By Meena Thiruvengadam
October 25, 2019
Courtesy of Flame of Africa

One of the most interesting dining experiences in the world is located in a no man’s land between Botswana and Namibia.

You’ll need a boat to get to The Raft, a floating restaurant that sits on stilts at the end of a private jetty jutting out onto the Chobe River. The river serves as the border between the countries and is the only place in the world where four countries — Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia — come together.

This is a place that feels like the middle of nowhere, though technically it’s Namibia. However, visitors coming from the Kasane International Airport or other locations in Botswana won’t need to clear Namibian immigration to dine at the restaurant, according to operator Flame of Africa.

Courtesy of Flame of Africa

This is a slice of African paradise where battles over territorial boundaries have been fought and where tourists are few and far between. It’s as far from the hustle and bustle of city life as you can get.

Sailing up to The Raft, you’ll be greeted with a song and welcomed on board by the restaurant’s small staff. The only item on the menu is the African braai, an elaborate traditional African barbecue that includes three meats, a cooked-to-order steak, two salads, a pan of warm bread and a homemade dessert. Menus can be customized and include vegetarian options on request.

By the time you come on board this large floating structure with room for 64, the meats will already be on the grill. Meals are served buffet style and eaten around large communal tables. The onboard bar serves up beer, wine and soft drinks but no liquor.

And while the food is satisfying, it’s the backdrop that really steals the limelight here. The Raft floats near Sedudu Island, one of the most game-rich islands in the Chobe region. Expect to see elephants, hippos, water buck and more wandering in the background as you’re enjoying your nearly two-hour feast.

Just don’t try to come for dinner. The restaurant is only open for lunch from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

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