We are often asked where the best location is for a canoeing safari adventure in Africa. There’s so many to choose from in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Here’s a little more for you to consider before planning your canoeing safari with us.
Those who fancy the outdoors and enjoy canoeing, camping and walking
Paddling in the wilds of Africa
There are three primary destinations to consider in three countries of Southern Africa and the safaris range from 3 or 4 day mobile trips to day activities whilst staying in permanent tented camps for a touch more luxury.
BOTSWANA – Selinda Spillway
Most of Botswana is a desert, but this doesn’t stop it being home to one of the most unique ecosystems on the planet. The Okavango Delta is a massive oasis in the middle of this desert and one of the best wildlife destinations in Africa. Over and above the Delta Botswana’s riches include the Magadigadi Salt Pans and the Chobe Game Reserve.
The Selinda Spillway was completely dry for over 30 years until heavy rains fell in 2009 that connected the headwaters of the inland Okavango Delta from both western and eastern directions. The delta is one of the largest in the world and is a labyrinth of bending rivers and is home to a myriad of species. There’s no better time than now to go: the spillway may not be around forever.
This fantastic safari is a three night, four day adventure along the Selinda Spillway offering canoeing and walking with just 8 guests on each departure. The Trail hearkens back to the spirit of safaris of old, when days were spent on impromptu exploration and each night was spent camping along the banks of the river. Today, this experience can be enjoyed between April and October each year. Read more.
ZAMBIA – Lower Zambezi National Park
Zambia is a landlocked country not often chosen as a first-timers safari destination, yet it has so much on offer from walking safaris, 4×4 to canoeing and boating in a multitude of national parks and wildlife reserves.
Zambia’s newest national park covers 4,049 square kilometres along the north west banks of the Zambezi River and has become a premier wildlife destination with beautiful flood plains alongside the river dotted with acacias and flanked by a steep escarpment on the northern side that is covered with miombo woodlands.
What that means is there’s a diversity of wildlife and much of it can be seen in the hotter months as you canoe gently down the river. Imagine seeing groups of elephant swim across the river, hippo in the waters and the odd crocodile. The best way to canoe here is early morning or late afternoon and to do that, we recommend staying at a safari camp that is located on the waterfront.
Choose from some of our favourites, owner run Chiawa Camp and Old Mondoro, Sausage Tree Camp or Chongwe. There’s something for everyone and a diversity of safari activities so you won’t get bored just canoeing.
ZIMBABWE – Mana Pools National Park
You’ll think of it as politically crippled and poor, yet despite this Zimbabwe continues to be a hidden safari gem for those willing to look past its situation (that is improving gradually). It’s a beautiful country with few visitors so you are spoilt for choice and there’s great value for money.
Mana Pools is a sensational 2,200 square kilometre national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s magic stems from its remoteness and pervading sense of wild and natural. Here, you can head out on mobile canoeing safaris or base yourself at one of the camps and venture out each day or when it takes your fancy! You’re guaranteed to see hippos, crocodiles and wildlife coming to the water to drink.
This is a unique adventure, again 3 nights and 4 days that sees you canoeing and walking by day and camping on the river bed by night. Read more.
Get in touch today and one of our specialists will work with you to create the ultimate itinerary including canoeing adventure if that floats your boat!