A game drive can leave you feeling like you’ve been transported to another world. After the commotion and dust of a game drive, a relaxing float down a river where you can watch wildlife as it approaches water can feel like that. If you are sitting in the water at a low level, you will be able to hear the sputtering of hippos as they break the surface of the water, the splash as a startled crocodile slithers into the water, and the cry of an overhead fish eagle. While you are out on a boating safari in search of aquatic wonders in the wild, keep your eyes and ears open for these special moments. Observe uncommon birds hiding in the reeds, as well as antelope and predators quenching their thirst, and herds of elephants traversing a channel. An unforgettable boating adventure through the wilderness, up close and personal.
What is Boating Safari?
Boating safaris are the aquatic equivalent of game drive safaris and are only available in regions with water deep enough to accommodate motorized boats. These safaris can only be experienced in areas that have adequate water depth. An important aspect of a boating safari is taking in the natural beauty of one’s surroundings, and boats provide the best opportunities to see high-profile aquatic species such as hippos and crocodiles, in addition to a great number of striking bird species. It is also not at all uncommon to have high-quality sightings of terrestrial animals (especially elephants and buffalo) as they come to drink, especially as the dry season progresses and they become increasingly dependent on permanent sources of water. This is especially true as the dry season progresses in the dry season.
Boating Safari Destination
Going out on the water in a boat is among the most enjoyable ways to investigate the natural environment. It is a wonderful way to explore these water bodies and discover the magnificent scenery that surrounds them, and a bonus is that you will be able to avoid traveling on roads that are rough and dusty. Check out some of the boating safari destinations that are listed below.
1. Boat Safaris in Botsawana’s Okavango Delta
During your boat safaris in the Okavango Delta, you will be exploring an intricate network of beautiful lagoons and winding channels onboard a motorized boat, showcasing the magnificent views of the watery landscape. These boat safaris will take place in the heart of the Okavango Delta. This one-of-a-kind excursion provides excellent opportunities to see a variety of water birds, including kingfishers, herons, and colorful bee-eaters.
The Okavango Delta is one of the few remaining great natural sanctuaries in Africa. It is an unspoiled and expansive wilderness that is home to a large number of different species of animals. Because the water from the Okavango River empties into open land rather than into an ocean, it floods the savanna and creates a unique inland delta. This is in contrast to the majority of river deltas, which lead to an ocean. The size of the delta can increase by as much as three times between the months of March and August, reaching anywhere from 6,000 to 15,000 square kilometers. There are buffaloes, elephants, hippos, giraffes, leopards, hyenas, and crocodiles living in this wilderness area, which is considered to be one of the most pristine in the world.
The Okavango Delta is best experienced by going on a boating safari, during which you will ride a traditional canoe as it makes its way through the beautiful waterways of the delta. The Okavango Delta is home to more than just animals; for generations, members of the Basarwa tribe have also farmed, fished, and hunted in this region in addition to raising their families there.
2. Boat Safaris in Kenya
Kenya is frequently considered to be the best place in Africa for going on boat safaris. In addition to visiting the typical parks and reserves, a boat safari on Lake Naivasha is one of the activities that is commonly included in the Kenya safari vacations that are offered by many tour operators.
Lake Naivasha is a beautiful freshwater lake that is home to a wide variety of interesting wildlife, such as hippos and thousands of different species of birds. Its interior island is home to a wide variety of free-roaming animals, some of which appeared in the movie Born Free and were brought in specifically for the shoot. The shores of the lake are covered in papyrus and forests of yellow-barked Acacia trees, which are also referred to as the yellow fever tree. Because of the favorable conditions provided by this habitat, Naivasha is recognized as one of the top locations in the world for birdwatching.
The presence of a large number of hippos is one of the things that gives Lake Naivasha its unique character. These animals find it most comfortable to live in areas with plenty of vegetation and shallow waters, where they can feed at night. While on your boating safari, you will make a stop at a hippo nursery and have the opportunity to watch pregnant hippos give birth to their young. A significant number of residents, not only those working in the tourism industry but also those engaged in fishing activities, rely heavily on the lake as a source of income.
3. Boat Safaris in Tanzania
Tanzania is a country that is home to a great number of rivers and lakes. It should therefore not come as a surprise that it is regarded as one of the most desirable locations in Africa for boating safaris. During your boat safari through Tanzania’s waterways, you will have the opportunity to see a wide variety of Tanzania’s native flora and fauna, including aquatic animals like hippos and flamingos as well as aquatic birds like pelicans. In Tanzania, many different bodies of water provide opportunities for boat safari tours. The Wami River in Saadani national park and the Rufiji River in Selous game reserve are two of the most well-known ones.
Located in the southern portion of Saadani national park, the Wami River offers an amazing boat safari. It is up to you whether you do it in the morning or the afternoon, but it could take anywhere from two to three hours. During your boat safari, you will have the opportunity to see incredible wildlife, including crocodiles, hippos, and other exotic animals in their natural habitats.
On the other hand, the Rufiji River is Tanzania’s longest and most significant river. The water eventually makes its way to the Indian Ocean after traveling from the highlands in the country’s southwest to the eastern part of the country. During your boat safari of the Rufiji River, you’ll encounter interesting wild animals, such as elephants, hippos, and crocodiles.
4. Boat Safaris in Namibia
The boat safaris that Namibia has to offer are by far the most well-liked of the country’s many wonderful safari options. Although land-based safaris are also common in this region, many visitors choose to embark on a boat excursion instead when visiting the famous Namib Sea, Fish River Canyon, or the treacherous Skeleton Coast.
Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, which are located close by, are two of the cities along the coast of Namibia that are considered to be among the best places to go on a boating safari. These locations are frequently visited during some of the more luxurious vacations and tours that Namibia has to offer. The coastal city of Swakopmund in Namibia is known for its charming atmosphere and beautiful sandy beaches that face the Atlantic Ocean. The unforgettable dolphin boat cruise that Walvis Bay is famous for is easily accessible from Swakopmund via a short drive.
Your boating safari through Walvis Bay will not only allow you to see dolphins, but also seals, pelicans, and other wildlife as well. During the course of your luxurious excursion along the coast of Namibia, you will be served both freshly shucked oysters and sparkling wine.
5. Boat Safaris in Nyerere National Park
The Nyerere National Park is currently the most extensive protected area in all of Africa. A boat safari in Africa is a wonderful experience that can be had in this setting. The Selous Game Reserve, which is located in the southeastern part of Tanzania and spans into the Rufiji River, contains several game-rich areas, and this is one of them.
During your boat safari through Nyerere National Park, you will have a great chance of spotting hippos and crocodiles, as well as a wide variety of bird species, ranging from kingfishers to herons. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to photograph a number of these animals. There are also Nile monitor lizards that live in the trees along the riverbanks and can be seen there.
At Nyerere National Park, visitors have the option of participating in either of two distinct kinds of boat safaris. The two to three-hour sunset or dawn tour along the Rufiji River, as well as the full-day boat safari exploring the lakes of Selous Game Reserve and the Rufiji River. Since temperatures are higher in the afternoon, the best time to go on a safari to increase your chances of seeing crocodiles is in the afternoon. The opportunity to take in breathtaking sunset vistas is another perk that comes with taking a boat safari in the afternoon. It is recommended that you make reservations for the full-day boat safari if you have a lot of spare time. The Rufiji River and the Selous Game Reserve can both be experienced in greater detail thanks to this tour.
6. Boat Safaris in Murchison Falls National Park
Boat safaris to the delta and or to the bottom of Victoria Falls are truly rewarding as the boat brings you meters away from the rumbling Murchison Falls offering you amazing views of the waterfalls. Game drives aren’t the only thing that makes Murchison Falls National Park popular; it also offers boat safaris to the delta and or to the bottom of Victoria Falls.
It is recommended that, to get the most out of this experience, you combine the boat cruises with a hike to the top of the falls. The boat ride culminates at the base of the falls, which is where the waters of the Nile River squeeze through a narrow gorge on their way downstream.
Reasons to Try Boat Safaris
The opportunity to go on a safari boat tour is unquestionably one of the highlights of any trip to the great outdoors. The following are reasons why you should try a safari boat trip!
During your time on the water, you will be accompanied by an experienced guide who is able to provide you with insightful information about local points of interest and teach you about our culture. You can take in the information provided by your tour guide while also capturing priceless moments with your camera to produce memories that will last a lifetime.
2. Deeper and Greater Touch with the Nature
The experience of discovering the world from the point of view of a duck is truly one of a kind. Indeed, the world appears very differently when viewed from the perspective of water. When you go on a boating safari, you will have the opportunity to see many sights that are inaccessible by any other means. Water is essential to life, and simply being in an environment dominated by water can induce a state of calmness all on its own. Being in a boat will give you a one-of-a-kind experience and enable you to see parts of nature along paths that are normally inhabited only by animals. No cars, no dust, no unnecessary noise. It’s just Mother Nature.
3. Boat Safaris are Better for the Environment
Getting around in a boat, as opposed to a car, is a significantly “greener” way to travel. It should not come as a surprise that each of us has a responsibility to reduce the amount of harm that we cause to the environment and, whenever it is feasible to do so, select alternatives that are friendlier to our home planet. Boating safari is definitely something you should try out for a number of reasons, and this is another one of them.
Observe hippos and crocodiles as they go about their day, lazing about in the warm sun or relaxing in the refreshing water. Floating beneath overhanging bushes that are teeming with birdlife, you might see weaver’s nests that are intricately woven, as well as flashes of dazzling color as birds dart in and out of the bushes. You could try your hand at fishing by casting a line out into the water, or you could just relax in the convenience of your chair and look through your binoculars at the numerous waterbirds that call the lakes and rivers home. For sure, boating safari is such a wonderful and unique way to experience the wilderness like never before.