Spotting Hippopotamus on a Zambezi Sunset River Cruise, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

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A Zambezi River Boat Sunset Cruise is a must do for when you visit Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. It’s been on my “must see” list everytime I come through town, as it’s away of getting on the water and possibly spotting hippopotamuses or other wildlife that you don’t have to travel great distances to get to see. We booked our water cruise today through the hotel and had a really great evening of sunsets and sights.


This post is one chapter on our trip to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines AAdvantage & Alaska Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Activity: Spotting Hippopotamuses on a Zambezi Sunset River Cruise, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe


“A Zambezi Sunset River Cruise is a must do whenever you’re through Victoria Falls for the sunsets, wildlife and the atmosphere”

On the day of arrival, we opted to take the Royal Sundowner Signature Deck cruise. The Victoria Falls Hotel activity desk was able to book this on our behalf with only a few hours notice on the same day. We paid a slight premium to be on the top deck of the boat, but I found that it was money well spent thanks to the open air and the ability to get better views and photographs.

We were bussed out to the Zambezi Explorer, which is the largest boat on the Zambezi at the time of writing. The large size is a plus and a minus. It is large and comfortable, but as it is so big, you can’t get very close to wildlife on the shores that the smaller boats are able to see. There were a few warthogs grazing from the boat launch; always a treat to see in Africa.

The Royal Sundowner Signature Deck Cruise
Warthogs Hanging Around the Boat Launch
Grazing Warthogs

One on board, there was a full bar, along. with a spacious deck for sipping and sun-gazing.

An Comfortable Outdoor Bar on a Sunset River Cruise

The staff kept us full of unlimited drinks and “doubles” at most occasions. Of course, being in a second world location, these were “local” spirits that were not the mid shelf brands found around the world. We were also fed some quality appetizers that included gazpacho, crocodile tenders, and some surprisingly good sushi.

Setting off on the River Cruise:

We chatted with a young couple that were in the Peace Corps in Malawi and were originally from Florida and Washington, USA that were traveling together before their return home; likely to separate parts of the USA.

We set out and happened to see the smoke from the falls.

Smoke from Victoria Falls dotting the sky
Seeing other Riverboat Traffic on the Zambezi
MrsWT73 enjoying the excursion

We were also able to see the smaller river boats having the ability to get closer to some of the wildlife. Their maneuverability is a bit easier than the larger boats; which is something to consider when you book a Zambezi River Boat Cruise.

Smaller River Boats get closer to the wildlife
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Spotting Hippopotamuses:


We also caught a glimpse of the hippos at the hippo pool. These were in water sighting and they were pretty neat to see these water animals. We weren’t headed off on any water safari this trip, so it was a treat for us to catch up with these fine creatures and see them in their local environment.

The Lights of their Eyes: Hippos in the Water
Hiding Out in the Hippo Pools
Tucked Away out of Lines of Sight
Yawning Hippos!
Submerged Wonders

Sunset on the Zambezi River:

The sunsets were excellent as always and it was worthwhile to be on the top deck to get the full experience.

The African Sun Setting on an adventure
A Orange Sky
River Boat Cruising at Dusk
The Peace and Tranquility of the Zambezi River
A Calm over the Water

My thoughts on the Zambezi River Cruise:

MrsWT73 really enjoyed the sunset cruise and found it a nice experience on our arrival date to Victoria Falls. After the cruise, we retired back to the hotel and had dinner on Stanley’s Terrace. We each had fresh salads where we had nice salads topped with cilantro / coriander. It was such a treat to have fresh produce in this part of the world. . .


If you’ve visited Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe, is the Zambezi River Cruise an essential part of your Victoria Falls itinerary?

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