Zambia canoeing

Zambia canoeing is one of the most exciting activities you can do when visiting this great country. Make sure to include this adventure in your travelling check list if you decide going there!

Upper Zambezi River (Zambia)

A canoe safari on the Upper Zambezi is a wonderfully relaxing way to enjoy the stunning scenery along the river before it plunges into Victoria Falls.

This part of the river is dotted with many islands of varying sizes, home to many birds and small animals.

This is the route that David Livingstone followed on his way in search of the rising mist clouds. In fact, along these banks he remarked that “such beautiful scenes must have been beheld by angels in flight”.

Lower Zambezi River(Zambia)

The Lower Zambezi canoe safari is the ultimate in relaxed thrills, as you canoe along the section of the Zambezi flanked by National Parks on either side.

Sit back in your comfortable two-person canoe and drift down the river. Your armed river guide will take you through remote channels between the islands of this magnificently diverse and abundant river, where your chances of getting close to game are very high.

Hippos are always in sight, elephants, zebras, pukus, impalas, buffalo, kudu, waterbuck, baboons and crocodiles can be seen cruising the banks from the relaxed comfort of your canoe.

Several operators organize 3 to 5 day trips, where you spend the night in picturesque and comfortable riverside camps, with excellent food and white linen beds.

Some operators offer “participatory” canoe trips of any length. All equipment is carried in the canoes and camps are set up on river islands along the route. Everyone participates in setting up camp and cooking. These trips are obviously cheaper and a little less comfortable, but the thrill of nature is much more intense.

Royal canoeing Zambia

A Royal canoe trip is something you should not miss. First you will enjoy a boat ride downriver to where the canoes await you, each with one or two passengers and a guide. No previous canoeing experience is necessary, but the ability to sit still helps considerably.

The trip usually takes about two to three hours paddling, being paddled or simply drifting downstream on a branch of the main Zambezi that has formed a relatively narrow channel around what is actually a large island. Most of the channel is reasonably shallow, allowing you to see, from water level, pristine bush and grassy floodplains, with the denser bush as a backdrop.

The canoeing Zambia experience is one of peace and tranquility, and is marked by the magic of animals in all their forms. Everyone keeps an eye out for crocodiles and hippos while the guides know how to avoid “surprising” them.

Sighting animals from water level is totally different and wonderful. The wildlife does not seem to care about these floating objects and goes about their business without interruption. The higher banks of the river offer burrow-like nesting sites for bee-eaters and kingfishers in abundance.

Our recommendation is that you participate in this activity in the afternoon, when the sun is behind and the light aids photography. Lions have been seen eating and killing an antelope . Leopards have been seen on a branch watching the world go by.

Elephants cross the water to and from the island, where vegetation provides abundant grazing. Cape buffalo graze on the floodplains on each banks. At the end of the tour a refreshment of your choice awaits you on the river bank at the confluence with the main river, an unforgettable mix of action and serenity and an experience for which many return.

must looked activities canoeing Zambia

One of the must do activities when vacationing in Zambia is to go on a canoeing safari. The mighty Zambezi River is said to get in the blood and draw people back time and time again. A canoe safari is a leisurely way to experience the river for those who don’t want to brave the rapids during a rafting trip.

These trips allow visitors to see a gentler side of the river and enjoy fantastic animal sightings.
The Zambezi River is usually divided into two sections: the Upper Zambezi and the Lower Zambezi, interrupted by the massive Victoria Falls and Lake Kariba. Visitors can choose to take a canoeing safari above or below Victoria Falls. Each experience has its own charm, as the vegetation and wildlife are different.

Paddle against the current and pass many picturesque islands with date and ivory palms, ebony, acacia and albizia trees. Skirt groups of honking and laughing hippos, stopping to watch them snort and yawn in the shallows. Head out to explore the quieter side channels and observe the area’s diverse bird life or perhaps come across a crocodile sunning itself on a sandbar.

The canoeing safari will take place in inflatable boats and visitors will have to overcome a couple of rapids, but these are level two, some of the easiest in the world. As you paddle, keep an eye out for any animals that come down to drink in the side channels, perhaps a herd of elephants or a shy jungle antelope.

Related Articles