Last updated: 08:54 AM ET, Thu July 02 2015

See the African Wilderness by Boat and Elephant Back

Tour Operator | Great Safaris | David Cogswell | May 29, 2015

See the African Wilderness by Boat and Elephant Back

PHOTO: This could be your chance to hang with the elephants. (Photo by David Cogswell)

As the top safari destinations become more popular, sometimes to the extent of feeling crowded, the search is on for new ways and places to enjoy the African wilderness experience.

Great Safaris is offering an African Elephant Safari Cruise that is designed to take safari goers off the beaten path of standard safaris and present the wonders of Africa in a fresh way.

This offering starts at Victoria Falls with a leisurely sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. After a night to rest from transcontinental travel, guests will take a walking tour to Victoria Falls to observe the overwhelming natural force of the falls, which throw 125 million gallons of water over a great cleft in the earth every minute.

That day also provides an opportunity to meet and feed elephants (you think you eat a lot?).

The trip resumes the next day with a journey to the border of Botswana to board the Zambezi Queen, which functions as a floating safari lodge. The ship has 14 suites facing the river, much like many land-based safari lodges.

Activities on board the Zambezi Queen include game drives traveling in tender boats along the banks of the Chobe River, fishing, watching wildlife, and visiting a Namibian village to interact with locals and buy their handmade crafts.

After the cruise there’s an overnight in Johannesburg followed by a trip to Kruger National Park to experience the land-based safari at Camp Jabulani, including an elephant-back safari.

The trip lasts 12 days and is priced at $7.595 per person, not including international air. Great Safaris recommends tacking on a five-day extension to Cape Town, the Cape Peninsula and the Cape Winelands.

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