Paddle through gentle waves as African penguins swim beside you. Watch colorful fish dart through shallow coastal waters. A self-powered craft offers incomparable encounters with African wildlife.
A few places to enjoy canoeing & kayaking
Arusha National Park, Tanzania
One of our favorite activities within Tanzania‘s Arusha National Park is canoeing the Momella Lakes. Flamingos make these lakes famous. But you numerous other birds live here along with Cape buffalos giraffes, and waterbucks. All this lies amid impressive background scenery—you can view both Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro from your canoe.
Ewaso Ng’iro River, Kenya
This river winds through Shaba and Samburu National Reserves in central Kenya. It is quite calm during the dry season, allowing canoers and kayakers plenty of opportunities to lift their paddles to focus on the wildlife and stunning savannah and desert scenery that approach the river’s banks.
Ilha de Moçambique (Mozambique Island), Mozambique
The coastal waters around Mozambique‘s most famous island are ideal for kayaking. Lagoons are plentiful, allowing you to see a wide variety of colorful fish and coral. Find birds, mangrove crabs and other wildlife with the help of your guide.
Lake Tanganyika, Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania
Mahale Mountains National Park in Tanzania is a famous chimpanzee tracking destination. It is also home to Lake Tanganyika—the world’s largest and longest lake. About 250 species of fish live in the lake, and most are found nowhere else in the world! You can spot many of them through the clear waters. A kayak is also an excellent vantage point for birdwatching. Waterbirds and shorebirds are plentiful, and many songbirds nest near the shore. At least 230 bird species have been recorded in Lake Tanganyika.
Nile River Basin, Uganda
The Uganda portion of the world-famous Nile River can’t be beat for heart-thumping adventure. Freestyle kayakers flock here from around the world to ride the rapids. Whitewater rafting is a popular option as well.
Sainte Anne Marine National Park, Seychelles
Seychelles‘ hundred-plus islands offer amazing sea kayaking thanks to peaceful Indian Ocean waters that are well out of the way of major storm belts. But paddling is especially rewarding in Sainte Anne Marine National Park. Peer through clear waters to see colorful corals and tropical fishes, or simply enjoy the fresh sea air as you take in the breathtaking blues of sea and sky.
Simon’s Town, Western Cape, South Africa
A large colony of African penguins make their home in Simon’s Town, South Africa. These endangered birds have unique adaptations that help them thrive in a warm climate. Spot penguins in underwater flight and encounter Cape fur seals as you paddle out past the harbor. Skim along piers full of sunbathing cormorants. Then stop at a beach to examine mollusks and crabs that populate the tidal area.
Tana River Delta, Kenya
The Tana River Delta in Kenya is one of the most peaceful and breathtaking locations on the East African coast. Combining beach, river, and bush, this estuary provides a winter home to migratory birds from throughout African and Asia. Kayaking and canoeing through the Tana River Delta offers excellent exploration of incredible wildlife and inspiring scenery.
Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls is known for its rushing waters. But the Zambezi River that feeds it has many calmer areas, especially in the dry season. Exploring these backwaters will help you see this mighty river and its spectacular wildlife in a whole new way.