Mana Pools Canoe Safari
Back to Canoeing Safaris, more package options, and what to bring
This is our favourite Canoe Option - you can't beat canoeing on the Lower Zambezi through the Mana Pools National Park, a World Heritage Site and one of Africa's most renowned game-viewing areas.
Guests are transferred from Kariba or their previous overnight stay, to Ruckomechi by air charter, arriving at about midday. At approximately 2.00 pm, after meeting the guide and going through a thorough safety briefing, participants leave the Ruckomechi area in their Canadian canoes and paddle downstream to our mobile camp in the Mana Pools National Park. The camp will have already been set up in advance, and the first afternoon of paddling covers approximately 10 to 11 km. This is a relatively easy distance to cover in the time available and gives canoeists a chance to familiarize themselves with the various simple paddle strokes required.
Days 2 and 3
Typically, canoeists are awakened before dawn, at approximately 0545 hours, with tea/coffee and biscuits and we try and get onto the water just before sunrise. This is a magical time on the river, the water is usually dead calm, and the peace and tranquility is amazing. After paddling for a short while, usually about 2 hours, we park the canoes on the bank and set out for a game walk. The guide chooses a suitable area, based on his knowledge of the area and game movements, and we take a few hours to explore on foot, and unravel some of the intricacies of the bush. After returning to the canoes, and a light snack, we continue canoeing to a suitable lunch spot, arriving around mid-day.
Lunch is carried in the canoes and usually consists of a salad and cold meats type of meal with a quiche or home baked pies, as well as bread rolls (fresh cooked on the fire in camp). We normally rest up in the shade for a while, or take another short walk, moving on at about 3pm, to arrive in the second camp, Chessa, at dusk. The camp, and all luggage, will have been moved by the camp staff, and all that is required to be done by participants is to enjoy a hot shower under the stars, and a cold drink, followed by a fresh cooked meal, and sleep the sleep of the pleasantly weary. The daily distances covered from one camp to the next are around 20 to 25km, and the daily routine will vary according to participants abilities, needs and interests, as well as wildlife movements.
After breakfast by the river, guests will be transferred by Land Rover either to the Chikwenya airstrip for the flight out, or drive to Ruckomechi camp for an additional night or nights stay if guests wish to spend more time in the wonderful Zambezi Valley.