Water-Based Game Viewing

A river cruise in Chobe National Park approaches a herd of buffaloes.

Get up close and personal with nature on a bush walk during your safari in South Africa.

Water-based game viewing offers some of the most rewarding African safari experiences imaginable. From iconic sunset cruises on the Chobe River to tranquil mokoro excursions across the waterways of the Okavango Delta, water-based safari activities provide unique perspectives and unforgettable memories.

Chobe River sunset cruises – typically conducted from a power boat – are the stuff of dreams. With the setting sun pouring golden light all across the water, vast herds converging on the riverbanks and elephants and hippos cavorting between the islands, you’ll have to pinch yourself to verify your consciousness. Relish a refreshing beverage while you take in the sights, sounds and smells of this slice of African paradise.

Another quintessential water-based game viewing experience in Botswana is game viewing from a mokoro canoe. Mokoros are traditionally made by digging out the trunk of a large, straight tree, such as an ebony or Kigelia. Modern mokoros, however, are increasingly made of fiber glass to preserve large endangered trees. Guests are propelled across the Okavango Delta by a guide, ensuring their safety by keeping a healthy distance from hippos and crocs.

In addition to Botswana’s popular water-based game viewing activities, guests to safari lodges in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park or Lower Zambezi National Park may also enjoy water-based game viewing via powerboat or canoe. This typically depends on the season – i.e. if water levels allow – and the position of the lodge that you have selected for your safari. Like the Chobe River and the Delta, these prolific waters teem with wildlife.

In South Africa, water-based game viewing is offered in only two Big Five reserves – Marataba in the Waterberg and Phinda Private Game Reserve in Zululand. While not as well-known as the wilderness areas of Botswana, if your travels are limited to South Africa or other logistical issues hamper the possibility of exploring Botswana’s wilderness areas, these experiences are still rewarding and indelibly memorable.

African Safari

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South Africa

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