Canoeing Camping Safaris on the Zambezi River
Sample Canoe Safari Itineraries | What to Bring on Your Canoe Camping Adventure
The Mana Pools Canoe and Walking Trail - A magical trip through the famous World Heritage Site.
Cansaf are the most established canoeing/camping operator on the Zambezi River. We have been operating since 1982, and not that much has changed, apart from an upgrade in tents and radio support! Our canoe trips range in length between 2 nights and 9 nights between Kariba and Kanyemba, and above Victoria Falls. View our canoeing adventures photo album here...
We offer self-participatory safaris throughout the year and fully backed up trips between April and November. Ask us about the "Livingstone Trail" - we consider it to be the ultimate canoe safari on the Upper Zambezi River!
- Canoeing Safaris will collect you from your accommodation on the morning of your safari. The group will be carried in open 4x4 vehicles up into the Zambezi National Park.
- The drive takes approximately an hour and there is a good opportunity to spot game as the road takes us through the Park along the River to the embarkation point.
- At the put-in point the group enjoys a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon and fruit.
- Once breakfast is over your Professional River Guide will give the group a detailed safety briefing. He then offers some simple instruction in the paddling techniques that you'll be using.
- Before long the group is on the river! Rest easy as the Canadian canoes you'll be using are safe and stable.
- The morning is spent exploring the many channels, spotting wildlife and listening to the interesting stories the guide has about the river, its flora and fauna and history. You'll spend occasional exhilarating moments passing through several small rapids.
- At midday the group is met by the back-up vehicle and lunch is set out in the shade of a large tree on the banks of the River, after which the group sets off back to Victoria Falls, arriving at approximately 13h00
Full Day Itinerary:
- The trip will follow the same basic structure as the half day detailed above.
- Lunch is usually a relaxing opportunity to catch up on bird identification and possibly a short siesta before the afternoon's paddle.
- For keen fishermen the mid-day break is a good opportunity to catch up or get aquainted with some of the local fish species, and then after lunch the group will continue down the river closer to the Falls - as they explore channels amongst beautiful islands and sand banks, perhaps stopping at one for photographs and refreshments (depending on time).
- At around 16h00 they meet the pick up vehicle, and enjoy cold beers, soft drinks, water or a welcome cup of tea.
Multi-day General Itinerary - The Livingstone Trail! (Three Days, Two Nights Canoeing)
The Livingstone Trail is a combined Walking, Game Drive and Canoeing Safari. All walks are accompanied by a Professional Walking Guide.
- Pick up at 07h00 / 07h30 from Victoria Falls in an open Game Drive vehicle. (Clients should be dressed for a walking safari.)
- The group heads for the Liunga Spring Line in the Zambezi National Park. This is where the Kalahari Sandvelt meets the Basalt of the Zambezi River system and collection of water permeating through the sand rises to the surface when it reaches the Basalt Rock.
- After a 2 hour walk in this area (including a brief stop to eat a light breakfast of packed rolls and tea) the group returns to the vehicle. The group then explores some of the other Game Drive loops in the top end of the Park.
- A picnic lunch is then served at Chundu, on the banks of the River.
- After lunch, the game drive continues up to Tsowa Camp Site where the clients leave their bags and change into River clothes. After a cup of tea at the camp the group then transfers up to the top point of the Park, a place called Samanungu. Here the clients are given an in-depth safety talk before entering the River for their first, short section of paddling into Camp.
- On arrival by River at Tsowa Camp the group is met by the camp staff and a cold drink. The evening is spent around the campfire and enjoying a meal under the stars.
- The group is woken early for tea and coffee before taking off on a game drive. At 09h30 the group arrives back at camp for a full “English breakfast“.
- After breakfast they again enter the River for a full day of paddling. Lunch is taken as a picnic on the bank of the River.
- In the evening the group has an option to do a short game drive before dinner.
- After an early breakfast we being the final 18kms downstream towards Victoria Falls.
- The morning is spent exploring the channels and enjoying the small rapids of the Upper River.
- At midday the group is met by the back-up vehicle. A lunch is set out in the shade of a large tree on the banks of the River.
- The afternoon paddle carries the group closer to the Falls, as they explore channels amongst beautiful islands. At around 16h00 they meet the pick up vehicle, and enjoy cold beers and minerals.
- Clients are then dropped back at their hotels in Victoria Falls.
- Swimming Costume
- Personal toiletries
- Canvas shoes or rafting sandals
- A hat with a wide brim as well as a cap.
- A jacket or cardigan for the evenings
- Shirts (including a long sleeved one for sun protection)
- A torch or flash / flashlight and extra batteries
- Film and spare camera batteries
- Insect repellent
- Socks for winter nights
- Warm clothes to sleep in for winter nights
Canoeing Safaris provides all camping equipment and food as well as cordials local wine, beer, and carbonated drinks.
- Please ensure that you have begun a course of anti malaria tablets before your arrival in Zimbabwe and that you continue the medication for four weeks after arriving home.
- Please ensure that you advise Canoeing Safaris or your travel agent of any dietary preferences or requirements at least one week before your trip departs.
- Please ensure you advise your agent or Canoeing Safaris of any medical disorders, which may require special attention.