It doesn’t get much wilder than Mana Pools. This outstanding national park rests on the banks of the Zambezi River and thrives with biodiversity. Elephants and buffalo roam the land, while Nile crocodiles slide stealthily beneath the water from the river banks. The park is one of Zimbabwe’s top safari getaways because of its stunning scenery and rich wildlife.
This two-week tour begins in the Zambian bush and takes visitors deep into the remote bush of Mana Pools National Park. After a first night in the vibrant city of Lusaka, we will journey to Lower Zambezi National Park. Enjoy the afternoon here unwinding under the trees on the river banks, then savour gin & tonics on a sunset cruise.
The next morning we depart for Chitake Springs Camp in Zimbabwe’s legendary Mana Pools National Park. Game gathers at the park’s springs in the late afternoon, so we head out on a game drive after arrival. We will spend the next two days relishing the area’s scenery, serenity and exceptional bird and animal life. Nights bring the sounds of lions roaring and hyenas whooping, while we enjoy game viewing drives at sunrise and sunset. We will have a leisurely breakfast on the riverbank before departing Chitake and heading to the north of the reserve.
Our next stop is Nyamepi Camp: a magical waterside wilderness with magnificent birdlife. Remember to pack your binoculars because you don’t want to miss amazing photo opportunities this place presents! We will stay our final three days at the scenic and relaxed Ndungu Camp, located in the Mana Pools’ far western reaches. You will observe amazing game on daily drives, while wild creatures – big and small – also move frequently through the camp!
You can fly directly into Lusaka with either Emirates, Ethiopian Airways, Kenya Airways or South African Airways. On arrival in Lusaka a driver/guide will be waiting for you in arrivals, he will have a small board bearing your name.
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Day 1 – Arrive Lusaka
On arrival at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport you will be met and driven to your guest house for the evening. Dinner is included. Pierre will meet you at the airport and ensure you are comfortable for the evening. If you arrive early into Lusaka there is the option of a visit to the Lilayi Elephant Orphanage. (D)
Day 2 – Mvuu Lodge, Lower Zambezi National Park
The team will collect you from Zebra Guest House, we will have packed the vehicles with food and fuel. A half days drive from Lusaka lies our campsite for the night. Nestled in the trees on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River. We will spend the afternoon relaxing on the water’s edge game viewing from the comfort of a deck chair. A sunset cruise with Gin & Tonic will set the mood perfectly for your first evening in the bush. (BLD)
Day 3 – Zambia into Zimbabwe, Chitake Springs Camp
With an early start to the day we drive to the border town of Chirundu for some groceries and fuel. Crossing the border in Zimbabwe there is a half day drive to our first campsite in Mana Pools after the Park entry formalities. We will game drive from the gate heading South to arrive at the springs as the animals come down for their afternoon drinks. (BLD)
Day 4 to 6 – Chitake Springs Camp
Our first night in Mana Pools will have been quite an eye opener! Lions spend a lot of their time waiting in ambush at the various water holes around the dry river bed, at night their roaring echo’s in the river bed giving the area a sinister feel to it.
Hyena whoop at night and if you listen carefully you can hear herds of elephant as they quietly walk down the river bed. Porcupine raid the campsites for the scraps we drop, baboons call out in distress – perhaps there is a leopard hunting them in the trees’.
Daily game drives, some walking and relaxing on the river banks while the animals parade – get your camp chair and let the spectacle unfold before you! (BLD)
Day 7 to 10 – Nyamepi Camp
After a relaxed breakfast on the banks of the river we will pack all our kit, break camp and head North for our next campsite for the following four days. We will be camping on the banks of the Zambezi River looking into Zambia. This campsite and area is very well known for spectacular sceneries and an abundance of wildlife.
Don’t forget your binoculars. You must have, or purchase, a good set as besides the wildlife there is fantastic bird watching and the view over the river is vast making binoculars a very important piece of equipment for this tour.
During the drier seasons there is very little water around, so all the wildlife must come down to the river for sustenance. This is precisely why we only run these tours during the best game viewing season of October and November. It may be hot, but this makes for a real bucket list experience! (BLD)
Day 11 to 14 – Ndungu Camp
Today we will move to a new campsite and a new perspective. Situated a fair distance to the West this is the furthest campsite in Mana Pools and once again we will have exclusive use of the area for the 3 days that we will camp here. Our days will be spent doing game drives with a packed lunch or simply relaxing by the waters edge as the animals drift past or wander through the campsite. Keep an eye out for circling vultures that will tell us of a predator kill, the shrill alarm calls of the birds will let us know is anything is causing them concern. This is wild excitement and adventure in Africa at its best. (BLD)
Day 15 – Mana Pools to Lusaka
After a leisurely start to the day we will break camp and exit the park. We will cross the border back into Zambia at the same point & continue on to Lusaka city. We will arrive in Lusaka midafternoon and check into the same guest house as on your first night in Lusaka. (BLD)
BLD – Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
Meet & transfer from Lusaka Airport to Zebra Guest House
2 nights’ accommodation at Zebra Guest House – one night before the tour, one night after the tour
All fuel costs (+ – 3000km’s)
Vehicle use for the duration of the expedition driven by your personal guide
All National Park entrance fees
Private Chef preparing all meals (Our chef has 25 years’ experience & will provide delicious meals with silver service dinner table dining)
Accommodation (roof top tent)
Bedding & linen
Safe, clean drinking water for the duration of the tour
All meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner while on tour)
Breakfast: Bacon & Eggs with toast & cereals
Lunch: Sandwiches with fruit
Dinner: Salad, Main course & Desert
All camping site costs in Zambia and Zimbabwe
Selected South African wine at dinner (2 glasses per person per night, red or white wine)
After dinner liqueur (Double tot of Amarula)
All guiding & driving by professional guides & 4X4 experts
Camp set-up & dismantling of equipment each morning & evening (a local camp manager is employed for this)
Satellite phone – medical emergencies only
Charging facility for camera batteries
Your own private guide – 2 guests to each guide & vehicle making this an incredibly personal experience
Pre-dinner snacks with sundowners
A head torch – to be returned at the end of the tour
Should you wish to do personal laundry whilst in the bush we will provide water & detergents as well as a washing line
Biodegradable soap & shampoo
Personal travel insurance
Local and international flights
Any additional or optional activities not listed above
Any items of a personal nature
Gratuities of any kind
Malaria medication – please consult your Doctor
Any drinks over & above the wines included at dinner.