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This land-based game drive is one of many ways that the Zambezi Queen brings guests into direct interaction with their environment. A similar drive might be followed by a fishing excursion to take on the formidable hunting tiger fish. Or water-based safaris in small guide boats that dip in close to the riverbank to observe dinosaur-like monitor lizards sunning themselves on logs, kingfisher eagles perched in trees, and elephants playfully spraying water on their young. Or you can choose to do none of the above and simply take it all in from the top deck being lolled into the rhythm of the river. 

On the last day of my stay, I climbed in for a ride in a traditional mokoro. The flat-bottom boat balanced precariously just barely above water level, a skilled rower standing and pushing gondola-style from the back. With each early stroke, with each pitch and roll, I felt certain I would upset its delicate balance and topple into the unknown dangers lurking beneath. But then I relaxed and let my gaze rest on the delicate white water lilies, the small eddies and ripples of our boat skimming the surface, the knots and gnarls of the mokoro’s wood. From then-on it was smooth sailing.

 

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