Photo Safaris

The photo opportunities aboard the Pangolin Voyager are endless.

As arguably one of the top game viewing destinations in Africa, the Caprivi floodplain ecosystem offers passengers a rich and varied game viewing experience from the river. Apart from the huge elephant herds which the Chobe is renowned for, guests will be rewarded with sights of large concentrations of buffalo and sable, and predators regularly make an appearance on the Chobe riverfront.

We pride ourselves on being the most photo-centric houseboat in the region and we have a custom 8-seater photo boat alongside for guests to use as they wish to get up close to your subjects throughout the day. The guides have all undergone photo guide training and are very aware of light and positioning as well as their extensive knowledge of animal behaviours.

Stays on board the Pangolin Voyager Houseboat will exclude camera equipment and photo host by default. Click here to contact us to find out how you add this specialist activity.


Due to the diverse array of habitats, the Chobe certainly qualifies as an important birding area. Renowned birder Warwick Tarboten has compiled a list of over 390 bird species that can be seen from the boats alone. This does not include those that can be seen away from the river.

This list includes 14 birds that are of exceptional interest: Slaty egret, Western Banded Snake Eagle, Rock Pratincole, African Skimmer, Schalow’s Turaco, Coppery tailed Coucal, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Greater Swamp Warbler, Chirping Cisticola, Luapula Cisticola, Shelley’s Sunbird, Northern Grey-headed Sparrow, Brown Firefinch and the Broad-tailed Paradise Whydah.

Once a year the Pangolin Voyager moves up the Zambezi to a Southern Carmine Bee-eater breeding site for a month. Tens of thousands of these colourful birds arrive from Central Africa to breed on one small sandbank, and passengers have the opportunity to view and photograph this annual spectacle.

The guides are themselves exceptional birders and very happy to help seek out specific species that you may want to view. The first quarter of the year is especially good for birding as the Summer migrants arrive. Birding season on the Pangolin Voyager runs from January until the end of March with several top ornithologists hosting safaris during that time on the houseboat.

Game Viewing

Moving regularly between our moorings on the Chobe River, evoking a sense of exploration, the Pangolin Voyager exposes its passengers to the rich and diverse wildlife of the area.

The Chobe is world famous for its vast elephant herds, which can be experienced up close in complete safety as they congregate at the river, or swim across to the Caprivi floodplains.

It is not unusual to awaken to a herd of buffalo, in their hundreds, grazing peacefully next to the boat.

The Chobe river is unique in that most of the animals spend a majority of the year around the river and as a result, they are incredibly relaxed in the presence of our boats allowing for some exceptional game viewing.

Cultural Tours

As a guest on the Pangolin Voyager, you will become part of the local Zambezi community. The people of the floodplains are called the Subiya, and their language is related to Western Tonga and one of the earliest languages of the Zambezi, believed to have arrived around the Iron Age.

Guests, by simply observing the Subiya as they go about their daily life, or by going on a village visit, can get a closer experience of their culture.

The Pangolin Voyager has close links to the villages along our cruising route, and a visit can be arranged with a simple request. The villagers very much enjoy meeting our guests and explaining a little bit about their culture and way of life.

During your visit you are welcome to make a donation to the community or purchase some of their traditional handicrafts.

Floodplain Walk

Ask your guide to take you for a walk on the floodplains, or on the nearby Impalila Island.

For the more adventurous you can climb a giant baobab tree at the point where the four countries of Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia meet.

The walk is a gentle one among the giant baobabs with plenty of opportunities to see the forest dwelling birds of the region.