40 Best Places to Kayak in the World

Are you looking for a specific destination to Kayak? Here is a list of some of the best places to kayak in the world. The highlighted kayaking destinations consists of oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, and dams for whitewater Kayaking, flatwater kayaking, artificial venues and more. Besides, the types of Kayak and paddles recommended for the areas are outlined to assist paddlers to select a specific kayak. Also find the pros and cons of kayaking these places.

Best Places to Kayak in USA

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW)

Located in Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota (USA), the BWCAW under the jurisdiction of U.S. Forest Service is known for hosting several Kayaks and Canoes every year. With a total of 1200 miles to kayak and canoe, it is the best place to enjoy uninterruptible paddling (Featherman).

It is a wilderness for kayak fishing, canoeing, and other watersports. Cherished with many lakes, this is the place to visit for outdoor water activity and camping. In his article titled “fourteen best places to canoe and kayak on national forests,” Hannah Featherman has listed a total of 14 National Forest areas across the USA suitable for kayaking namely.

14 National Forest areas to Kayak

  1. Alaska, Prince William Sound Chugach – What a gorgeous place to Kayak in glaciers joined by orcas.
  2. Florida, Juniper Run Ocala: If you hate kayaking in dirty water, you are welcome to one of the best rivers with clear water to kayak. Read more about the 7 mile kayaking expedition.
  3. Missouri, Eleven Point National Scenic River Mark Twain: Established in 1968, the park is endowed with magnificent wild and Scenic River. Grab your kayak to enjoy the meandering water and the hills of Ozark.
  4. Michigan, Ausable, Manistee, Pere Marquette and Pine, White River Huron-Manistee: Why paddle elsewhere if Michigan offers five Wild and Scenic rivers with the faster water in the state. And what a lovely place to go kayak fishing for the salmon, steelhead, brown trout, small mouth bass and walleye.
  5. Michigan, Indian River Canoe Trail Hiawatha: Kayak a 51 mile surrounded with magnificent sharp river curves and broad marshland. A place to paddle and camp.
  6. South Carolina, Wambaw Creek Wilderness Canoe Trail Francis Marion: This is a place where the cypress trees whistles and the abundant wildlife watch as you Kayak in North Charleston.
  7. South Carolina, Tyger River Canoe Trail Sumter: What a beautiful places for bird lovers to enjoy their kayaking voyage. Kayak while bird watching.  
  8. Montana, Clearwater Canoe Trail Lolo: If you fear fast moving water, this is the place to kayak. The river has a slow flowing water surrounded with mountains for nature lovers.
  9. Arkansas, Mulberry River Ozark: Camp, hike and, kayak in the Mulberry River
  10. Washington, Lake Chelan Okanogan-Wenatchee: Enjoy the 50 miles paddling stretch, and set your camp in one of the 25 campsites along the lake.
  11. Montana, North Fork Flathead River Flathead: A place to have a flatwater kayaking while enjoying the nature.
  12. California, Lake Tahoe: The place to have your paddling vacation. As a kayaker, you will be traversing two states namely, California and Nevada.
  13. Nevada, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, and
  14. Green River Ashley National Forest: If you love kayaking cold water and rugged terrain, the green river is the place to be.

Best places to Kayak in Kenya

15. Tudor Creek, Mombasa Kenya

Kayaking away from home in the thicket of the mangrove vegetation, and deep into the Indian Ocean is an experience you don’t want to miss. Found in Kenya at the coastal city of Mombasa, Tudor Water Sports club is known as one of the best places to Kayak the seawater with beautiful sceneries.

If you want to experience the ocean tide, the wind, and the breeze, then, this the place to Kayak for muscle exercisers. There are different types of kayaks to choose from, such as inflatable double and single, plastics kayaks, fishing Kayaks, wooden Kayaks, and more. Safety measures are paramount and being an ocean, the place is under the jurisdiction of the Kenya Marine who patrols the vast Kenyan coastal line and for any distress call they will able to assist.

Kayaking Budget Tudor Creek in Kenya

Kayak budget at the creek depends on the type of Kayak or boat and the number of hours for the ride. For an hour, a paddler might spend an average of $7-$50 depending on the kayak type, distance, and the guide. Once done with paddling, get time to relax at the Tudor Creek recreational park within the mangrove vegetation.

16. Athi River for White Water Kayaking and Rafting

When in Kenya for whitewater rafting and Kayaking, Athi River is one of the best places to Kayak. It borders Tsavo National park to the east and with unique curves, meanders, and depth, you will enjoy every moment of your adventure. Besides, it has wonderful sceneries, abundant wildlife, and beautiful vegetation.

The place is known for the medium grade White Water River and best for the learners getting started with whitewater kayaking but also suitable for experienced rafters to relax.

To get to Athi River, you will require the assistance of one of the tours guiding companies operating in Kenya. For example, wildtreksafaris have packages for Athi River Kayaking.

17. Lake Kanyaboli for Flat Water Kayaking

Welcome to the second largest oxbow Lake in Africa, and the largest freshwater oxbow lake in Kenya. It has an average depth of 3 meters and mild waves which makes it one of the best places for flatwater Kayaking.

Kayaking in Kenya Lake Kanyaboli
Flat Water Kayaking in an Ox bow lake Kanyaboli in Kenya

The breeze, the wind, and the tides are average enabling a kayaker to traverse the enter Lake in one day. Lake Kanyaboli water sports club found at the Kanyaboli resort offers a variety of paddling experiences.

The boats available are inflatable kayaks, composite kayaks, wooden kayak, and more. Culminate your kayaking journey with a lovely supper in the floating restaurant during the sunset.

18. French Alps Durance, Ardeche

The French waters are best for new beginners to grasp the basic of Kayaking. It provides a paddler with an opportunity to horn their skills before moving to rapid whitewater. Besides, the topography consists of the mountains, clean and clear water, great joints and a place to call home away from home.

Many advanced kayakers practice at the Alps as the launching pad before proceeding to rough and difficult water. In addition, you will have to practice all the types of kayak strokes, such as forward stroke, backstroke, and more.

19 Soca River in Slovenia

The river is described as one with the clearest waters in the world. It has many channels with varying kayaking difficulties. The river offers varied sections for both newbie and advanced Kayakers to the paddler. Due to the many streams, Soca River is popular for water sports trip among kayakers. In addition, you can either use the inflatable and foldable kayak, such as Sevylor Quikpak K1 1 Person Kayak, wooden, plastic kayaks, and more.

20 Sagana River in Kenya

Did you know that whitewater rafting is scary and pleasurable in the same vein? In Kenya, you can enjoy rafting in river Sagana and all you need is an inflatable kayak. This is one of the best location stretching a distance of 16 kilometers for a class V kayaking. Besides, it has a 12 kilometer stretch for a clear water boat racing. To raft in Sagana, equip yourself with kayak clothing and essentials, such as Kayak pfd, water shoes, and more.

21 River Nile in Uganda

23 Victoria Falls, River Zambezi

This is one of the Seven Wonders of the World according to UNESCO. The river is endowed with big water volumes for white water kayaking, and the rapids make it a must go for a paddler who wants to paddle in the grade 3 and 4+ waters.

The gorges offer amazing scenery coupled with high waves that draws fear and pleasure in equal measure.

To have a wonderful stay at Zambezi River, secure a guide to move you around and to help identify best spots to kick start your paddling adventure. The adjacent islands offer incredible hotels and resorts which you can settle after a long kayaking day.

24 Kayak Zanzibar

To have pleasurable Kayaking in Zanzibar, attempt to visit one of the best Kayaking locations, such as the Mnemba Toll, where you will be greeted with the warm breeze emanating from the sea water. Besides, most Kayaking voyage happens in the north of the town. Here you get to paddle the reef stretching more than a kilometer from the shore.

Coral Reefs

It is advisable to select good spots without coral reef underneath that might end up causing damage to your inflatable and foldable Kayak. In Zanzibar, you are protected from big waves for those who like flatwater paddling.

The reef shields the waves from the boat resulting in calm water kayaking. In the coastal town of Tanzania, several resorts have Kayaks for rentals. To paddle in calm waters, it is advisable to head to the west coast.

25 Pemba Channel in Tanzania

Are you tired of sitting on a safari vehicle for the entire day and wondering where to Kayak in Tanzania? If so, then consider taking a tour to Pemba channel. At the channel filled with fish, you will enjoy every moment of the journey.

You have a chance to spot the happily resting crocodile while experiencing the sound of water nature, while fishmongers filling their basket with freshly caught delicacy. Water safaris give you an opportunity to spot rare birds, paddle rough waters, and interact with nature.

26 Selous Game Reserve

There are a few places to have kayak game safaris in Tanzania, such as the “Selous Game Reserve, where the Rufiji River, the Great Ruaha River, and numerous lakes give visitors a choice of many expeditions to choose from.”

You will be amazed by the reaction of resting hippos and crocodile. The animals’ move sluggishly in the water wondering what the hell you are doing in their territory, but do not interfere with your voyage.

For guest arriving in Tanzania for Canoeing, excursions have many options on where to spend a few days before jetting out of the country. As a traveler, you can opt for the calm lakes or the rough ocean for Kayak fishing.

27 Lake Manyara

What a lovely way to spend a day voyaging in Lake Manyara, a soda- colored water body with stunning flamingos moving from one side of the lake to the other. You are not yet done without visiting the Arusha National park for freshwater lake kayaking.

The Momela lakes is an amazing spot for canoeing while gazing at the tall forest trees with the protruding creator of Mt. Meru.

In Tanzania, you have a chance to kayak at the coastal town, the mainland bays or “the palm-spotted islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia” make a date to the Tanzanian water to interact with the underwater creatures.

South Africa Kayaking Destinations

An article by the Cape Union Mart Team titled “5 of South Africa’s top paddling spots” described in summary the best destinations to paddle while in South Africa. The places selected are suitable for both kayak, surf ski, and SUP. If you want to Kayak in Cape Town, it is recommended to try your luck along the Cape Town’s South Peninsula.

29 Simonstown

Beginners paddlers who prefer small waves, then Muizies is the place to go for SUP and surf ski. The spot is ideal for learners who fear being swept by the waves into the oceans.

Besides, Hout Bay Harbor offers truly refreshing paddling features, such as rowing between the rocks and the “cliffs of Chapman’s Peak.” To Kayak among the Penguin, paddlers are advised to head Simonstown which is suitable for different types of Kayaks and the SUP.

30 Camps and Three Anchor Bay

To exploit what the town has in store for Kayakers, it is important to have a taste of the Camps and Three Anchor Bay. These destinations enable boaters to discover the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean. To crown your day in the Cape Town, attempt to visit the V&A Waterfront Marina for cool and flatwater kayaking while gazing at the magnificent table mountain.

31 West Coast National Park

Other notable Kayaking destinations in South Africa is the West Coast National Park, offers spectacular Langebaan Lagoon escapement for a thrilling adventure. At the Lagoon, many waterbird species are waiting to sing and dance while enjoying every move of your kayak.

32 Port Elizabeth

Moreover, Port Elizabeth offers paddlers an opportunity to surf either in calm windy waters or the rough waters during heavy winds. Also, the protected beaches in Algoa Bay offers a chance for boat owners to have a glimpse at the fins.

Wow, the other truly Kayak areas in South Africa are in Durban which is endowed with many amazing waterfronts for paddlers who fears heavy winds. It provides a safe haven for learners due to the calm status of the waves around the canals of the marine world. Other areas to oar are the Dolphin Coast, Gauteng, and more.

Lagos, Nigeria in West Africa

Welcome to Lagos, a Kayaking paradise with a balmy Atlantic Ocean air. Here, there are several resorts along the beaches where water currents flow more and more gently as you lower the Kayak into the shoreline.

Going Kayaking in Lagos is a better way to enjoy a healthy exercise while lolling in your Kayak as the sun hots up. Paddling helps keeps fully alert the energies of the mind, which improve mental concentration. Kayaking voyage in Lagos should take you to the following.

33 The Beginners Spot

La Campagne Tropicana is a destination for learners to master the art of basic kayak strokes. You are greeted to calm and cool water, and you are not worried about your boat being swamped by the sharp waves. Besides, there are no sunken rocks which are utterly impossible for a paddler to spot from a distance.

34 Kayaking lagoon

To have a truly delightful voyage with a continuous pleasure, steer your Kayak to Omu beach Resort, and with one powerful sweep of the paddle, you will be at the nearby zoo kayaking while gawking at the big five.

This is the place to get the charm of a sea kayak. Other Kayaking destinations which are rich in beauty and awaiting exploration and discovery of fresh gems of life in Lagos are the Lil Zanzibar, about an hour drive from the nearby Victoria Island.

35 Canary Islands

Lanzarote is a dazzling kayak floating and sailing paradise so excellent for the muscle exercise of the limbs and body. Here you will be bounded away joyously in your sit on top Kayak through the rough waves and cool breeze.

A golden paddling route with a fine breeze and white sail. Nature cheery hissing sound awaits you as you bring down the double-paddled boat into the water.

Enjoy the scenery of the sea-bound ships, exchange pleasantry with the passing sailors and end your day with the cool air pleasantly fanning you. What a better way to shove off into the tide and feel the freedom of nature.

36 Best Lakes to Kayak in Japan

Japan have three lakes namely, Lake Aoki, Kizaki, and Nakatsuna that truly provide a calm environment for water sport activities. If you want to Kayak clear water, then, your itinerary should include Lake Aoki.

These are three natural lakes formed in line as a result of earth rocks movement and are found in the Nishina region. Besides, you take a walk to hot spring around Lake Kizaki to have a feel of the water. Furthermore, Kizaki is famous for the popular anime, with fans thronging the place for anime excursion.

To Kayak in the Nishina, ensure that you adhere to the boat owners rules and regulations, have a guide to move you around the place to save time in unknown region, and be equip with your Kayak essentials, such as the lifejackets, paddle leash among others.

Best Places to Kayak in China

In China, there are many rivers and Lakes to Kayak. But if you want to Kayak with a difference, consider the following rivers, Lakes, and islands;

37 Rivers to Kayak in China are

Fuchun Jiang is one of the many rivers in China found in the province of Zhejiang, South Easter part of the country. The rivers offers a unique kayaking expedition as you Kayak downstream to Pacific Ocean where it drains it waters at the Hangzhou Bay. There are specific areas to Kayak while enjoying nature at the Fuchun National River Forest Park, the three little Gorges and more.

Other notable rivers are the Yulong which is bamboo kayaking and rafting paradise. A six hours tour to explore the entire river.

Our next rivers to oar are the Shazi and Yangtze. At river Shazi, you are greeted to a warm welcome by the surrounding vegetation. Here, you decide the type of Kayak to paddle, such as the fiberglass sea kayaks, plastics to the glass bottom Kayaks and canoes.

Lakes to Kayak in China

After exploring the rivers, it is time to taste the lakes with your Kayak. The four suitable lakes for canoeing are the;

38 Qiandao Hu Lake

This is a lovely place to Kayak. With over 1000 islands spread across the lake, a paddler is spoilt for choices making the place ideal for kayak tourisms. The total surface area of the Lake is about 573 km2. To kayak the lake, seek the assistance of tour guide and kayaking club available. Besides, these clubs offers kayak for rental for those without adventure boats.

Your paddling trip to China is not yet done without visiting Lake Qinghai and Sanya. Besides, you have an opportunity to kayak the Lamma Island found in the South West of Hong Kong Island. It offers an array of outdoor activities including but not limited to Kayaking, Hiking, Surfing, SUP, and more.


Please note that these are a few selected places where you can Kayak, the list will be continuously updated as we discoverer favorable kayaking places. There are much-undiscovered water best suited for rafting, and other water sports and outdoor activities. Stay tuned for more updates on the best places to kayak in the world.


Before heading to these destinations, remember to carry the necessary Kayak clothing. For example, it is a requirement to wear a personal floating device popular known as pfd. Failure to put on the attire is an offense. Many water sports deaths have arisen as a result of not following canoeing rules and regulations. To be safe, observe paddling safety rules and regulations and strive to have the necessary rescuing equipment e.g. throwing bag and a towline, headgear, and more.

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