The Pangolin Voyager
In 2008 (three years before Pangolin started) Toby first visited The Chobe with his mother and spent three glorious days onboard what was then called The Nguni Voyager Houseboat. This was a very special holiday for Toby and his mum and was the principal reason he fell in love with the river.
Roll forward to 2015 and the opportunity to buy the Nguni presented itself and he and Guts saw this as the perfect way to be able to offer accommodation along with our signature photographic boats and it was too good to pass up. So they took the plunge and have never looked back. You can also imagine how excited Toby’s mother was when he told her and she was literally the first one to book!
Renamed as The Pangolin Voyager to bring it in line with the brand we have spent a small fortune renovating and improving it from top to bottom to the magnificent “floating lodge” that it is today.
For groups of friends, families or perhaps a photo club on tour this vessel is perfectly suited to the needs of photographers and non-photographers alike who want to have an exclusive experience in one of Africa’s most productive wildlife photography regions.
The Chobe river is the natural border between Namibia and Botswana and the Pangolin Voyager is actually based on the Namibian side of the river with the Chobe National Park as the opposite bank. The Chobe is unique in that it flows in both directions at different times of the year depending on the flood in the mighty Zambezi with which is converges a few kilometres further downstream.
The houseboat has five cabins which can be configured as double or twin beds. (Please bear in mind, though, that the photo boat only has 8 seats). Each has an ensuite shower and toilet as well as air conditioning. Please be aware that the aircon is controlled centrally to cool the cabins throughout the day and night when you are most likely to be in your room but cannot run 24/7 as we predominantly rely on solar generated battery power.
The middle level is where you will find the living and dining areas where all the meals are served and a well-stocked bar is located. Large glass sliding doors offer a wonderful view of the river as we cruise between our three moorings. Most cruising takes place after the morning game activity and during brunch and the midday sun – which is best enjoyed on the partially shaded upper deck.
Onboard the Pangolin Voyager you will be kept well fed throughout your stay by our lovely chefs Sabrina and Melody in their galley. Before the morning excursion on the river we set out teas and coffee as well as some cereals, yogurt and fruit just to see you though until you return a few hours later for a delicious and hearty brunch with a menu of options.
Normally around this time guests disperse to relax in their cabins, on the sundeck or in the lounge and dining area to go through their images from the morning. the well stocked bar is always available for you to grab a cold drink throughout the day or you can ask a member of the crew who will be more than happy to help. This is your houseboat….your home!
Just before we head out in the afternoon for more game viewing and photography there will be a high tea served with a sweet and savoury option and a cooler box of soft and alcoholic drinks of your choice packed for the sundowners later.
Upon your return you have time to freshen up and enjoy the last few moments of the day on the deck before you are invited for dinner around the table. Dinner is normally three courses served at the table with a fantastic selection of South African wines followed by a nightcap of your choice before retiring to your cabin for a good nights rest.
Onboard the Pangolin Voyager we can cater for most dietary requirements so please do mention any specific needs to your safari planner.
Alongside the Pangolin Voyager we have an eight-seater photo boat along with another tender boat for general game viewing and transfers. Each of the seats on the photo boat have a detachable arm and camera gimbal and can rotate 360 degrees. In addition to photography and game viewing we also offer the opportunity to visit a local village where most of the crew come from. The boats tend to go out at first light and again a few hours before sunset. Teas, coffees and cold drinks are packed for the morning session and ice cold beverages of your choice for the afternoon. The captain and his crew are on hand to help make your stay and experience onboard as comfortable and relaxing as possible.
I spent 3 nights on the Pangolin Voyager Houseboat, and cannot recommend it highly enough. My room was impeccable, the food was outstanding, and being able to cruise up and down the Chobe River in the photo boat taking thousands of wonderful photos is a once in a lifetime experience.
The 8 seater photo boat, equipped with fully rotating chairs and camera mounts, was a big drawcard for us and didn’t disappoint. It was very stable and spacious and provided the best opportunities to capture eye-level wildlife images
The privacy and convenience of the houseboat was terrific. The photo boats designed by Pangolin were perfect for photography. The nature guides and photography guides were well versed in the animal behaviors which led to great alignment with our photography
The Pangolin guys also make sure the logistics are expertly done including the immigration aspects. An amazing experience that we shall certainly be repeating.