Discover Africa’s wildlife from the water on a safari with a difference 

Travelling by boat or being ‘poled’ in a traditional mokoro offers a completely different safari experience from a conventional 4x4 game drive. Africa’s rivers and lakes support an abundance of wildlife, and a water-based safari is the perfect way to explore. From your boat or canoe, you’ll have the opportunity to see wildlife from a different vantage point and often, in a much closer proximity. The wetlands and floodplains attract a diverse array of birdlife and fish, and are also superb habitats for crocodile, hippo and less common wildlife like the Red Lechwe and Waterbuck antelope. More traditional big game like buffalo and elephants can also be found grazing on the riverbanks and wading into the water to cool down. 

Water-based safaris are more tranquil and slower-paced in comparison to a traditional safari. In landlocked Botswana, the Okavango Delta is an enchanting wetland that lies at its heart. A maze of intricate waterways and islands, the delta is a stunning landscape to explore by mokoro – a streamlined dugout canoe that offers a relaxing and intimate way to meander the shallow floodplains. In Tanzania, the Selous Game Reserve offers a more sedate and authentic alternative to its popular Serengeti and Ngorongoro National Parks. On the Rufuji River, Selous offers beautiful boating safaris and sundowner river cruises that are great ways to spot the large numbers of hippo and crocodile that take sanctuary on its banks.  

With us, you can stay at safari camps and lodges that sit right on the water’s edge. Not only will you have the privilege to view river game from your own private terrace or pool, but most also provide their own water-based excursions. In Chobe National Park, the Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero lodge offers exclusive sundowner cruises in specially designed riverboats. A stunning way to watch an African sunset, it is likely you’ll spot a sable or roan antelope, or see a buffalo coming out to graze in the cooler evening. On the Great Ruaha River in Tanzania, the Azura Selous lodge offers an exclusive water-safari in their specialist lightweight boat. Taking only four people at any one time, this is a great way to discover the river’s wildlife and appreciate the tranquillity of the surrounding environment.

Safari experiences

Great migration safaris

This annual cycle sees over one million wildebeest and other grazing herbivores journey 1800 miles from the Serengeti to the Maasai Mara.

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Big Five safaris

The Big Five refers to Africa’s most dangerous animals: the lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhino.

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Elephant experiences

There’s something special about these gentle giants. Spot huge herds on safari, or visit the remarkable Daphne Sheldrick elephant orphanage.

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Gorilla trekking

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see mountain gorillas in their natural environment. Welcome to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

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Chimpanzee trekking

Spend time with chimpanzees in the mountainous Nyungwe Forest as they feed, play and swing through the vines.

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Safaris over water

Travelling by boat or being ‘poled’ in a traditional mokoro offers a completely different safari experience from a 4x4 game drive.

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Water-based safaris

Africa
Escorted touring

Safari brochures

Our Africa brochure is a collection of iconic and authentic tailor-made holidays throughout Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

Our dedicated escorted touring brochure features a collection of small group safaris throughout Kenya and Tanzania.

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