Boat Safaris in Tanzania

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Boat Safaris in Tanzania

Boat safaris are an opportunity to explore game reserves and experience a different kind of Tanzania Safari. Boat safaris also give you an opportunity to get closer to water dwelling birds, hippopotami , elephants and crocodiles than you can by taking a game drive or during a working safari.

There are five different parks that offer boat safaris in Tanzania – Gombe Stream, Lake Manyara, Mahale, Saadani and Selous, each park offering a different Tanzania Safari experience on the water that lets visitors get closer to wildlife and see aspects of the parks that they might otherwise miss.

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Boat Safari Locations Tanzania

Selous Boat Safaris

This vast National Park has many things that make it one of the best places to enjoy a Tanzania Safari with its unspoilt landscapes and so many different activities on offer, but it is the boat safaris that are offered in the Selous National Park that make it a truly matchless experience. There are several rivers and lakes that can be found in the park that draw the game to them throughout the year.

Not only can you see a plethora of birds on the water, but the boat safaris in Selous let you see elephants, crocodiles, hippopotami, buffalo, wild dogs and prides of lions from the water, getting you closer than you can on walking or drive safaris.

With knowledgeable guides on board and smaller numbers of visitors than you would expect for a park of Selous’ size, this is one boat safari that will not leave you disappointed when you disembark.

Saadani Boat Safaris

Is the newest of the National Parks of Tanzania, only established back in 2005, Saadani National Park brings together busch, forest, beach, river, ocean and savannah to create a very different Tanzania Safari experience.

The boat safaris offered in Saadani see you setting out on the Wami River where large pods of hippopotami can be seen from the safety of the boat as well as Nile crocodile that line the banks of the river, soaking up the African sun. The main draw of the Saadani boat safari is the stunning variety of birds and the natural beauty of the landscape.

The river has more than its fair share of Date palms running alongside it that offer shade to the brightly coloured kingfishers and weaver birds that can be seen flitting about under the leaves. These tiny gems are not the only birds to be seen on a Tanzania safari in Saadani though, fish eagles and storks can be spotted overhead in spectacular relief and you may even be lucky enough to see them dive to catch the tiger fish and catfish that lurk beneath the surface of the river.

Mahale Boat Safaris

With so much water around the Mahale Mountain National Park, the boat safaris offered at Mahale are different kettle of fish to those found in other parks. With crystal clear waters and stunning beaches, there are more than chimpanzees to be seen from the water. In fact, given the migratory habits of the chimpanzees, you may not see any on a boat safari, depending on the time of year.

However, there are plenty of hippopotami and crocodiles that live in the park to keep you spellbound as you travel across the water. There are also lots of birds that live in the forest and flit across the water that you can spend hours spying. Like Lake Mayara, you can hire canoes to take out on the waters of Lake Tanganyika and absorb the breathtaking beauty of the Mahale Mountain National Park.

Lake Manyara Boat Safaris

With baboon troops, forest hornbills, wildebeest, giraffes, bushbuck, blue monkeys and zebra there are plenty of reasons to visit the Lake Manyara National Park, but one of the most popular draws to the park are the legendary tree-climbing lions and elephants. But when it comes to taking a boat safari on the soda-lake, you will be treated to a view of the Serengeti that cannot be equalled.

Taking to the water, there are hundreds of different varieties of waterfowl to be seen and if you choose to go at the right time of year, you will be able to see the thousands of flamingos that flock to the Lake Manyara park as part of their perpetual migration habits. There are also other great water bird such as cormorants, storks and pelicans that call the park home, meaning it is one of the best places to see some amazing birds as well as getting up close to elephants, zebras and the other animals of the plains.

Not only can you take boat safaris, you can also take part in water sports on the lake, such as kayaking and canoeing that allow you to see the park in a different way.

Gombe Stream Boat Safaris

Though the smallest of the National Parks in Tanzania, it is also arguable the most famous, as it was in the Gombe Stream National Park that Jane Goodall undertook her study of chimpanzees, but besides the famous primates of the park there is a myriad of wildlife to be seen on a boat safari.

Setting out on the stunning clear waters of Lake Tanganyika, with the Mahale Mountains as a backdrop behind the rugged, forest covered hills of the Gombe Stream National Park, you might be tempted to take a quick dip in the water, though with the pods of hippopotami and crocodiles that call the water home, you might just want to think twice. There are also some wonderful examples of pied and giant kingfishers that can be seen as you are taken on a tour of the lake as well as African broadbills, crowned eagles, trumpeter hornbills and Ross’s turacos. There is also the opportunity to take part in fishing during the boat safaris in Gombe Stream.

From a boat Tanzania Safari in Gombe Stream you will also get an opportunity to observe Jane Goodall’s apes from a different vantage as well as leopards, red colobus, blue monkeys and the other creatures that call the park home.


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Full of useful information about planning your Tanzania Safari