Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi River…A dream fulfilled…A romantic night we’ll always remember…

Of all the boats available for a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, we chose the Lion King, which had the highest reviews of all the options. We thoroughly loved the experience.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

We could heat the loud bellows from the hippos, but most of them were tucked away under the vegetation along the banks of the Zambezi River.

Today is our last full day in Zambia. Tomorrow at 11:00 am, Alec will pick us up for the ride to the airport for our return flight to Nelspruit, South Africa. Of course, we’re excited at the prospect of returning to Marloth Park, South Africa.

We boarded the Lion King by 4:00 pm and were back at the hotel by 6:30 pm.

Always a happy reality of our world travels…we never feel we have to end our holiday/vacation to go “home” to return to work, tend to piles of snail mail, or handle piles of dirty laundry. No doubt, Marta will insist on helping us get our clothes washed, on the clothesline, and neatly folded.

Bee Eaters make nests and burrow into holes they create in the river bank.

We’ll unpack, sort the dirty laundry for washing, put away the toiletries, and in no time at all; our stunning routine will be firmly back in place. A quick trip to Komatipoort for groceries sometime over the weekend, and we’ll be set. Most likely, tomorrow night, we’ll dine at Jabula or stop at Hamilton’s in Malelane on the way from Nelspruit to Marloth Park.

Somehow the bee-eaters know how high they should build their burrows above water level.

Last night’s sunset cruise on the Zambezi River was a perfect end to our amazing tours while staying in Zambia. We couldn’t have been more thrilled with the boat, the gorgeous weather, the staff, the included food and drinks, the views along the river, and the fabulous live music played on the “marimba,” a popular African instrument. See here for details.

The boat staff on another cruise, the African Queen, was relaxed with so few passengers on board their boat. The Lion King carries 105 passengers, but there were only 10 of us. Tom and I had the entire upper deck to ourselves during the two-hour cruise.

With the entire upper deck to ourselves, along with a few staff members, we were really able to freely enjoy ourselves, being silly and playful, moving around the deck as we pleased when taking photos without anyone’s heads in our way. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

Last night, we spotted this resting crocodile on the banks of the Zambezi River.

The average cost for the Lion King, which includes basic appetizers, wine, beer, and cocktails were kwacha 702 (US $70) per person and was well worth it.  Overall, the cost of the tours was not cheap. 

Check out those teeth! Crocs can replace each of their 80 teeth up to 50 times in their 35 to 75-year lifespan.

One can plan to spend close to kwacha 10,030 (US $1,000) for quality tours in Zambia.  We write more on this in tomorrow’s post when we list our total final expenses, including tours, dining out, hotel bills, taxis, taxes, and tips. 

“Photo op over, humans! I’m outta here!” he said.

We paid a little less by booking through Chris Tours than we would have through the hotel, but when booking through the hotel, the traveler can put the cost of the tours on the hotel bill and subsequent credit card, whereby we had to pay in cash as mentioned in an earlier post. 

The friendly staff served us drinks and snacks included, most of which I couldn’t eat. As usual, Tom ate mine, and I had a bite back at the hotel later in the evening.

In the end, it all worked out well for us. Some travelers prefer to work through the hotel since they feel more comfortable knowing the hotel will stand behind the quality of the tour. But, if paying in cash is not an inconvenience, it may be worth saving about kwacha 1,003 (US $100). 

Enjoying the sunset over the Zambezi River was a special treat and a great end to our time in Zambia.

In our case, we lucked out in several ways; in finally getting the cash from an ATM, in getting the ATM card back from the bank where the machine “ate it” on Saturday morning, and in having great service from Chris Tours in coordinating all of our activities. Safari luck, again.

It was surprising how many boats were on the river for sunset.

Now, as we sit in the restaurant, preparing today’s post on another perfect weather day, we can’t stop smiling over the fabulous time we’ve had. Not only was last night’s sunset cruise a delightful experience, but we’re continuing to revel over the other tours we’ve done during our time in Zambia.

And soon, the sun started to wane.

We leave tomorrow with the utmost respect and admiration for the Zambian people, many of whom make a living in the tourist industry and handle their clientele with the utmost dignity and care. 

We moved about the upper deck we had to ourselves several times while taking photos.

Today, we’ll start working on tomorrow’s post’s final expenses and the review of the hotel. We still have many other reviews to complete at TripAdvisor for restaurants, tours, and venues we’ve experienced during our time in Zambia.  We hope to complete all of this in the next 24 hours.

Some cloud cover helps create a stunning sunset.

By the time we leave tomorrow, we’d like to have completed all of these necessary components, including updating our spreadsheets with the figures.  Thus, when we return to Marloth Park, we can focus on getting back into the groove of our wonderful life with the animals and humans living in the glorious bush!

And then, it was gone, and our boat, the Lion King, headed back to the starting point.

May your day bring a smile to your face to see you through the day and evening.

The evening ended too quickly. We had such a great time on the peaceful cruise but continued our good time at the hotel.

Photo from one year ago today, May 17, 2017: 

As one might think, it wasn’t cold outside on the decks as we cruised to Alaska on the inside passage. We wandered outdoors without jackets, and it was cool but comfortable. For more photos, please click here.