Canoeing Africa’s rivers has become a huge luxury safari success story – many of the first great safari guides pioneered this method of safari years ago in Zimbabwe and Zambia, but then it was for wild explorers and not for those of us just wanting a quiet paddle. Now many of the remote and wild luxury safari camps we deal with offer canoeing – this allows guests to get close to hippos, elephants and many other species which do not react to the canoes, one can also see smaller animals such as frogs and insects. But the real beauty of canoeing whilst on any luxury safari is the tranquillity and the peace – not an engine noise to be heard, only the calls of the wild. Many of Africa’s top guides prefer canoeing to anything else and once you’ve had a go and experienced the tranquillity of Africa’s rivers we think you’ll understand why. Here are some of our favourite camps for canoeing safaris.
1 Selinda Camp – Okavango Delta, Botswana
From Selinda Camp one can either taking evening or morning canoe trips, or stay at Selinda Explorer, which is more focussed on canoeing and walking only – you can also take a trip down the Selinda Spillway which is a few nights spent mobile camping in one of Botswana’s most pristine and magical areas. Selinda Camp is extremely luxurious, but also has a sister camp Zarafa which takes luxury safaris to another level.
2 Sausage Tree Camp – Lower Zambezi, Zambia
Sausage Tree Camp is just heaven – it’s quirky white tents sit smack bang on the banks of the Zambezi River and offer guests the chance to really relax and enjoy watching the wildlife from your room. Canoeing on the Zambezi is perhaps one of the most famous canoeing safaris possible – it is not unusual to see hippos up close and elephants swimming. Sausage Tree’s guides are some of the most experienced in Africa and offer everyone the chance to feel relaxed and comfortable whilst on this mighty and famous river.
3 Royal Zambezi Lodge – Lower Zambezi, Zambia
Royal is luxurious, grand and welcoming – you feel relaxed as soon as you arrive and the staff and guides are friendly and exceptionally knowledgeable, it is based at the opposite end of the Lower Zambezi NP to Sausage Tree and again canoeing here is a wonderful experience with fantastic game viewing to be had by all. Royal also has a magical spa with views of the Zambezi so you can unwind after a morning or evening canoeing / walking / game driving. There is so much to do in this amazing area that guests are never disappointed and best of all there are very few other people.