Africa’s Best Kayaking Destinations

Africa's Best Kayaking Destinations

Home to some of the world’s last truly wild areas, Africa is the continent to visit when you’re looking to escape the pressures of modern living and immerse yourself in pristine nature.

It is a place where untamed land stretches from horizon to horizon, interspersed with vast lakes, protected wetlands, and rivers running freely. A highly diverse continent full of diverse cultures, rich traditions, dramatic scenery and precious wildlife; an African safari is one of the most amazing travel experiences in the world.

Game drives are the most traditional way of experiencing the magic of Africa’s wilderness, however they’re certainly not the only way. Numerous safari lodges offer various modes of exploring the environment, depending on their location and what there is to be experienced. Kayaking, for example, is an engaging way to travel around lakes and rivers that allows you to explore at your own pace. It may be considered a water sport, but it takes no prior experience, and a very basic fitness level, to enjoy this tranquil activity. While you’re bound to be enthralled by any of Africa’s beautiful wilderness areas, if you’re seeking an extra special kayaking experience, there are a few specific destinations that we can highly recommend.

Our Top 3 Choices for Africa’s Best Kayaking Destinations:

Lake Malawi

Situated on the Great Rift Valley, Malawi is dominated by Lake Malawi, a magnificent body of freshwater, 365 miles long and 52 miles wide. It’s teaming with life including over 400 species of cichlid fish, a lot of which are endemic to it. Famously named the “The Lake of Stars” by David Livingstone, this beautiful lake is the ideal spot for kayaking and numerous other water sports.

Photo © Robin Pope Safari’s Pumulani Lodge

Enjoy being as active or relaxed as you like while staying at Pumulani Lodge. Here you can spend your days kayaking on the lake, taking a break to snorkel or scuba dive, or even just snoozing in a hammock. Situated on the west side of the Nankumba Peninsula on the Southern end of Lake Malawi, Pumulani not only offers the ideal location from which to explore Lake Malawi, but it’s ten villas also provide the ultimate in space, design, comfort and privacy.

Robin Pope Safari's Pumulani Lodge, Lake Malawi

Photo © Robin Pope Safari’s Pumulani Lodge

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Previously known as the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park is South Africa’s third-largest protected area, covering about 275 square kilometres. Located on the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal, north of Durban, it is made up of Lake St. Lucia, St. Lucia Game Reserve, False Bay Park, Kosi Bay, and Lake Sibaya, among other natural ecosystems. Kayaking is one of the best ways to experience the beauty and wildlife of iSimangaliso’s waterways – keeping a watchful eye out for hippos and crocs! It’s a simultaneously an adventurous and relaxing activity to be enjoyed.

kayaking on lake sibaya with thonga beach lodge

Photo © Thonga Beach Lodge

Set on the pristine shores of the Maputaland Coast which forms part of the 332 000-hectare iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Thonga Beach Lodge is the ideal place to discover this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Embark on an early morning guided kayaking tour on Lake Sibaya, southern Africa’s largest freshwater lake, when the waters are calm, birding opportunities are brilliant, and the possibility of spotting hippos and crocs is reasonable.
Thonga Beach Lodge aerial

Photo © Thonga Beach Lodge

Zambezi River

The Zambezi River is the fourth-longest river in Africa, and for about 500 kilometres it serves as the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Zambezi’s most renowned feature is the dramatic Victoria Falls, however, just upstream of the falls lies a fantastic playground for kayaking, canoeing, white-water rafting, and other adventure sports. A guided kayak tour above the falls on the upper Zambezi is the perfect activity for travellers who want to witness the abundant wildlife and birding opportunities, as well as experience the tranquillity and majesty of the Zambezi River.

Kayaking at Stanley Safari Lodge

Photo © Robin Pope Safari’s Stanley Safari Lodge

Set on a hill bordering the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and overlooking unspoilt bush, Stanley Safari Lodge is only three kilometres from the Victoria Falls, and offers an elegant and luxurious base from which to enjoy the beauty of the Zambezi River.
Robin Pope Safari's Stanley Safari Lodge

Photo © Robin Pope Safari’s Stanley Safari Lodge

Keen to Kayak?

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