TOP 12 BEST BOAT TRIPS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

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TOP 12 BEST BOAT TRIPS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

I was asked by the Editor of Travel Africa Magazine for a list of boat trips I had done for a possible article. A memory of each one came flooding back (excuse the pun) and I can’t believe how much time I’ve spent on or in waters inhabited by crocs, hippos, sharks and other creatures of the deep! 

 

 Here’s my Top 10 Best African Boat Trips with 2 extra thrown in (in no particular order):

 

  1. Zambezi Queen; smart multi-storey houseboat floating along the Chobe River between the Namibian and Botswana banks. It’s a top class way to view game and cruise quietly down river with cocktail in hand! Read my review of this top quality luxury houseboat on this website.

 

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  1. Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe ‘Lady Jaqueline’ Houseboat; wonderful trip from end to end of Lake Kariba, catching fish for lunch while game and bird watching along the banks of this dam that’s the size of a small country. Pay homage to Nyaminyami River God and he’ll watch over you.Read more about time spent on Lady Jaqueline here.

lake-kariba-lady-jacqueline-fishing-launch

 

  1. Orange River (which forms the South Africa/Namibia border) is a multi-day fully catered canoe trip in 2-man Mohawk canoes, camping on the riverbank under the stars. One of my all-time favourite trips for adventure, physical activity, exceptional birdlife, river legends and unique scenery through the Richtersveld National Park. My article on the Orange River has been published several times.

orange-river-canoe-trip

 

  1. Cunene River (forms the border between Namibia/Angola); with much larger rapids than the Orange River, this is a twitchers paradise for clocking up some rare birds. It’s fully- catered camping along riverbanks which leads to curious encounters with nomadic Himba tribes, ending at the magnificent Epupa Falls. It’s well-organised high adventure with some serious rapids. I live to tell the tale!

 cunene-top-of-rapid

  1. Zambezi River Rafting; terrifying and exhilarating white water experience down the Zambezi at Victoria Falls. I was tumbled through a washing machine of white water so often (being lightweight and sitting at the front) that I vowed never again. But you must do it once – it’s a bucket list thing!

zambezi-white-water-rafting

  1. Sea Kayaking Cape Town;half day excursions from Simon’s Town to Boulders Penguins colony.  A short introduction and good sea legs is all that’s needed to jump into a stable kayak and paddle around the False Bay Coast on the Cape Town south peninsula to see seals, penguins and even whales if you are lucky.

 

sea-kayaking-cape-town

  1. Shark Cage Diving Cape Town: people swim, surf and dive in the waters along the Cape Coast knowing that it is Great White Shark territory. If you want an intentional close encounter with this apex predator then take the plunge in a shark cage dive and become more educated about these incredible animals.

 

shark-cage-diving

  1. Whale Watching Boats, Hermanus: Southern Right Whales come to Cape waters to mate and calve from July-October and a boat gives very close-up encounters and great photo opportunities. For the best of nature and whales, a great place to base yourself is Grootbos Nature Reserve.

 

whales-of-walker-bay-noel-ashton

  1. Kayak to Mumbo Island, Lake Malawi; instead of taking the speed boat, you are encouraged to kayak to the dreamy tropical Mumbo Island to your accommodation in just 5 eco-chalets. Staff go fishing for your supper while you kayak around the island, swim, snorkel or dive in an aquarium of fish. Read my review of this divine place – a dreamy tropical eco-friendly desert island holiday.

 

mumbo-island-kayak-africa

  1. Kisinga Channel,Uganda; connects Lakes George & Edward and provides one of Africa’s best boat trips; hundreds of birds in number and species, buffalo sitting in shallow water beside hippo and sunbathing crocodiles, while herons and storks pick their way in between. It’s a watery Eden and one which is included in most Uganda itineraries.

kasinga-channel-boat-ride-uganda

 

  1. Zambezi Mana Pools canoe trip, Zimbabwe; sleep on sandy riverbanks and see elephant prints by your tent in the morning. Big game like elephants and buffalo graze the lush grasses as you float by. Really wild!

mana-pools-canoe-trail

 

  1. Zambezi sunset Cruises; this takes no effort at all as you float with G&T in hand along the wide flat Zambezi a few kilometres above Victoria Falls from divine riverside lodges like The River Club or Tongabezi or The Royal Livingstone Hotel. Come here for some watery R&R after all those early morning game drives on safari.

victoria-falls-at-sunset

Which of these have you done or would like to do?

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