Boating and Canoeing in Tanzania  : Canoeing and boating through Tanzania’s rivers, ocean bays, and waterways can be a frightening experience. It’s a kind of adventure crossing the river, which is densely populated with crocodiles and hippos sunning themselves with their mouths open, leaving a fantastic memory for most visitors who have ever tasted such an experience.

Tanzania is a nation of many lakes and rivers that run through densely savanna areas full of wildlife. Typically, the watercourses provide an excellent natural setting for boat adventures and canoeing. Guests seeing wildlife and birding from a boat or canoe feels more blessed to be in Tanzania land for Tanzania Safaris Tours .

The Rufiji River in the Selous Game Reserve and the River Wami adjoining Saadani National Park are the most popular destinations for boat safaris in Tanzania. The only areas where game viewing can be done from a canoe are in Arusha National Park’s Momella Lakes, Lake Duluti near Arusha town and in Lake Manyara National Park (if water level is sufficient). However the safaris are no longer than 3-hours.

Not to mention, India Ocean is the most popular boating and cruising destination in Tanzania and Zanzibar, host and taking visitors deep into the fish-filled waters of the Pemba Channel and through the hundreds of islands scattered across the Zanzibar Archipelago and Mafia Island.

Watching and experiencing life in water, the sights and sounds of Africa’s watercourses at a very nearby point, it’s like a welcome while you’re landing and leaving in Tanzania. Water safaris are always excellent towards the conclusion of the trip as a break after a long game drive and all other experiences in the wild. Now it’s when you get a chance to rest in the boat while enjoying the wonderful breeze from the lake, river, or ocean.

Despite the close proximity of crocodiles, hippos, and other amphibians on water safaris, the voyages are quite safe, though the animals react to the sight of boats on water with curious expressions

A boat ride along the Tanzanian coast, whether in peaceful bays on the mainland or on the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia, is a fun-filled journey for those who want to see the Swahili Coast’s colorful underwater life. Visitors who wish to experience life in the Indian Ocean and receive a different perspective on life on the Swahili Coast can take day cruises to small abandoned islands, swim off sandbars at low tide, sail to neighboring reefs, or simply tack back and forth across the bay.

Operational time for boating and canoeing is from 0600hrs in the morning and end at 1800hrs in accordance to TANAPA rules and regulations for Boating Safaris

Boating and Canoeing in Tanzania
Boating and Canoeing in Tanzania


Visitors to Momella Lake will find it to be one of Tanzania’s most attractive places for kayaking. Follow the shorelines of little Momella Lake on a tranquil and gorgeous canoeing excursion. On this 2-to 3-hour canoe safari, you’ll see buffaloes, bushbuck, giraffes, hippos, and a variety of water birds that live near or in the water.


After a wildlife drive and a walking safari in Lake Manyara National Park’s underground water forest, tourists can take a canoe safari to explore and enjoy the park’s spectacular landscape and splendor. Thousands of pink-hued flamingos may be found in Lake Manyara, which is home to an incredible variety of bird species. From the comfort of your canoe, you can get up close and personal with giraffes, elephants, buffalos, and other creatures grazing along the shoreline.


Glide across the calm surface of this little Crater Lake to watch rare wildlife, including giant kingfishers, fish eagles, darters, and more. The crater walls are wooded on all sides. This is a one-to-two-hour kayaking trip that is really special and serene. Hundreds of cattle egrets are returning to roost for the night on an island in the lake.

Boating and Canoeing in Tanzania
Canoeing on Lake Daluti


  Boating permits and licensing requirements

  • According to Tanzania National Parks Guidelines for Boating Safaris, the boat used for the activity must be Tanzanian registered and have a valid license.

Type of competence and number of staff required for the activity

  • All boats must be operated by qualified boat drivers who are capable of assisting tourists in any situation. After completing the requisite training and being certified by the appropriate authorities, a competent boat operator is permitted by SUMMATRA or the relevant authority to operate marine devices. Also, each boat must have two crew members: a boat operator and an assistant/park ranger.

Environment consideration issue

  • A dust bin must be present on the operational boat.
  • It is strictly forbidden to smoke.

Safety, security, and health consideration issue

  • All passengers on board are required to wear lifesaving equipment such as jackets.
  • As part of the safety standards, tourists must be briefed before boating.
  • A device/boat must be examined and authorized by the appropriate authority, such as SUMMATRA, and must be equipped with the necessary safety equipment, such as life jackets, ring buoys, first aid kits, and firefighting equipment.
  • Onboard communication devices, such as radio calls, are required.
  • At sunset, all boats must be off the lake.

Boat Operations

  • On behalf of children or persons aged 0–16 years, parents or guardians must fill out and sign indemnity documents.
  • Fees are non-refundable once paid.
  • The authorized officer must specify the places where boating will take place.
  • Before beginning the boating practice, the tour operator must notify the appropriate park at least 12 hours in advance.
  • Foreign-registered boats will only be allowed to operate with permission from the appropriate authorities.
  • Authorized local boats will only be allowed to operate when they have met all of the park’s requirements.
  • Investors and other operators must follow all the laws outlined in order to be awarded a permit to operate boats in the parks.
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