MANA CANOE ADVENTURE
A canoe trail (or walking trail) through Zimbabwe’s spectacular Mana Pools National Park is a truly unforgettable experience. Conducted as a mobile safari, this 4-day canoe trail can either be a “luxury glamping” experience, or a more rustic camping experience (partially participatory and no back-up crew), depending on your preference and budget.
On the luxury trail, your camp will be set up and taken down by a dedicated back-up team before you arrive and after you depart for your day’s adventures. The first night (before the trail) will be spent in a low-key, extremely comfortable bush camp on the banks of the Zambezi River, so you can leave for the canoe safari early the next morning.
Each day of the trail provides a new and exciting experience as you paddle through diverse habitats, and have the chance of spotting elephants, hippos, buffalo, crocodiles and an array of incredible birdlife! If you’re really lucky you may even see lions, leopards and wild dogs visiting the water’s edge. You have the chance to do a short walking trail each morning before breakfast; or try your luck at a bit of fishing before you depart in your trusty canoe for the day. Each evening is spent in your extremely comfortable camp, around the camp fire, with a spectacular view of the Zambezi River in front of you. Each trail can accommodate 2-8 people.
This is simply an example itinerary that can be tweaked and changed to suit your needs. This is also why we don’t put prices on our itineraries – we specialize in tailor-making our trips for each individual client. If you like the sound of this itinerary, then send us a direct email enquiry, or fill out the detailed enquiry form below…
This is an incredible trip for families, or for a group of friends. Children from 14 years are welcome on this trail, and no prior canoeing experience is necessary. This is an interactive, fun, and adventurous experience that mixes canoeing and walking – not to be missed if you’re a true lover of the outdoors and nature! It’s also easy enough to tag this canoe trail onto the start, middle, or end of your safari through Zimbabwe or Botswana!
This canoe trip can be booked as part of a scheduled departure with other travellers, or you can book a private trip if you have 2 or more people in your group.
Escaping civilization and finding peace on the mighty Zambezi River.
Watching elephants swimming from the comfort of your canoe.
Glamping in true African river-side-style.
Connecting to nature in a non-disruptive way.
Sunsets and camp fires overlooking the Zambezi River.
Incredible birdlife and mammals all around you.
IN A NUTSHELL
DAY 1 – Zambezi Camp (base camp)
DAY 2-4 – Mana Pools Canoe Trail
DAY 5 – Mana Pools Airstrip, Depart
5 Days (including final travel day)
DAY 1: Zambezi Camp,
From Victoria Falls catch your light-aircraft flight to Mana Pools National Park. You will be collected and driven to Zambezi Camp. Depending on your arrival time, enjoy an afternoon game drive, followed by one night in this delightful river-side camp before departing on your canoe safari the next morning.
Spend the evening around the roaring camp fire and enjoy a delicious 3-course dinner after meeting your friendly guides (and the fantastic back-up team) that’ll accompany you on your canoe trail.
DAY 2: Mana Pools Canoe Trail
This morning, take a slow game drive through the spectacular Mana Pools floodplain to the first night’s campsite. The area has one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Zimbabwe and the drive is usually very rewarding – enabling your guide to give an overview of the various animals, birds and plants that make up this unique habitat.
Have lunch at your camp, before departing on an afternoon canoe trip. You should now begin to see some of the multitude of animals and birds attracted to the water’s edge – hippo, buffalo, elephant and crocodile, as well as a variety of antelope species. Return to your camp at sunset, sit back and relax with sunset drinks and snacks – tea and coffee and hot showers are also part of the deal. A campfire will already be burning while the cooks prepare another delicious three-course dinner.
DAY 3: Mana Pools Canoe Trail
Wake up bright and early and enjoy tea, freshly brewed coffee, muffins or home-made biscuits around the campfire. While you pack up your personal things, the support staff load the canoes with all required for the day ahead. All you need is a small daypack with essentials such as sun block, camera, hat and binoculars. The aim is to be in the canoes and on the water in time to watch the sunrise.
This is one of the most magical times of the day. As you drift along quietly, you’ll hear the sounds of birds and animals getting ready for the start of a new day. Breakfast takes place under a grove of acacia trees, and after breakfast, guests have the opportunity to set off on a walk on the floodplain and surrounding woodlands. This is a great time to try and view predators before they hide-up for the day.
This walk offers an opportunity, not only for game viewing, but also to explore some of the more interesting aspects of the environment. This night’s camp, Chessa, overlooks a small channel, with a large grass plain separating it from the main Zambezi channel, 1500 feet away. The plain is home to buffalo, waterbuck, elephant and hippo in the evenings.
DAY 4: Mana Pools Canoe Trail
Breakfast is on the Mbera River floodplain this morning, which comprises stunning acacia woodland with large patches of thick “Adrenaline” grass – a habitat much favored by all the predators. Towards the end of the dry season it also hosts large groups of female elephants with their babies.
The day is spent paddling through a maze of small channels before once again joining the main Zambezi. For a change, lunch is on one of the shallow sandbanks in the middle of the river, where a table and chairs are set up in ankle deep water with the whole width of the river stretching out on either side. This afternoon is the last chance for canoeing. Depending on water levels and time allowed, there may be an opportunity to explore Chikwenya Island on foot. This unique island is the largest on this section of the river and is host to prolific birdlife as well as a number of interesting mammal species.
In the afternoon, you will paddle into Illala Camp, where you’ll enjoy your last evening around the camp fire reminiscing about all your unforgettable 4 days on the Zambezi River.
DAY 5: Mana Pools Airstrip, Depart
There may be time for an early morning walk before breakfast, after which, there will be a short game drive to the main airstrip for your onward flight to Victoria Falls. Or continue your itinerary to include more of Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park), Botswana or Zambia!
If you’re interested in this itinerary, then please help us tailor-make it for you by checking the specific details below. This will help us create your perfect adventure. If you’d like to fill out a generic Safari Builder enquiry form, then please click here, and we’ll plan your safari from scratch!