Boating Safaris

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Taking to the water on safari offers a deliciously different perspective, and since water is a key commodity for life in these often arid environments, being on a boat is often the best place to see thirsty animals congregating on the water’s edge.

Bird enthusiasts should also note that many of the most beautiful species live on the margins of lakes, rivers and waterholes. Whether you prefer luxurious cruising, dugout canoes or authentic fishing vessels, we can recommend the best boats.

BEST FOR: SUNSET CRUISES

Sipping on an ice cold beer as you cruise gently downstream watching the sun slowly set and the sky turn a beautiful mixture of orange and pink is one of the most purely blissful experiences possible. Our favourite setting for such indulgence is along the mighty Zambezi River near Victoria Falls, where sunset cruises are offered by virtually every lodge on both sides of the river. Keep your eyes peeled and you'll almost certainly see elephants and other riverbank dwellers enjoying the views too.

BEST FOR: PEACE AND QUIET

An authentic mokoro dugout canoe safari in Botswana's Okavango Delta is one of the most memorable of all safari experiences, and since punting is almost entirely silent, it's also one of the most peaceful. Sit back and let you guide do the hard work as you take in the views of the flooded plains and tall reeds while you meander down narrow waterways to spot frogs bubbling below the surface, buffaloes on the shoreline and fish eagles circling overhead.

BEST FOR: WILDLIFE

The Chobe River flows from Namibia's Caprivi Strip into northern Botswana and is well known for the density of wildlife that crowds its banks. With the Chobe National Park hosting the highest concentration of elephants in Africa there's little wonder that elephants are among the most frequently spotting on an afternoon small boat safari, or on a longer multi-day luxury cruise, but you can also expect to see hippos, buffaloes, crocodiles, lions and more.

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Isabel, Matt, Ra and Charlotte C are our 'Boating Safaris' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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