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Paddling safaris

©Safari par Excellence©Safari par ExcellenceThere is nothing quite like watching a herd of elephant calmly grazing on riverside grasses while you gently drift downstream in your canoe. The Olifants River, in Limpopo Province, has a section that goes through a game-rich area, where you may see some animals but, for a really worthwhile paddling safari, you need to head north of South Africa’s borders. The Zambezi River offers two great game-viewing opportunities. Upstream from Victoria Falls, there are overnight, full day or one day trips through the game-rich Zambezi National Park from both the Zimbabwean and Zambian sides. Further downstream there are multi-day paddling safaris through the Mana Pools National Park on the Zimbabwean side and the Lower Zambezi National Park on the Zambian side. This is an absolutely fabulous wildlife area and most paddling trips include walking, which gives the upper body a bit of a rest. You can choose between day paddles from an established game lodge, pretty rough participative camping trips, and luxury full service camping safaris. Paddling safaris are mostly done in open, Canadian-style canoes, that are usually paddled by two people. Some of the more mellow trips are in three-place canoes that take two clients and a guide who does all the paddling. Another non-paddling option is to do a mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) trip through the Okavango Delta, which will reward you with sightings of fabulous game, beautiful scenery and numerous birds.


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