Getting close to hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, elephants and water birds is unbelievably easy, as all of these species feel less vulnerable when approached by a canoe than when a noisy vehicle rattles in their direction! With an experienced specialist guide at your side, you will soon realise that these wildlife encounters are second to none, providing a chance to really see and understand Africa in all its magnificence.
Canoe safaris make for a refreshing change from travelling by vehicle, horseback or walking, and it encourages you to fully appreciate some spectacular surroundings.
Top destinations for canoe safaris:
1. Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
The mighty Zambezi River flows through the Lower Zambezi National Park to the Mozambique border, dissecting a rich and relatively undiscovered area, which boasts an amazing concentration of game! We reckon that a canoe safari here is an ideal and unique way of exploring this untouched wilderness, affording superb opportunities to view the variety of game and birds from the tranquil waters of one of Africa’s most important rivers.
Our favourite camps offering this experience are Chiawa and Old Mondoro. These two properties are among the very best in Africa!
2. Okavango Delta, Botswana
The largest inland delta on Earth, the Okavango is a fascinating network of lagoons and channels that each year floods across some 15,000 square kilometres of the Kalahari, turning the area into a sprawling haven for game, fish and birds. Located in the midst of the Delta, the Moremi Wildlife Reserve is an area of unparalleled beauty. Boasting a diverse range of ecosystems, including expansive wetlands, dry savannahs and riverine woodland, it harbours an astonishing variety of animal and birdlife!
The Delta is also famed for its large numbers of elephant and hippo, while the ever-present predators make it nothing short of a safari wonderland. Its network of meandering waterways and sandy riverbanks supplies a quite exceptional location to explore. A highlight of any visit is a gentle excursion by mokoro, a dugout canoe made from a single tree – this is the perfect craft for negotiating the shallow waters of the delta, its streamlined shape gliding silently through the narrow channels, propelled along by a single boatman. Cruising at sunset, watching the herds of hippo and elephant bathing at the water’s edge, provides a magical end to a perfect day!
Surrounded by permanent floodplains, Wilderness Pelo is a classic Okavango, one of our favourite adventure camps in the area. Pom Pom or the fabulous Machaba Camp is also awesome!
If you are interested in a canoe safari, just let one of our experts know here and they can help you plan your adventure today.