck, or if you’re enjoying a 2-for-1 holiday to the nearby Okavango Delta, rolled out on Camp Okavango’s sleep-out platform. 

Wellness and Longevity: Back to Basics 

In this technology saturated era, the Chobe whisks travellers back to simpler pleasures that naturally restore — laughter, new friends, golden sunsets. Disconnect from digital noise and soak up nature’s remedies — vitamin D, clean air, wholesome food and rest. The Chobe may not have fancy clinics or vitamin shots but perhaps this little slice of heaven has the best remedy of all – just the way nature intended. Sounds like the elixir of life to us. 

“The Zambezi Queen Collection prides itself on delivering a wholesome journey from start to finish,” says Powell. “Meals are expertly prepared with the freshest regional cuisine – at Ichingo Chobe River Lodge, vegetables and fresh produce are grown in our gardens and with one’s daily schedules governed only by the rhythms of nature and mealtimes, true inner rest comes guaranteed.”

Shoulder Season Specials: A Reason to Visit Anytime

A combination of social and economic conditions, such as the rising costs of living, flexible working, climate change and a desire to travel more sustainably, has led to much debate around seasonality. Is it still a thing? One thing for sure is that shoulder season travel continues to be on the rise globally.

On the Chobe, seasonality is also becoming less of a concern. Although some may think the peak, high dry season is the best time to enjoy a Southern African river safari, that’s certainly not the only or best time to visit. Year-round, the Chobe promises serene escapes focused on guest well-being. 

In short, it all depends on what you’re looking for. There is a reason to visit in every season in the Chobe. 

Prolific summer migrants boost bird numbers from September through March, making this season incredible for birdwatchers. From April to October, traditionally the high season, animals congregate near the water for unforgettable sightings. The lush green season is also indescribably special. “If you’re dreaming of seeing a little one take their teetering first steps, spring is also the season to enjoy sightings of baby animals,” adds Powell.

Whenever visiting, the Chobe guarantees intimate safaris and waterside relaxation. Enquire about SADC resident rates and special seasonal offers.

Private Group Travel: Your Own Floating Villa

The post-pandemic desire to share special moments with family and friends shows no sign of abating. What’s needed however, for group travel, is flexibility and ease, paving the way for an increase in private group travel.

Do you know you can enjoy a Chobe River safari on your ‘own’ houseboat, with your nearest and dearest? Available for exclusive use, the three Chobe Princess houseboats carry just eight to ten passengers in laid back sophistication. Their flexibility allows customising activities to suit your party. Ichingo Chobe River Lodge's dining and lounge areas easily accommodate larger gatherings while private tender boats (one per tent) let guests follow personal schedules regardless of what the rest of the travel party is doing. The luxury Zambezi Queen floating hotel also welcomes groups, and its 14 suites ensure there's never a crowd.

Silent Travel: Find the Right Kind of Quiet

In our constantly noisy world, silence and solitude nourish the soul. It’s little wonder that silent travel is the buzzword everyone’s whispering about. Conde Nast Traveller puts it like this: “Offering a chance to restore and reset, silent travel represents a more mindful kind of trip, one that doesn’t leave you needing a holiday to recover from your holiday.” 

And where better to find that inner quiet than on the calm waters of the Chobe. Replace traffic noise with the sound of elephants bathing and splashing water as they swim across the river. Trade your morning alarm for that of nature: birds chirping across the skies. The Chobe may not have silent retreat rooms and there won’t be complete silence. Instead, you’ll find the peace and quiet you’re really looking for – the sounds of laughter, ice clinking in glasses, wild roars and splashes – and best of all, a sense you’re at one with creation.

Skip Generation Trips: The ultimate holiday with Gramps

With the school holiday calendar in mind, savvy grandparents will be bookmarking the holidays to book a trendy 2024 skip gen holiday with the grandkids. 

The Chobe’s gentle activities in secure settings allow kids and adults alike to connect over relaxed days on the water, game watching, birdwatching and more – all from comfortable boats, without any roughing and tumbling it on dusty game vehicles.

“The Chobe offers amazing adventures perfect for multigenerational families travelling together,” adds Powell. “On the houseboats in particular, animal and bird sightings are seen from all around, all day long - meaning that you’re on a 24/7 game-watching safari, in complete ease and comfort. The little ones are also unlikely to get bored of the surroundings as the scenery constantly changes as the boats navigate between 25-50km of the river.”

So it’s clear, whether you’re five or 85, into the stars or seeking to add years to your life, the Chobe River is the answer to the 2024 holiday of your dreams.

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