Safari finder

Canoe safaris in southern Africa

Africa’s wilder rivers and major watercourses in remote and uninhabited areas present some of the continent’s wildest fly-camping and canoe safaris. You’ll find that big game populations are strong and we get to experience Africa in a very raw state.

Mostly in places where we sleep under the stars, carry basic provisions and find that daily routines are dictated by weather, river conditions and game encounters en-route. Some locations have only limited or zero road access to long river stretches so solid planning and experienced Professional Guides are essential prerequisites. True expeditionary trips aren’t commercially available, but we run a series of set-date canoe safari options in southern Africa on the upper and lower Zambezi, also the Selinda Spillway in northern Botswana – suited to those with tame, adventurous or intrepid tastes.

What to expect on a canoe safari

Big game in the form of elephant, hippo and crocodiles are regularly encountered in the water. Buffalo, kudu, eland, predators including lion and other large mammals are undisturbed by canoes as they gather near shorelines. Through the season a fantastic array of resident and migrant birdlife (especially October to March) is found.

On the one end of the scale we’re self-supporting and wild-camp on islands. Alternatively we spend nights in fully supported mobile fly-camps. In some cases we’ll make use of a comfortable permanent lodges to start or end a canoe safari.

Days on safari are generally very active and whilst prior canoeing experience isn’t essential a reasonable degree of fitness is needed. We’re generally on the water just after sunrise, break for brunch and siesta in the early afternoon heat, paddle through the afternoon to catch sundowners in camp before sunset. Bush TV always involves a primal fire.

Our canoe safari season

The tamer options on the Upper Zambezi above Victoria Falls are available year round but the best and remotest stretches of the lower Zambezi into Mana Pools and beyond or Botswana’s Selinda are best accessed during the drier months from May through to mid-November.

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Gus Alexander leading one of the lower Zambezi canoe safaris for Natureways - courtesy James Varden

Lower Zambezi Canoe safaris

We've run canoe safaris since 1995. From Kariba, past Mana Pools, Sapi, Chewore and Mupata Gorge to Kanyemba. 230km of untamed adventure!

From $750 9 days / 8 nightsMore info
Mana Pools by Noel Smith

Tamarind Canoe Safari

The Tamarind canoe safari is one of our most popular lower Zambezi canoe safaris over 4 days from Chirundu down to Mana Pools World Heritage Site.

From $860 4 days / 3 nightsMore info
Canoeing on the Selinda by Garth Thompson courtesy Hilton Walker

Selinda Canoe Trail

Lush and green... the sheer excitement of the arrival of life-giving water is infectious! A rare and extraordinary Canoe trail adventure

From $2999 8 days / 7 nightsMore info
Elephant encounter on the Mana shoreline courtesy James Varden

Spirit of the Zambezi Safari

Best of the Zambezi. Canoeing, walking, top guides, outstanding wildlife in Mana Pools, Matusadona, Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Park.

From $3499 10 days / 9 nightsMore info

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