Explore your world
The Breede River outside Swellendam | ©Atelier Design Studio/Flickr
The Breede River outside Swellendam | ©Atelier Design Studio/Flickr

The Most Beautiful Places to River Cruise in South Africa

Picture of Carina Claassens
Updated: 30 April 2017
South Africa’s rivers are spread far and wide and most have an abundant wildlife presence, along with fantastic photographic opportunities. Whether you simply want to unwind on a wine tasting cruise or experiment with your latest camera lens, there’s a South African river cruise for you.


Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga

The Blyde River Canyon is known for its panoramic views, sub-tropical vegetation and many geological wonders.

Blyde River Canyon

Bird’s eye view of the Blyde River Canyon | ©Ben Haeringer | Flickr

Breede River, Viljoensdrift

What could be better than sipping delicious Viljoensdrift wines on board an elegant river boat on the Breede River?


Afternoon reflections on the Breede River | Courtesy of Viljoensdrift

Knysna, Western Cape

Visiting Knysna must include a cruise on the lagoon, which is home to the famous Knysna Heads. Make sure to keep an eye out for the different bird species and marine life.

Knysna Heads

Take a cruise to the Knysna Heads | ©Traveling Otter/Flickr

Olifants River, Mpumalanga

This extraordinary river safari journeys along the banks of the Klaserie Game Reserve that borders the Kruger National Park, ensuring amazing wildlife sightings.

Olifants river

The cruise is great for photography enthusiasts and birders alike | ©Philip Milne/Flickr

Orange river, Northern Cape

Upington in the Northern Cape is the ideal stopover between South Africa and Namibia, and a boat cruise is the ultimate way to unwind after a long day of travelling.

Orange river

The Orange River is the longest river in South Africa | ©Clint Mason/Flickr

St Lucia Estuary, Kwazulu-Natal

When cruising up the St Lucia Estuary you’re guaranteed to see African Fish eagles, hippos and Nile crocodiles lounging on the shores.

St Lucia Estuary

The abundance of wildlife makes this trip a photographic opportunity of a lifetime | ©Steve Slater/Flickr