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10 Days Classic Long Canoe Safari Zambezi River, Zimbabwe

Crocodile Rocks Island, Zambezi River, Mashonaland West Province, Zimbabwe

Kariba to Kanyemba Safari in Zimbabwe

The Zambezi classic long is the longest trip Natureways Safaris has to offer. It stretches over two national parks, four designated sections of the Zambezi, and covers 230 kilometers. The safari will take you along the Mana Pools National Park shoreline which is a World Heritage Site and into the Mupata Gorge with its spectacular geographical features of red cliffs. This long safari will allow you to feel at one with nature and to capture the essence of Africa!

Meet the guides

Elijah & James
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  • Wildlife sightings in Mana Pools
  • Canoeing experience along the Zambezi
  • Services of fully qualified canoe guide
  • Canoe and camping equipment
  • Road transfers in 4x4 vehicles
  • Daily meals and basic drinks
  • 9 nights' accommodation


10 activity days
Group size: Maximum of 8 participants
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During this safari, you will be accommodated in various campsites along the Zambezi River; Crocodile Rocks Island (first night), Twin Logs Island (second night), Kakomarara Island (third night), Lone Acacia Island (fourth night), Trichelia Island (fifth night), Chikwenya Island (sixth night), False Gorge (seventh night), Mupata Gorge (eighth night), and at the base of red cliffs (ninth night).

This safari is a semi-participatory - meaning the camps are not already set up for your arrival and that everyone helps to put up tents, cooking, and washing up each evening. Tents supplied are very easy to set up, two-man, dome tents.

There are no ablution facilities on these safaris. Clients are provided with a spade, toilet paper, and matches - with which to burn the toilet paper. Bathing is done from a bucket using water scooped out of the river.

All camping equipment is supplied. This includes gas stoves, kitchen utensils, pots and pans, plastic plates, mugs, tables, stools, camping mattresses, sleeping bags and liners, candles, matches, cooler boxes, and dome tents. Clients can bring their own sleeping bags if preferred.


This semi-participatory explorer canoe safari begins and ends in Kariba (unless by other arrangements) and it is recommended that clients spend the night prior to their safari’s departure in Kariba town. Natureways Safaris can assist with booking this accommodation.

Your safari departs from Natureways Safaris' offices in Kariba, clients can self-drive there or be picked up from their various hotels at 07:30. Once at the office, clients may arrange for excess luggage and valuables to be locked away safely until their return (it is not recommended to take passports or valuables onto the river).

A short briefing will then be given to help clients understand what the trip entails and any questions will be answered. A shopping trip follows to allow the purchase of any additional groceries or personal items required, as well to purchase particular drinks clients may want. Clients will then be driven to the starting point of their safari.

Animals that can be seen on the trip usually include elephant, buffalo, impala, waterbuck, hippo, crocodile, and plentiful birdlife. Lion, leopard, painted hunting dog, etc. are more rarely seen but are certainly in the area. Natureways Safaris cannot guarantee plenty of game while on safari, particularly during the green (rainy) season.

The canoes used in this safari are two-man Canadian-style canoes, and the paddles are American Carlisle paddles. No previous canoeing experience is necessary but guests are required to be reasonably fit and healthy.

The maximum luggage limit per client to take on the river is 10 kilograms, packed in a soft duffel bag, not a suitcase. A luggage room and safe facilities are provided for any extra luggage at the Kariba office. This safari is a self-contained, all equipment and food are carried in the canoes and there is no vehicle back-up apart from drop-off and pick-up.

Daily routines

Generally, the day starts with tea / coffee and biscuits at sunrise. The camp is then packed up and the party sets off. Early mornings make for easy paddling as the wind is calm and it is not yet too hot. A stop will be made for breakfast, usually after a couple of hours.

The trip continues after breakfast, until breaking for a light lunch and siesta to avoid the midday heat. The night stop is reached at approximately 17:00 and the camp are unpacked and setup. Campsites are typically set up on islands and all sites are designated by national parks.


Day 1 (18 kilometers)

Natureways Safaris will collect you on the morning of your safari at 07:30, in good time for a check-in at Natureways Safaris' office, handing in extra luggage and valuables. Please do not take your passport on the river. There will be a short briefing to summarise what the safari entails and questions may be asked. Guests will be required to sign an indemnity form before leaving on the safari.

After the briefing, a visit to the shops will be made, purchasing any extra drinks wanted for the trip before setting off for the river. Please note that credit cards are not a recommended payment option in Zimbabwe.

After arriving at the start point, luggage will be portered into the gorge and your group will walk for one and a half kilometers down to the river - quite a long, steep descent. All canoes and camping equipment will have already been carried into the gorge and packed. A safety talk and demonstration on how to paddle a canoe will be given after which you will be launched, then paddling until a stop is made for lunch.

After a picnic-style lunch, there will be time for a siesta to avoid the heat of the day after which, paddling recommences. At approximately 17:00, you will arrive and set up camp on an island named Crocodile Rocks. There will be time to have a bucket bath, relax, and have dinner after a brief safety talk on camping.

Day 2 (27 kilometers)

You will be woken up at sunrise for tea, coffee, and biscuits before canoeing for a couple of hours then stopping for a leisurely breakfast. After breakfast you set off once again, to enjoy the incredible scenery of the Zambezi Valley. A lunch stop will be made at the first suitable spot with time, once again, for a siesta. In the early evening, you will reach your second campsite at Twin Logs Island.

Day 3 (28 kilometers)

The group will be woken up at sunrise for tea, coffee, biscuits and also breakfast before canoeing starts. Between 10:30 and 11:00 you will reach the re-supply point at Chirundu where fresh supplies of fruit and vegetables for the second leg of the journey are obtained. Paddling resumes after a light packed lunch, continuing to the night stop at Kakomarara Island.

Day 4 (27 kilometers)

You will be woken up at sunrise for tea, coffee, and biscuits and breakfast before you start canoeing. Canoeing continues until midday and a well-earned lunch and siesta, time to catch up on reference books until mid-afternoon (depending on the weather). The group will continue to paddle until approximately 17:00, spending the night camped on Lone Acacia Island.

Day 5 (23 kilometers)

The programme is as per the day four. The night’s campsite will be at Trichelia Island.

Day 6 (20 kilometers)

Again, today’s programme is very similar to days four and five. Lunch will be at about midday after which there is a chance to relax, take in your surroundings or siesta. The group will paddle until early evening where camp will be made on Chikwenya Island.

Day 7 (25 kilometers)

Up at dawn for tea, coffee, and biscuits before a short early morning paddle. Breakfast will be served either on the banks of the river or on an island. Afterwards, you will resume canoeing until lunchtime after which a brief siesta can be taken on the banks of the river. Once the heat subsides, canoeing will continue to False Gorge.

Day 8 (20 kilometers)

The programme is as per day seven. The day will be spent exploring the shoreline of Chewore (home of the great elephant). The camp will be made at Mupata Gorge.

Day 9 (35 kilometers)

The schedule for this day will be as per day six and seven with the day spent mainly in the austere Mupata Gorge, viewing its many endemic species of wildlife and taking in its spectacular geographical features. This night’s campsite will be established at the base of the towering red cliffs.

Day 10 (7 kilometers)

After an early wake-up and breakfast, you will paddle down to the take-out point at Kanyemba. Equipment will then be loaded onto the vehicle and the group transferred back to Kariba. Arrival time in Kariba is approximately 16:00.



James Varden


This safari will take place along the Zambezi River, Zimbabwe. The safari starts eight kilometers downstream from the Kariba Dam Wall and ends in Kanyemba.


All of your meals will be provided, Natureways Safaris caters for dietary preferences, such as vegetarian or diabetic, however, advance warning is required at least 14 days before the tour begins. Your drinks include tea, coffee, cordials, imported wines with dinner, and two liters of mineral water per person per day. There is no alcohol, other than wine with dinner each evening, or minerals are provided.

Natureways Safaris do supply adequate cooler boxes if guests would like to take their own alcohol, minerals, and additional bottled water. Clients will be able to purchase these before the trip when taken shopping prior to departure. Drinks must be bought in cans to reduce weight and space. A cooler box is set aside for keeping drinks cold. There are no opportunities to replenish stocks on the river.

All food and meals supplied are of a good standard. Meat and poultry dishes are precooked, frozen, and stored in a cooler box during the safari. Some fresh produce (fruit and vegetables) are provided on the safari. Long safaris such as the Zambezi classic long are resupplied in either Chirundu or Mana Pools.

  • Breakfast usually consists of fruit, eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans or tomato relish, toast, and jams.
  • Lunch consists of cold meats, salads, cheese, and bread.
  • Dinner consists of a variety of meat and vegetable dishes.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

On this safari, you can go fishing during your free time.

What's included

  • Wildlife sightings in Mana Pools
  • Canoeing experience along the Zambezi
  • Services of fully qualified canoe guide
  • All canoeing equipment
  • All camping equipment
  • Daily meals and basic drinks
  • 9 nights' accommodation
  • Road transfers in open 4x4 vehicles from and to Kariba Town.

What's not included

  • All national park fees (contact Natureways Safaris or your agent)
  • Drinks not mentioned (soft drinks and alcohol)
  • Fishing equipment
  • Any personal expenses

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 14% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Quality of activity
10 days / 9 nights
from --

This vacation is available from April to November with arrival on Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Please select an arrival date below.


Green season
  • November 1 - May 31
High season
  • June 1 - October 31


Booking information

Private safaris can be arranged if you book a package with a minimum of 4 people.

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