Canoeing and Kayaking Adventures in SA

Western Cape

©Jacques Marais
Canoening on the calm waters of Langebaan on the West Coast.
©Jacques Marais

South Africa has various suitable rivers, dams, lagoons and ocean areas that are suitable for canoeing. Throughout the country, guests looking for adventure or leisure are spoiled for choice when planning a canoe trip. 

In the Western Cape, the Breede River offers calm waters and fantastic natural scenery. You can combine your trip with a wine tasting experience, as the Breede River Valley is well-known for its beautiful vineyards and wine. The Overberg has a few awesome spots for kayaking, like Buffelsjag river.

There are some fun canoeing opportunities on the Garden Route, especially Wilderness and Knysna Lagoon. Up the West Coast, Langebaan and Jacobsbaai have small bays where the ocean is flat and perfect for a canoe or kayak. False Bay, Simon’s Town and Camps Bay are both great spots to canoe or kayak as well, as you can combine it with scuba diving or snorkeling, making the most of your aquatic adventure. 


©Roger de la Harpe
Canoening on the Midmar Dam in KwaZulu-Natal.
©Roger de la Harpe

For those who want to experience the wildlife and birdlife of KwaZulu-Natal, the lakes of Maputaland, Lake St Lucia, Lake Sibaya and the Kosi system allow paddlers to share the water with wildlife such as hippo and crocodile. 

There are also many dams across the province, many of which are set in nature reserves with camping and accommodation facilities. The long coastline stretching from Kosi Bay in the north to Port Edward in the south is also ideal for canoeing or kayaking.

The Umkomaas, Umzimkulu, Mooi River, Umgeni, Thukela, Buffalo and Pongola rivers flow across the Zulu Kingdom from the high Drakensberg Mountains to the sea. These rivers provide plenty of challenges for South African canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts.

By Carla Lottering