There are many water experiences to be had in Africa, after all the Great Rift Valley runs right through the middle of it, populated with some of the most beautiful and magical lakes on earth. The famous River Nile is also in Africa and many of the countries have their own rivers, providing sources of water to wildlife and people and often providing some of the most unique and extraordinary game viewing options. No Africa safari is complete without seeing it all from the water which is why we’d like to highlight the best places to do this:
1 The Okavango Delta
This huge Delta is at the top of the famous Kalahari Desert and is mind blowing. This flat expanse of land is covered with gin clear water channels (the water is the cleanest in the world) and islands, teeming with wildlife. Here you can get out on a boat and see the wildlife from the water with hippos and elephants being the most common thing seen from your boat. The birdlife is also incredible. You can also take a mokoro out onto the channels, a traditional canoe and this peaceful and quiet way of game viewing is completely enchanting.
2 The Mara River, Serengeti and Masai Mara, Kenya and Tanzania
This river is where the Wildebeest Migration form steep queues to cross every year, and sadly many are taken by waiting crocodiles. To see a river crossing is dramatic and thrilling but you might have to wait many hours before they cross, the herds often tiptoe on the edge for hours trying to decide when to go, but when they do all hell breaks loose.
3 The Selinda Canoe Trail, Botswana
The Selinda spillway didn’t flow for fifteen years and has since started flowing from around April to October for the last four years. The spillway takes you through territory where vehicles cannot go and it is shallow and crystal clear. You will often see elephant, buffalo and lion from your canoe as you meander down stream before ending up at your lantern lit fly camp which has been set up for you for the evening.
4 The Selous, Southern Tanzania
Two mighty rivers cross the Selous, The Ruaha and The Rufiji – both are very wide in places and full of hippo and crocodiles. The areas themselves are stunning so your boat ride is incredibly scenic and provides a nice contrast to walking and game drives.
5 Manyara Ranch, Lake Manyara
Lake Manyara is one of the most beautiful of the Rift Valley Lakes and Manyara Ranch has sweeping views of this flamingo filled beauty. Manyara Ranch also has numerous dams, some with hides where one can while away the hours watching the wildlife drink and play nearby.
There are too many water experiences to mention in a short article – for instance dhow safaris island hopping in the Indian Ocean, White water rafting at Victoria Falls and Indian Ocean yacht charter. Whatever you choose it will make your safari if you include somewhere near water.