Lower Zambezi National Park is in southern Zambia, on the Zimbabwean border. In the south, the Zambezi River valley is known for abundant wildlife, including buffalo, fish eagles and herds of elephants. Canoes ply the river, which is home to hippos and crocodiles. In the east, the river passes the striking red cliffs of Mupata Gorge, with its fish-filled waters. North is the steep and rugged Zambezi Escarpment.
Mana Pools National Park is in the far north of Zimbabwe. It includes the south bank and islands of the Zambezi River, which forms the border with Zambia. The park is known for wildlife visibility beside the river and in the flood plains. Large populations of elephants, hippos and Nile crocodiles gather at sunrise in the Long Pool. In the park’s south, lions wait for prey around the waterhole at Chitake Spring.
BLD – Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
Day 1 – Arrive Lusaka
On arrival at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport you will be met and driven to your guest house for the evening. If you arrive in Lusaka in the morning there will be time to visit the Lilayi Elephant Orphanage. Pierre will meet you at the airport and ensure you are comfortable for the evening. (D)
Day 2 – Lusaka to Mvuu Lodge
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. (BLD)
Day 3 & 4 – Mvuu Lodge
For the next 2 days we will spend time discovering the magic of this game rich safari destination. We will be doing game drives into Lower Zambezi National Park (no camping is allowed in the park itself), birding tours by some of the experienced guides, canoeing, fishing and of course the obligatory African sunset cruise. Three game drives, 2 sunset cruises & a birding tour are inclusive of your tour cost. Relax and unwind, watch the elephants drift by, listen to the hyena whoop at night and soak up the serenity! (BLD)
Day 5 – Mucheni Camp in Mana Pools National Park
With an early start we will depart Mvuu Lodge and drive for 3 hours to the small town of Chirundu where we will fuel up & purchase groceries. Crossing the Zambezi River into Zimbabwe there is a half days drive to our next campsite set on the banks of the river where we will be camping in the heart of this RAMSAR site. It’s an IBA (Important Birding Area), a World Heritage Site and is listed as one of the top 3 safari destinations in Africa. We will visit the park offices to get our entry permits and then drive to Mana Pools gate. We will have exclusive use of the campsites we have booked ensuring you get an unsurpassed experience. (BLD)
Day 6 & 7 – Mucheni Camp
Mana Pools is WILD!!! There are no fences whatsoever at any of the camp sites, so, no matter the time of day we will have to be vigilant of animals passing through the campsites. We have booked exclusive use of the campsites giving you a fantastically unique experience to this incredible wildlife paradise. At night it is inadvisable to leave your tent or wander about. A strong LED torch is very necessary.
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 8 to 10 – 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.
We Will do game drives each day in the many loops that surround the campsite and into the deeper parts of the park. (BLD)
Day 11 – 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)