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Round trip - Zimbabwe

Canoe expedition on the Zambezi River

Highlights

  • Discover Lake Kariba and Mana Pools National Park

  • Animal sightings from the canoe

  • Canoeing on the Zambezi River

  • Incl. transfer with small aircrafts from/to Harare

  • Overnight stay in tents in Mana Pools National Park

Description

Animal observations from the river and lots of adventure and fun on the water await you on this trip. From Harare, you will fly to Lake Kariba, where your canoe expedition along the Zambezi starts. Overnight stays in tents let you feel the nature of the Mana Pools National Park even more intensively. Experience Zimbabwe's nature in the style of the old explorers by off-road vehicle and canoe.

Destination

Africa

Lake Kariba - Mana Pools National Park

The best time to travel to Zimbabwe is during the dry season from April to September. The Mana Pools National Park is also accessible then. From November to February, temperatures are much higher, rains and thunderstorms are also not uncommon.

Today you will land at Harare International Airport and fly on to Lake Kariba.

The gigantic inland lake, Lake Kariba, often evokes a state of contented relaxation in its visitors.

The soundtrack of Lake Kariba consists of the sound of gentle waves, occasionally punctuated by the call of whooping eagles or the thunderous grunts of hippos.

Human and animal life here revolves around the life-sustaining waters of the lake day in and day out. This makes for excellent viewing opportunities of water-dependent wildlife, as much of the shoreline also provides very productive grazing land for grazers. With a little luck, you may even catch sight of a few predators following the herds as their migrations take them to the opposite lakeshore of Matusadona National Park.

Flight time Harare - Kariba Airport airstrip: approx. 1.5 hours

Kariba Airport - Hornbill Lodge: about 15 minutes

1 night accommodation at Hornbill Lodge with dinner and breakfast and local drinks in Standard Room, Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe

Our local partner will pick you up at 07:30 in the morning for your safari in Kariba. Afterwards, you can check in at our partner office and store additional luggage and valuables temporarily. You will be briefly informed about your upcoming canoe safari and can ask first questions to your guide. After a short introduction, you can buy drinks for your safari on the river in the nearby supermarket. Afterwards, you will be transported with your fellow travelers in an open 4x4 vehicle to Nyamepi (Mana Pools Main Camp), where you will arrive around 1:30 p.m.

Once the canoes and equipment are unloaded, your guide will explain safety procedures and demonstrate paddling. Before heading out, however, a restorative lunch will be served. You will then head out on the water, paddling until early evening, when you will reach the first camp on Nyamatusi Island. Here you will receive another detailed safety briefing. Afterwards, you will have time for a bucket shower or to relax before a typical African dinner is served.

Each night, the camp will be set up by the crew in a different spot in the middle of Zimbabwe's nature.

Travel time Hornbill Lodge - Nyamepi: approx. 4 hours

3 nights in tents on the banks of the Zambezi River with full board, selected wines with dinner, 2 liters of water per person per day, all canoe & camping equipment and a fully qualified guide, Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

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Early in the morning you will be woken up with fresh tea, coffee and pastries before going on a short canoe trip. Breakfast is served either on the riverbank or on an island. Afterwards, you will paddle through the waters until noon. Relaxed, you will glide downstream in the canoe with the slow current past hippos and a colorful bird life. Take a break to eat and enjoy a short rest until the midday heat passes. Then paddle until the early evening.

It is difficult not to get overly dramatic in describing the magnificent beauty of Mana Pools. This UNESCO World Heritage site in northern Zimbabwe is a unique oasis often described as a "Garden of Eden." It is a remote gem whose infinite yet wonderfully animated landscape will leave you in awe.

The name "Mana" means "Four" in the Shona language and describes a series of four pools, remnants of former lagoons, that run parallel to the river in the famous and ancient flood plains. These vast, green flood plains on the edge of the Zambezi River are dotted with giant albida trees and offer stunning views of the dramatic purple-hued escarpment on the far bank. The plains attract large numbers of wildlife, especially in the dry season. Spend the night at 'G' Camp between the canals.

With stable canoes you will paddle silently downstream the mighty Zambezi under expert guidance. Elephants cross the water or bathe on the banks. Waterbucks and antelopes graze peacefully on wide floodplains. Buffalo come to drink, crocodiles and hippos lie lazily on land. You will paddle on the most beautiful stretch between Lower Zambezi and Mana Pools National Park and explore the riparian environment on foot on easy walks. Under the fantastic starry sky a campfire will be lit on which the delicious dinner will be cooked. A real adventure you will tell your grandchildren about!

The program will proceed according to day 3.

The camp for the night will be set up at the Chewore High Sand Bank.

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After a relaxing start to the day, tea, coffee and pastries are served. After that, treat yourself to a fortifying breakfast.

After dismantling the camp, you will leave it around 8:00 a.m. Upon arrival in Chewore at approximately 10:00 a.m., the canoes and equipment will be loaded onto a vehicle and you will head back to Kariba. Packed lunches will be provided en route for refreshment. You will arrive in Kariba around 3:00 p.m.

1 night at Kanga Camp on full board basis, activities in Standard Room, Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe.

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This morning you will fly from the airstrip near Kanga Camp back to Harare. From here you will board your flight back home. We are happy to plan an individual extension to Victoria Falls for you. Or maybe you would like to experience another safari in Hwange National Park? Please contact us!

Travel time Kanga Camp - airstrip: 30 minutes

Flight duration airstrip Kanga Camp - Harare: approx. 1,5 hours

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Hornbill Lodge, Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe

Hornbill Lodge is a small lodge at Mica Point, with a panoramic view of Lake Kariba.

Hornbill Lodge is a cozy accommodation for up to 12 people. In the main lodge there is a double room on the second floor. Separate from the main lodge there are also four individual chalets. All chalets have private bathrooms, mosquito nets, ceiling fans and portable air conditioning.

The main lodge consists of a central dining area, bar and inviting lounge area. Guests can relax by the pool and refresh themselves in the cool water after a hot Kariba day.

Activities offered at an extra charge include fishing trips where bream or tiger fish can be caught. Guests can enjoy a wildlife viewing experience of a special kind on a boat trip or take a short game drive to the dam.

1 Overnight

Chirundu Safari Lodge, Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

The canoe safari is a safari where you will help set up your tents and assist the guide with cooking and washing. The two-man tents are very easy to set up and all drinks and meals are carried in the canoes, which means there is no reserve vehicle.

There are no sanitary facilities on this safari. You will be provided with a spade, toilet paper and matches with which to burn the toilet paper. For showers, a bucket will be filled with water from the Zambezi River.

Camping equipment provided consists of a gas stove, cooking utensils, dishes, tables, chairs, camping mattresses, sleeping bags, bedding, candles, cooler bags and dome tents. Fishing equipment is not provided. The canoes are Canadian style, about 5.5 m long and have only one paddle.

Breakfast usually consists of fruit, eggs, bacon, sausages, boiled beans, toast and jam. Lunch offers cold dishes such as salad, cheese, bread and sliced meats, whereas a selection of hot dishes is served for dinner.

3 nights

Kanga Camp, Mana Pools, Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

Located in the most remote part of the World Heritage Site Mana Pools National Park, Kanga Bush Camp takes its name from the Kanga Pan near the Chitake Springs. This remote area has not been developed before. Kanga Bush Camp offers a pure and unspoiled African experience and is the perfect base from which to explore the diversity of Mana Pools' diverse habitats: the Ruckomechi River system as well as the large Mopane forest areas that extend to the Zambezi River.

The comfortable, traditional style tented camp accommodates up to 12 guests. All tents have private toilets and outdoor showers and wash basins. From 5 of the 6 tents, you can overlook the waterhole. Tent #6 is located a little further away from the other tents, offering a more intense bush experience.

The Kanga Pan is the only known water source in the area that holds water all year round, making it a gathering place for a wide variety of animals. The area can best be described as a paradise for explorers who want to hike to untamed areas without encountering other people. It is one of the last untouched areas in Africa.

Within an hour you can reach the floodplains of the Zambezi River from Mana Pools. For longer stays, excursions to Chitake Springs can be booked in advance.

Kanga Bush Camp is open from April 1 to October 31.

Transfer time from/to airstrip: 30 minutes

1 overnight stay

Duration of the trip: 6 days / 5 nights

Included

  • 5 nights accommodation according to the program
  • Meals and activities according to the program
  • Canoe and camping equipment for 4 days
  • Qualified guide
  • Transfers
  • Harare International Airport - Kariba flight
  • Kanga Camp - Harare International Airport flight

Not included

  • International flights
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the scope of service
  • Visa, if required
  • Personal expenses such as minibar and tips
  • Insurances

Notes

  • Please note that the canoe expedition always starts on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays (min. 2 p).
  • Unfortunately, credit cards are rarely accepted, so we recommend making any payment in cash in USD.
  • Road transfers, flights and activities take place with other guests unless otherwise requested and specifically stated. You may make several stops en route to your destination. The transfer or charter companies reserve the right to set departure and arrival times. Private charter flights can be requested at an additional cost.
  • Luggage including camera equipment and hand luggage is limited to 20 kg per traveler. Only soft bags are accepted - hard-sided suitcases, inflexible luggage or bags with wheels are not accepted as they will not fit through the loading hatches of the aircraft.
  • The maximum dimensions of soft bags that can be carried are: 25 cm/10 inches wide x 30 cm/11 inches high and 62 cm/24 inches long. Please remember that the baggage compartments of the small aircraft are only 25 cm high. Pilots must be able to slide the bags into the compartments.
  • Please do not take your passport with you on the river.

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