Top 5 luxury camps for boating safaris

Viewing wildlife from a vehicle is the classic approach to spotting animals, but boating safaris allow guests to avoid the chaos and dust that come with a game drive. There is no more relaxing way to appreciate Africa’s waterways than floating along with the sounds of hippos grunting in the background. Boating safaris also offer unique sightings that you do not get to see on a game drive, such as elephants crossing deep water channels fully submerged and close to Africa’s biggest reptile, the Nile crocodile! We present our Top 5 camps in Africa that offer boating safaris:

1. Vumbura Plains

Vumbura Plains is an exceptional lodge, located in the Vumbura Concession in the northern Okavango Delta. It is split into two camps, each with seven large suites featuring huge decking areas and private plunge pools. It is one of few luxury camps in the Okavango Delta that offer brilliant game drives on high, dry land yet also have access to water where guests can explore the deep channels by boat and the floodplains by mokoro (local dugout canoe). Game viewing really is first rate here and we reckon that this is the best camp for water activities!

Vumbura Plains Camp

2. Zumba Tau

Located in arguably one of Botswana’s finest game-viewing reserves – the Linyanti Reserve – Duma Tau is an outstanding property where guests can cruise on the Osprey Lagoon and explore the source of the Savuti Channel. With just ten luxury tents, Duma Tau is a very intimate camp and it is raised off the ground to take advantage of spectacular views. The Linyanti Reserve is known as one of Africa’s best game-viewing areas for wild dog, but elephant watching from camp is just as exciting – two elephant corridors nearby regularly attract Africa’s giants!

Duma Tau

3. Chiawa Camp

This property is without doubt one of Africa’s best camps for offering luxury while keeping an authentic safari feel. Set on the banks of the Zambezi River in the Lower Zambezi National Park, Chiawa always receives rave reviews for its excellent game viewing! The views from the camp are amazing, with elephants regularly seen crossing in front of the communal areas and guest rooms. Chiawa is famous for being home to some of Africa’s best guides and boating safari is just one of many activities on offer – additionally, this is one of the greatest areas for tiger fishing in Africa!

Chiawa Camp

4. Sand Rivers

This is simply the camp to go to for the best boating in Tanzania. Located on the Rufiji River in the Selous, the camp is celebrated for having superb guides. The boating safaris often involve heading to Stiegler’s Gorge, where there are good leopard sightings and keen birders have a chance of seeing crowned eagles! The property itself is simply stunning, with open-fronted adventurous suites that have sweeping views of the river. It is an excellent option for those looking to get out on the water!

Sand Rivers Selous Boating - Nomad Tanzania

5. Zambezi Queen

The Chobe River offers unquestionably the best boating safaris in the whole of Africa and there is no better way of exploring it than on the Zambezi Queen – a floating boutique hotel that allows guests to explore a huge stretch of the river! The boat is beautifully decorated with African artwork and zebra rugs and guests can choose between a number of room categories on the 2–3 day set departure cruise. With daily activities available, this is a wonderful way to check out one of Botswana’s most game-rich parks.

Zambezi Queen

Julian Carter-Manning is a Co-founder and MD at Yellow Zebra Safaris.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Richard Eldred Hawes says:

    I have been on walkin and driving safaris but found boating ones much more relaxing and an ideal way to see game as you could travel almost silently and drift up on them

  2. Anette von Backstrom. says:

    I recently spend a few nights at Duma Tau camp.
    It remains my favourite camp. The attention to detail from management was amazing. The guides are professional and their knowledge and love for the area stood out. Will defenitly go back.

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